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Saturday, June 25, 2005
Biggest Critical Mass Ever
So yesterday I went on the absolutely largest critical mass ride that I've ever heard of. No one I talked to could remember anything larger anywhere. I'd say we had about 300 riders. It was a great time, just so many folks including a couple of zany bikes and children. It was part of bike fest here in the Iron City, which unfortunately ends tomorrow.

And afterwards we had a party at free ride, Pittsburgh's equivalent of Chain Reaction. The party involved bands, of which I heard two. The first played rock with a guitar, accordian, and drum set. Pretty awesome, though it was hard to hear the accordian. Hallie and I talked to the accordian player afterwards. He said that they're working on a CD and will be having a release party in late July. Awesome. Then next there was an instrumental metal band, who were pretty tight. I like metal about once a month, especially when accompanied by a good Huffy toss. Yep, there was a prize for the person who could throw a Huffy the farthest. Good times, good times.

And Tim, I would suggest that what's happening with SHAC isn't surprising from history. While I'll often argue that history isn't helpful for understanding today because every time and place is so different, I think that there is a definite pattern in history of young radicals moving to increased militance when they find themselves unable to attract mass support. It's easier to build bombs than talk to people who aren't like you. You can see this in India in the late 19th century, and the Weather Underground is a famous example. In the end of course all that it can accomplish is bringing on greater state repression.

I'm not actually addressing the question of defining terrorism here, as much as pointing out that whether SHAC is terrorist or not it's following a dead-end strategy. Not that the question of defining terrorism is unimportant.

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