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Yesterday Critical Mass Galway had its first community cycle of the year, with a theme: tweed or (bunny) tails. At one point, our two-wheeled procession shivered for twenty minutes, stuck in traffic on Father Griffin Road until we finally pedaled over Wolfe Tone Bridge, named after a leading Irish revolutionary from the eighteenth century. (Galway nurses a fondness for revolutionaries--there is a plan, albeit contested, to erect a statue of Che Guevara soon.) Traffic was heavy due to the food festival, visitors clamoring for locally grown greens, spit-roasted pig, and kebabs, Irish-style.

Today is the 96th anniversary of the 1916 Easter uprising. You can read more about this pivotal moment in Irish history here. Wolfe Tone, over whose eponymous bridge we cycled for the cause of a bicycle-friendly city, once proclaimed, “Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community - the men of no property.” Something to contemplate in this liminal time, before the consequences of cutbacks in social spending become all too plain for the people of Ireland and they hear the rattle of their IMF-blessed shackles.


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