Monday, August 15, 2005

WHAT MAKES A RIOT???

To understand how police control riots, first we need to understand how a riot gets started in the first place. A riot is a crowd that takes violent, illegal actions, reacting out of fear or anger. The crowd takes on a mob mentality -- the people making up the "mob" do things they normally would not do because the crowd makes them anonymous; this anonymity, combined with the actions of the rest of the crowd, makes them feel like they can smash, burn or beat whatever and whomever they want.

There are different kinds of riots, but almost all riots can be described in general terms as being like a fire. For a fire to start, two things are needed: fuel and a spark.

The fuel for a riot builds up over time. In many riots, the fuel can be years or even decades of racial prejudice, unfair treatment of the poor or antagonism between a company and a union. If people have no effective way of dealing with these problems or changing their situation, an undercurrent of anger and frustration grows stronger and stronger.

Once the fuel has built up, almost any spark can set it off. An incident that angers one group can turn them against another group. In many cases, an actual incident isn't even required -- just a rumor can spread through a group and turn deep-seeded anger into a violent outburst. >>>

5 Comments:

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