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Cycling advocacy group named on counter-terror watch list

Joe Robinson
22 Jan 2020

Home Office includes Critical Mass on document of 'Left Wing and Associated Single Issue Groups'

A cycling safety and advocacy organisation has been named on a counter-terrorism watch list issued by the Home Office. Critical Mass was named among a collection of 'Left Wing and Associated Single Issue Groups' that were included in a document issued to counter-terrorism police units.

The same document called for citizens to assist in preventing potential terrorist activity by reporting 'suspicious activity' to relevant authorities.

A group that originated in San Francisco, Critical Mass operates as a movement that looks to pressure local and national authorities to support green forms of transport and develop cycling-friendly infrastructure.

After first being established in the United States of America in the 1990s, the movement came to Europe as groups organised mass rides to 'takeover' roads to promote issues.

Officially, the group is described as 'a form of direct action in which people meet at a set location and time and travel as a group through their neighbourhoods on bikes.'

Critical Mass was seen on the list alongside many anti-fascist and anti-establishment movements such as Anonymous and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as well as some other surprise inclusions.

Alongside Critical Mass was German football team St Pauli, who currently languish 11th in the Second Bundesliga.

Since the report was published, the counter-terrorism police have clarified to Cycling Industry News why Critical Mass was included, stating that not all groups included within the list are considered to be on the same level and that their inclusion is just to help officers identify groups at protests.

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