The House of Lords have ruled that London Critical Mass is not
unlawful. Police attempted to outlaw the ride unless they were notified
in advance of the route. All five law lords upheld the appeal which
stated that the event has no organisers or set route and proceeds on a
‘follow my leader’ basis, so therefore it is not governed by section 11
of the Public Order Act 1986.
Friends of Earth Rights and Justice Centre, which acted for Critical Mass cyclist Des Kay, hailed the ruling as “an important victory for the right to peaceful protest and for cyclists to take part in this monthly celebration of cycling.”
The legal action was a result of a leaflet handed out by Superintendent Gomm of the Metropolitan Police at the Critical Mass ride in September 2005. The leaflet, handed to cyclists at the ride, stated that "These cycle protests are not lawful because no organiser has provided police with the necessary notification. Your participation in this event could render you liable to prosecution."