Stop Killing Cyclists and Stop The Killing, together with campaigners from across the country, held a symbolic funeral procession along Oxford Street, the nation’s high street on Saturday, 15 November 2014. This direct action was timed to fall on the weekend of the World Day Of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims.
It was in keeping with the creative, respectful protests we are becoming known for and drew on the experiences of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, as well as those more widely affected by air pollution and climate crisis caused by vehicle emissions.
Participants were encouraged to bring a white wreath or flowers to lay at Marble Arch, to symbolise peace, reflection and to echo the tradition of placing white “ghost bikes” at the site of incidents where a cyclist has lost their life.
Thousands See Dramatic Funeral Protest
Bring Oxford Circus to a Standstill
in Memory of all those killed
by UK’s Lethal & Poisonous
* For immediate release *
Cycling and pedestrian safety protesters staged a symbolic funeral protest down Oxford Street to Marble Arch yesterday, Saturday 15th November.
The horse-drawn hearse paused at Oxford Circus for 2 minutes silence, to allow the crowds to mark the terrible toll of death, injuries and poisonings caused by motorised transport.
It then proceeded to Marble Arch, led by a lone bagpiper, where the protesters placed the symbolic coffin on a catafalque and staged a Dutch style die-in around it, in a ten minute meditation to mark the memory of the dead.
The crowd was then addressed by a range of crash survivors, victims’ families and grassroots campaigners. Among the marchers’ 10 demands were:
- A multi-billion pound fund to create home zones to make our residential neighbourhoods safe for children again;
- £3 billion annual investment fund for the creation of a national segregated cycle route; and,
- The reform of national, regional and local Transport Departments into Walking, Cycling and Transport Departments.
Speakers included Professor Brendan Delaney, Kings College; Tom Kearney, Safer Oxford Street; and Caroline Russell, Green Party Transport Spokesperson.
Stop Killing Cyclists Co-organiser Donnachadh McCarthy said:
“Saturday’s powerful protest sent a loud message to the Government and London’s Mayor that the time for meaningless spin-doctoring about cycling and walking are over. What people across Britain want to see is real investment in making our streets safe for humans, not billions more for the motor lobby.”
Tom Kearney, Safer Oxford Street campaign in his speech said:
“I am just one of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who’ve been killed or seriously-injured from a collision with a TfL bus since Boris Johnson became Chairman of Transport for London. Boris you cannot ignore us.”
Professor Brendan Delaney in his speech said:
“This car culture is destroying our bodies through pollution and inactivity as much as it destroys lives through so called accidents and our environment through emissions.”
“I spend my working life dealing with the end results of our collective blindness to the hidden killer. Diseases of inactivity will break our national health system in the coming decade. We have to stop.”
Media Coverage – After the Event
Please let us know if you spot any stories in the media that should be listed here!
- ITV News: TV NEWS REPORT by Toby Sadler
- London24: VIDEO: Thousands of cyclists ‘die’ and bring Marble Arch to standstill
- The Evening Standard: Traffic brought to a standstill at Oxford Circus as thousands join road safety protest
- Private Eye, Issue 1380: Scene and Heard (cartoon)
- West End Extra: Campaigners’ Oxford Street ‘funeral’ aims to drive home dangers of traffic
- Romford Record: Rise Park activist speaks at Oxford Street ‘die-in’ protest (features speaker Terry Hurlstone)
- Good News: National Funeral
- Morning Star: Oxford Street Halted In Memory Of 76,000 Killed By Risky Roads
- Londonist: Road Safety Week Starts Today
- Air Quality News: Protest highlighting pollution closes Oxford Circus