How best to protest?

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Added by John Cossham

In the UK we have a long tradition of protest and dissent, and as citizens we are allowed to protest legally and safely, and the Police have a duty to facilitate protests. Not all protests are facilitated by Police, though.

York used to have a Critical Mass ride, once a month, where a group of cyclists would set off slowly and ride along the public highway in an unplanned way, being very visible and causing a slight nuisance to motorists. This fizzled out as there were too few of us and on three occasions car drivers rammed cyclists and it was seen as unsafe.

This year, 2018, is the 13 York World Naked Bike Ride, and the 14th year for this protest in the UK which has annual rides in over 10 locations. We plan a route and discuss with the Police, who arrange to be at particular junctions to allow the riders to pass as 'one vehicle' like a peloton group. We protest naked, or in swimwear, or fancy dress to demonstrate our vulnerability and to celebrate all things bike and cycling. It is open to all cyclists.

This year it's on 23rd June leaving Millennium Bridge at 4.30pm. We have a social afterwards.

What do members feel about protests? What is the best way to protest? Some feel the Critical Mass is antagonistic, and the WNBR attracts critics too. How best do we get our message across?


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