Flash mobs, London Bridge and elsewhere

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longlaner Sunday 15 February 2009 10.53am
I'd be glad if someone could explain this phenomenon to me. I don't see how it's acceptable for a busy station to be closed - or at least significantly obstructed, as in the most recent case - by a co-ordinated "social gathering" (i.e. banal publicity stunt).

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jonnyp42 Sunday 15 February 2009 11.17am
You could ask the same of Critical Mass, who periodically organise what amounts to a rolling road block of Central London.

However the challenge for the Police is that you can't hold anyone accountable if you can't identify the organiser.

Given that this was arranged for an event I think you could argue that it was irresponsible of the organisers of that event to shut a mainline station with their 'publicity' stunt. This wasn't the case when the second flash mob close Liverpool Street as they were in no way connected to T-Mobile, it was spontaneous (well as spontaneous as anything is when you organise it via an on-line social network).
Jerry Sunday 15 February 2009 11.53am
I happened to be in the station at the time and it was not closed or significantly inaccessible at any time. I understand that it was the authorities decision to move people directly outside the main entrance that caused more problems than anything else. A speedy 3 minute publicity stunt for a London Bridge centered public event was then turned into 10 minutes of slightly chaotic pedestrian movement in one bus lane which was closed for that time. Nothing to get too excited about.
Tolstoy Sunday 15 February 2009 5.38pm
Nothing to get too excited about.

Oh but people will.
Possel Monday 16 February 2009 9.07am
<irony> Yes, isn't it great when you just want to get home on a cold damp Friday night after a long week and there are all these people who are delaying you because they are "having fun"? You just have to laugh and enjoy it.</irony>

I think the thousands of travellers at Liverpool Street on 6 Feb were less than impressed when they were unable to get to their trains.
6 underground Wednesday 18 February 2009 2.20pm
Tolstoy wrote:
Nothing to get too excited about.
Oh but people will.

Oh yes :o) Personally I quite like the flash-mob/critical mass side of London, but for some people even a little inconvenience every now and again is too much.
longlaner Wednesday 18 February 2009 3.17pm
Most Londoners contend with inconvenience on a daily basis, and accept this as part of living in a large and busy city. But people who deliberately add to the inconvenience can seem rather selfish. What I particularly resent is that these events/happenings require policing - a fact of which their organizers are plainly aware - and this diverts police manpower away from more pressing concerns.
6 underground Thursday 19 February 2009 10.59am
Perhaps am fortunate then, I don't find getting around London particularly troublesome. Sadly, I haven't seen any of these ‘spontaneous' events yet - am heading out in a minute, I would be happy to trade witnessing a sudden silent disco, or zombie attack, for a few minutes delay in my day.

London is probably not the right place for inconvenience-free living :o)
Bill.O Friday 20 February 2009 8.28pm
Longlaner "What I particularly resent is that these events/happenings require policing"

Oh no, so unfair, and I'll stop there. policing Critical Mass mysteriously ceased about the same time as the Met lost their court case over it being an organised event.

Mind you the odd ambulance bike does accompany the ride!
James Hatts Friday 27 February 2009 8.53am
The British Transport Police aren't happy about flashmobs:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7913034.stm

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