"(Mild) Panic On The Streets Of London" - MayDay '01

In the weeks leading up to the MayDay protests, you just couldn't get away from it in the media (when a disused button factory in Brixton used by protestors to prepare and revise their tactics weeks in advance was raided early on April Fool'sDay by police, it got featured heavily on the news that evening), and when police and politicians talked up what would be the consequences of riots taking place (gung-ho coppers enthusiastically told rubbernecking reporters that rubber bullets were to be deployed on the mainland for the first time), meanwhile, all around and up and down the capital, stickers like the ones below were to be found in or on the unlikeliest of places that you'd expect them to be.

I was also given this flyer for the morning Critical Mass (the first event of the MayDay rally) while at the monthly C.M. gathering near Waterloo bridge back in March '01 (the first I'd been at for nearly a year - shame on me!), and as you can see, the theme of the protest wasto have London-wide demos at various locations found on a board of Monopoly(unlike previous RTS/MayDay spectaculars, which were concentrated within a specific part of the capital), thus giving the various authorities
stress/nightmares aplenty on the day.

Leaving the house earlier than I normally do on Tuesday morning, I got the 7.39 train fromBruce Grove which went straight to Liverpool St., where one of the two main cycle rallies was to start from that morning. It seemed that I arrived just in time, because all the cyclists assembled were about to head off at that moment. Here's some of them below getting ready to go.

I got the next two in pretty quick succession, and I chuckled to myself as various people with cameras jostled for position with each other to get the perfect shotof the cyclists moving out from the station.

This next pic was taken outside a McDonald's with its very own police guard for the day (not surprising really, given the nature of the protests going on, as well as theless than spotless public image for numerous indescretions that McDonalds has and of course, it's a multinational).

Here's the some of the cyclists from Liverpool Street on the ride at around 8.30 in the morning. Who says "alternative" types aren't early risers then?

Shameful as it is to admit, I didn't have a clue what was going to happen during the early partof the morning, so it was my good luck that I bumped into a dreadlocked geezer on an off-road mountain bike (an oxymoronic term if there ever was one) who had a spare leaflet seen here below.

Cycling through Aldgate and into the heart of the City. If you look in the background,you can see the Lloyd's building (symbol of 80's Thatcherite greed writlarge).

Is the geezer with the shades on in the pic below an enemy of the state, some bod just getting in his bonfire night shopping early, or a good-humoured urine extractor?
Time for you to make up your mind, Mr. Straw.


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