Beach ball on O'Connell st

Saturday was Car Free day throughout Europe. In Dublin the streets were quieter than they would be during a working day, but unfortunately they were not Car Free. This didn't stop a large group of cyclists taking part in a Critical Mass cycle ride. I'm no good at figures, but I reckon there were probably about 60 riders on the street.

Critical Mass on the Quays in Dublin, Ireland

The cycle was boisterous and noisy; the cyclists blew whistles, honked horns and made strange strangling noises with Halloween kazoos. The cyclists were silly; there were flags and banners, tandems and unorthodox bikes. The funny thing about cycling so slowly in the middle of the main streets is that you get to see the city from a completely different perspective. Onlookers cheered, bus drivers were encouraged to blow their horns in support.

Blow your horn

Foghorn at road protest in Ireland

Anarchist flag at critical mass in Dublin

We ended up at O'Connell Street and two ends of the streets were blocked off with bikes. Enterprising organisers strung a net across the street. Footballs and beach balls made a sudden appearance. The game that followed was chaotic. It was difficult to see how many teams were participating, and the use of more than 4 footballs made it hard to hard to work out the offside rule. The kids who hang out outside Supermacs were particularly enthusiastic and skilful.

Volley ball on O'Connell st in Dublin

But all good things come to an end. The Gardaí came and stole our footballs. A good-natured crowd booed them, and in typical fashion they completely overreacted. Bikes were thrown about. I saw one guard push and shove a young woman aggressively as she shouted 'peaceful protest'. Naturally, he wasn't wearing any numbers and so could not be identified. Unfortunately this sort of behaviour on behalf of the police, is to be expected, but on Car Free Day it was particular ironic that the cyclists were being thrown off the roads, so that the cars could make way. Personally I think they didn't like the fact that we were having fun.

What flag is this

Critical mass flag

The car

Being filmed

[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement members of an event they took part in or attended, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written] Note: Pictures are ultra compressed a week or so after they are uploaded to this site to save space on the server.

Boycott Car Culture

Balls in the air


Anarchist News No 24

Why Reclaim the Streets?. produced for the August 5th Reclaim the Streets demonstration in Dublin - also available as a PDF file

Same road same rights same rules

Anarchism & Environmental Survival

Anarchism is often seen as being broadly linked with the radical wing of the Environmental movement. Ray Cunningham in reviewing 'Anarchism and Environmental Survival' considers these links and the influence of these movements on each other.


Biotechnology, confusion, fear and protest

Over the past few years developments in biotechnology such as cloning and genetic modification of food have led to wide scale confusion, fear and protest. In this article Conor Mc Loughlin explains some of these technologies and asks are they safe? Have they any benefits? Should they be rejected or could they be used for the benefit of an anarchist society

Critical mass - we are traffic

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What a laugh

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