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Critical mass in London and in Warsaw, Poland

Marcin Skubiszewski, January 1st, 2015

The two films below document the critical mass in London (last November) and in Warsaw, Poland (last December).

The London Critical Mass has no predetermined itinerary. They just cycle around, more or less randomly (I have seen people at the front of the mass argue where to go next). They are not escorted by police, and there seems to be no security service, no leaders. They run red lights illegally, all the time.

The critical mass in Warsaw, Poland, has an itinerary (different each time) officially declared to traffic authorities. It is escorted by police cars. Apparently, there are always four police cars, regardless of whether the mass has 72 participants (December) or 1500 (June). In addition to police, in Warsaw there is an internal security service, which closes roads surrounding the itinerary.

Police escort allows the Warsaw Critical Mass to legally run red lights and, much more importantly, to take urban motorways and bridges that are normally closed to bicycles (Trasa Łazienkowska, Wisłostrada).

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