In chapter 12, the “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 25” concert was a setting in the book that I found very interesting. The concert’s premise was basically an illegal open air concert at Dolores Park organized via the Xnet. The highly anticipated concert began with an energetic crowd full of people who were happy and dancing together. However the concert took a turn for the worse once cops dressed in riot gear with infrared goggles moved in to disperse the crowd. At this point there was mass confusion and screaming, many people ran away and attempted to leave but many were swallowed into a radical crowd that felt very defiant towards the authorities. It became graphic quite quick as the concert goers got gassed by riot control, hundreds of people collapsed and gasped for air and then were tied up and fed into vans for questioning.
As soon as I came to this part of the part of the book I found it very riveting, a secret concert to the uninformed public eye despite thousands of people knowing about it online. I really enjoyed the author’s account of the energy at the beginning of the event as well as describing the crowd’s dynamic making it sound like an event that was extremely powerful to the people in the Xnet community. I also enjoyed the evolution of the event from a concert, to a discussion of civil liberty, then ultimately to an activist group statement against the oppression that they felt from the Department of Homeland security.
In my opinion, the violence of the crowd was incited by the radicals of the group. Specifically it was Trudy Doo’s voice that manipulated the intentions of the crowd to fight for what they believed in. To me, it felt right that at this point the riot patrol gassed them. From an outsider’s perspective they were being a rowdy crowd gathered illegally late at night. But it didn’t really feel like they were being rowdy and obnoxious until the cops came and told them to leave.