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Rioting. does it actually effect change?

Kenkay

Planetoid
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Well yes, yes it does. Often more effectively than peaceful dissent.

Many people that I've talked to seem to believe it's only a bunch of misfits out to get free stuff. Or a poor way to state their violent tendencies. But if you look at history you will find that rioting not only brings about change, but it brings it about faster than lobbying for a cause or by peaceful dissent. For example. Many folks are taught that Dr King was the reason the civil rights movement gained ground. And as noble as his efforts were they really didn't do anything. What got things moving were the riots that were occurring all over the country. There are declassified tapes that showed it was the Birmingham riots that brought movement to change not Dr Kings eloquent words.

The Negro Reverend Walker…he said that the Negroes, when dark comes tonight, they’re going to start going after the policemen – headhunting – trying to shoot to kill policemen. He says it’s completely out of hand….you could trigger off a good deal of violence around the country now, with Negroes saying they’ve been abused for all these years and they’re going to follow the ideas of the Black Muslims now…If they feel on the other hand that the federal government is their friend, that it’s intervening for them, that it’s going to work for them, then it will head some of that off. I think that’s the strongest argument for doing something…”
Kennedy replied

First we have to have law and order, so the Negro’s not running all over the city… If the [local Birmingham desegregation] agreement blows up, the other remedy we have under that condition is to send legislation [The Civil Rights Act] up to congress this week as our response…As a means of providing relief we have to have legislation.”
Even in Ferguson the rioting effected change. Scores of LEOs were fired. New policies were put into place the police chief was replaced and many other things. Whereas after the not guilty verdict in Kelly's murder did not get support by rioters. No change was made.

In my own town a young woman was negligently killed by a cop responding to a domestic when the cop fell while trying to shoot a dog. Even after neighbors released security camera footage that showed the dog was no where near the officer nor was it acting aggressively the officer was placed back on duty and no charges were filed for the negligent death of the woman. Why? Because people protested peacefully.

I abhor violence when violence has not been initiated against you. But from all the historical facts it is simple to see why it works. Because you're speaking to the government in the only language they understand. Violence.
 

BlisteredBlood

The Crucified Angel
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Location
Rhode Island
A riot (/ˈraɪət/) is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property or people. Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings.
So in other words, it's perfectly acceptable to destroy buildings, cars, hurt those that want no part in the riot or don't share a similar mindset that conforms to their beliefs and looting in order to bring about changes within certain laws?

But wait. I'd like to examine this further.

Riots often occur in reaction to a perceived grievance or out of dissent. Historically, riots have occurred due to poor working or living conditions, governmental oppression, taxation or conscription, conflicts between ethnic groups, (race riot) or religions (sectarian violence, pogrom), the outcome of a sporting event (football hooliganism) or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances.
Hm. Let's examine what the Baltimore mayor said after the events of the riots there.

[video=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_5KQC7k8Lc[/video]

Yep. They sure did air out their grievances, all right. People in Baltimore "aired" their grievances on 113 police officers, 350 buildings (60 of which were set on fire and 27 drug stores were looted), 150 vehicles, totalling up to nine million dollars in damages. While it's unfortunate as to what happened to Freddie Gray in that instance, the resulting mob mentality that sprung out of it leads me to believe the opposite of what you have said here. No. Riots do not change anything. If anything, it solves nothing. Violence only begets violence.

And I find it rather odd that you would even bring up Ferguson, when in reality, that whole thing began because the individual in question made a rush towards the officer to grab his weapon not long after robbing a liquor store and assaulting the clerk. Again. It's an unfortunate chain of events, but the resulting violence that spread from it damages the credibility of the movement.

Peaceful resolutions can bring about change, but it's up to those that are willing to give it a chance.
 

BlisteredBlood

The Crucified Angel
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Location
Rhode Island
I've had time to think about this, plus I've had to rewrite this quite a few times to not sound as though I'm lashing out at you, but rather to argue your point with mine, or possibly even attempt to not sound like a complete and total jerk. Chances are, I may still be at the end of this writing, but at least take everything I've said here into consideration that I'm choosing to speak on the side of logic.

However, I'm inclined to flat out disagree with what you've brought here, as I'm of the opinion that the only things that riots can change is the increased amount of distrust and animosity between people of all colors, races, creeds and so on and so forth. On top of this, damaging buildings by setting it on fire, breaking windows or whatever, overturning cars thereby causing untold millions of dollars in damages and injuring anybody that wants nothing to do with the riot or even the policemen and women alike with anything that's otherwise not nailed down, dead-bolted or under lock and key or under combination lock is not justifiable. You can say that "it'll still send the message" all you want, but the fact remains the same.

Violence only begets violence, and it'll only continue into a vicious cycle of neverending bloodshed unless people choose to break it by coming to grips with it by adjusting to a completely underused type of mindset.

Logically.

Even in Ferguson the rioting effected change. Scores of LEOs were fired. New policies were put into place the police chief was replaced and many other things.
And since you were the one to bring this up, I'm choosing to respond thusly.

What changes? True, it did get the rotten apples out of the tree, but there's still a whole orchard left to go through, so don't think for a minute that the problem is solved. But even then, here's the truth. The whole reason as to why the riots started? It was because the officer in question had every right to defend himself against an assailant who attempted to bull rush him and strip his weapon with the intent of killing the officer, if given the chance. While this cannot be proven since we have no idea what was running through his mind at the given time - after all, this isn't Minority Report - there are in fact tapes of Michael Brown who was unmistakably shoving a store clerk - unmistakably an assault charge, by the way! - after he went out the door of the store, taking the stolen merchandise with him, with video to prove it.

[video=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbYvrneDzA8[/video]

What happened afterwards is of course tragic and never should've happened in the first place, but neither was the millions of dollars in property damage caused by a low-information public that was driven stir-crazy by Michael Brown's own stepfather after the Grand Jury's decision to not convict Officer Wilson in November of last year - and I quote - to "burn this bitch down".

The same thing can also be applied in your town's case, as well. It's an unfortunate thing that happened there and I am in no way brushing that off to the side. But resorting to violence of any sort is disparagingly barbaric.
 

rskde

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Location
Heckin' Japan
So, I live in Baltimore and I bore witness to the Freddie Gray riots. Rioting does not cause any change other than the actual peaceful protestors being taken less seriously, because this is exactly what happens:

News reporter: wow, look at that peaceful protest

Reporter: Wait! One building is on fire!

News reporter: Wow! Focus attention on that!

There were several displays of peace in Baltimore, but the media took all of the attention off of them in order to get an interesting show going, which is just stupid in my opinion. Literally, while CVS lost money in the riots, Fox News profits sky rocketed from the amount of viewers watching a news chopper slowly rotate around burning buildings and people being aggressive towards police officers.

Even the parents of Freddie Gray said: "We don't want violence on this day, remember our son in peace." But yet everyone flipped out because one man died, and the court was dealing with it too.

They were screaming about police brutality and how they are racist and stuff when 27 officers were injured with wounds from thrown bricks and I think 4 or 5 officers were killed, but no violent action was taken against citizens. 257 people were arrested and the police officers responsible for the death of Gray were put in jail for life, like they were going to be even if the riots hadn't taken place. All the riots accomplished was a waste of resources, destruction of property, and unnecessary deaths of LEO's, riots don't solve anything.
 

MisterKing

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Location
Under a bridge
I like what Ian Welsh had to say about violence in light of the Baltimore riots:

Relatedly, violence often does solve problems. The Native Americans cleansed from North America were “problems” to the settlers, and violence dealt with that problem just fine. Fascist Germany was a problem to most non-German countries, Jews, Gypsies, Socialists, Gays, and many others and violence solved that problem. Carthage was a problem to Republican Rome and violence solved that problem.

And riots, rather better organized than the Baltimore ones, granted, solved the Parisian problem with the old Regime, while the Terror, terrible as it was, did make sure that there was to be no going back–even if France was to alternate between Republics and Empires for some time.

Violence often solves problems and it often does so rather permanently.
There's some other good bits in there, but I'd much rather you give him clicks than transcribe the whole thing here :p
 

Kenkay

Planetoid
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
As I said in the op, I don't condone violence against those that have not initiate it. I would rather see rioters destroying police stations and what not than private businesses. But yeah. Yall ignored one instance where violence and the threat of violence did effect change. As I said in my op hhad the rioting not taken place with the threat of more violence against LEO'S then the civil rights movement would likely have died off in its infancy.
 

Myn

Super-Earth
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Location
Australia
My belief is that:

I think we can all agree that Violent Demonstration are an effective way of gaining attention by the wider community. The fact that I live all the way over in Australia (Other side of the world) and know what you guys are talking about is enough evidence of that. Naturally, when a group of people 'riot' or exhibit destructive behaviour in public, it'll come to the attention of the authorities who'll be forced to address the issue one way or another. Hence 'Rioting' is one way of attaining change.

The question though... is is it effective? And if so is it worth it?
My answer would be "It depends" xD
I'm not entirely sure that the Ferguson thing is actually going to change anything. I mean clearly a few 'bad apples' have been picked off, and the wider community has been alerted to the atrocities that occur... but in terms of the national or even global attitude, I'm not sure if it's actually been effective. I guess it could be considered viable if a law, or substantial procedures are introduced.

But personally, I'm a bit... put off by the whole thing.
If change occurs in Ferguson, good for them.
But I can say with confidence that I am never going to visit the area.
Call me racist, but my reservations to dark-skinned Americans was negatively affected.
In fact, I probably even say my opinion of the United States suffered from what happened.

Now, I understand that having your loved ones killed is something that will incite people into fits of rage. But when those people express their anger through destroying things... can you really call them civilized members of society? Furthermore, violent protest seldom ever restrict themselves to their goals. If you're pissed off with the police and destroy police vehicles and smash windows at the police station that's unacceptable, but you're lashing out at the police.... but the moment that aggression transpires to a nearby shop, even a street sign... you're just being uncouth. Heaven forbid if unrelated people get injured.

So yeah, I don't like it. And I don't think it gives the people or the cause they're fighting for a good image. I'm personally against people owning private guns, but putting that aside, if I was asked in a survey if gun control laws need to be tightened up in the area, my answer would be 'No, that area is dangerous.'
Same applies for other riots, if gay people went around killing random straight people in the name of 'equality' I highly doubt there'd be much support from heterosexual people to legalize equal rights in anything.

Might not be a fair comparison, but validating this as effective... would be like endorsing the situation in the middle east right now as an efficient way of creating a caliphate.
 

Thaedael

Star
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Location
Montreal, Canada
I am a former planning student, working for my city as an urban planner. Civil demonstrations of a peaceful and violent nature are a lot more complicated than people would initially think. I wrote my thesis on said topic.

The long and the short of it will always be on a per-case basis on what was done, and how it was done. Why some demonstrations succeeded, peaceful or violent, will depend on how it was organized, who was mobilized, and the system that they were trying to change as a whole.

Recent examples of this in my city was the student uprising in Montreal two or so years ago. The government was arguing that the cost of universities hadn't kept up with inflation and that universities were running out of money to provide high quality education. Students were arguing against, what I thought at the time were reasonable compromises, under the assumption that the right to education is a universal human right, which I also found reasonable.

What ended up happening was that there were several hundreds of thousands of students and professors swarming into Montreal to peacefully demonstrate amid the budget talks for the province. The government promised to discuss said things under the huge attention garnered, but in true Quebecoise bureaucratic stupidity, they kept them out of the conversation.

Up until this point, the students had the attention, and support of other students nation wide, and city wide, but amidst frustration of being barred from the talks, they turned to violent rioting and terrorist acts. Acts so strong that the government wrote bylaws and charters to temporary overwrite our rights as a citizen in times of protest. This in turn incited further rage, where rioting, looting, burning of cars, the interruption of public transportation via smoke bomb threats (Called in as actual bomb threats) occurred, leaving the rest of the country, and members of the city, completely disgusted with the movement, which lead to its demise.

Violence can enact change. There are examples of that, but rioting as a whole, brings out everyone's personal agendas and fragments a larger, more unified discussion into parts that can become discredited by those who are enacting violence. It is effective in bringing attention to a situation, but it doesn't help mobilize or involve more people, rather it pushes them away.

The last nature is that most civil movements have deep, historical roots, that link back to previous demonstrations. Everything is cyclical in the way of humanity, especially in how we live, interact,and enact our lives in a city. In the case of the aforementioned example, the roots of that go way back to when the french population of Montreal fought for the right to even have french universities in the first place, for at the time there was only one!

So, I would have to say, on the whole from my experiences in my profession, the study of such actions world wide and in various locales and views (via academia), violent protest does not further interests. At best, it lays the ground work for future, non-violent discussions to occur.
 

Manic

Banned
Banished
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
All rioting does is make the powers that be find another way to do things. Also from the point of view of the people who aren't protesting it tends to illustrate the stereotypes and often is contradictory. I'm not just talking about race riots, I have seen Students violently protesting, and yet these same Students profess to being pacifists all the while they are attacking Police Officers.

Quite often the Rioting group will lose the sympathy of the wider community, no one likes to see people get assaulted, to have roads closed down and their trips home delayed, to see shops burning.

You also have to ask yourself, "What would happen if these violent thugs actually gained some influence?"

No, it doesn't achieve anything.
 

BlisteredBlood

The Crucified Angel
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Location
Rhode Island
Once again, I find myself thinking this over and attempt to write this in a way where I have to showcase restraint.

First off Kenkay, I in no way ignored the initial point in your OP. What happened during the Civil Rights days is in fact a part of history now. However, what you flat out missed my point on - again, because you mentioned it - is what message would that send? And how would others on the outside of that recieve said message? Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the Civil Rights Era now. I'm talking about the here and now.

But yet, when I think about it still, you brought this up twice now. But here's the really funny thing. Though John F. Kennedy did have quite a bit of influence during his time as President, it's not nearly as big as you think. It took Lyndon B. Johnson to push that legislation through, since he had more sway due to the fact that he was a Southern Democrat from Texas and that he had far more insight into Congress and its inner workings as well as a more intimidating demeanor to get things done (He once told one opponent of the Civil Rights Bill, "If you get in the way, I'm going to run you down.") as opposed to JFK who was a Northern Democrat from Massachusetts that never got along with the aging members of Congress. That's not saying he wasn't a stuffed shirt Boy Scout, mind you. He was just too young for their liking. Moreover, while he was a staunch supporter of the Civil Rights movement, he wasn't nearly as vocal about it as LBJ was. But think of it like this: If Kennedy wasn't assassinated, the push for Civil Rights would've taken longer. He still would've served as a highly effective president for sure, but the chances of that bill ever getting passed would've been slim to none or it would've been far weaker. Furthermore, there'd be seemingly no end to the bloodshed, the firebombings, the assassinations and all that. It would've kept on going way into the 1970s. Would it have become a platform during the elections of 1968? Of course.

Quick little sidebar here. If you were to also combine what was going on in South Vietnam at the time, which JFK was strongly opposed to Communism but was also a realist at the same time, he still would've gone through with the Vietnam War, but he would've handled it far more diplomatically. There would still be boots on the ground and numerous lives would be lost, but not nearly as grand a scale as what the real result was. Ultimately, JFK would've ultimately lost South Vietnam, from various theories I've heard around. The Hippie Movement still would've sprung up from this, too.
But this is - again - assuming that JFK wasn't assassinated and left LBJ to pick up where he left off. As a matter of fact, LBJ once stated that by not doing so [i.e., pass the bill and its provisions that would soon follow including expanded health care, housing, voting rights, etc., etc.], would be dishonoring JFK's memory. We all know what happened from there onward. If you were to really think about it like this and while Kennedy definitely deserves the credit, it's really Johnson who basically took all of his ideas and without caring an iota of whose feet he stomped on or how many, he pushed all that through.

As I said in the op, I don't condone violence against those that have not initiate it. I would rather see rioters destroying police stations and what not than private businesses.
Try telling that to the parents of Michael Brown. Try telling that to the parents of Freddie Gray. Try telling that to anybody that was involved in any of the riots the year before. You can't predict as to what they'll do since once it starts, it's Anything Goes. The people within those two incidents didn't care a wink as to who or what got in the way. And yeah, sure, knock over a police station along the way, regardless of the fact that there's other such criminals behind bars that we could let out totally on purpose and make it look like it was done on accident and it wouldn't be our fault! Nope!

Barring that bit of sarcasm, this is exactly how a rioter's mind works. Their immediate thought is to cause as much damage as possible to wherever, hurt whoever is or isn't even remotely involved regardless of what side they just so happen to be on, all while crying foul of all things they feel is wrong. Do you not see the hypocracy of this mindset?
 

BlisteredBlood

The Crucified Angel
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Location
Rhode Island
I feel as though this thread has more and more relevance now that the polls have closed and the 45th President of the United States has been chosen. Sure, it wasn't what people wanted, but it was all decided both by the will of the people as well as the Electoral College. I'll agree that it's pretty screwed up and that it needs to be changed, but that isn't what we're all here for.

To readdress the question from before, does rioting affect change? I still stand by my thought that no, it doesn't. As I had outlined in the previous post, all it does is creature wanton destruction by damaging buildings, overturning cars as well as add onto the mounting tensions between people of all races, creeds, religions and so on and so forth by assaulting people regardless if they were involved in the riots or not. It stands as to reason that regardless of where you're from, what your backgrounds are and so forth, no one wants a riot.

However, it's time to address the elephant in the room and I'm going to try to sound as reasonable and excersize as much restraint as I possibly can, but at this point, all I have are questions.

Do you all see for yourselves what people are doing, by taking out their hostilites on property both public and private? Do you see for yourselves what rioters are capable of by airing out their grievances on people who wanted nothing to do with the protest, all while claiming that it's "peaceful"? Do you all see for yourselves that all it has done is put more and more unnecessary strain on the public as a whole in a time where all it takes is just one spark to ignite a fire within people?

Much as I hate to be that guy, but unfortunately, I have to say this.

I told you so. It solves nothing. Whatever message you're attempting to send through violent outbursts only gets more and more lost each time a riot starts. Look at what's happening in Portand, Oregon as of right now. I want you to really look at the rioters assaulting people all because they voted for someone different than they did. Look at the rioters as they break windows, looting whatever isn't nailed down. Listen to the things they say and really pay close attetion.

Are you telling me that this is perfectly acceptable and justifiable behavior? Or perhaps, you're forgetting the very definition of what a riot is? Here. Let me give you the definition if in case you did forget, complete with pronounciation.

ri·ot
/ˈrīət/


noun
1. a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.
"riots broke out in the capital"
synonyms: uproar, commotion, upheaval, disturbance, furor, tumult, melee, scuffle, fracas, fray, brawl, free-for-all;

2. an impressively large or varied display of something.
"the garden was a riot of color"
synonyms: mass, sea, splash, show, exhibition
"the garden was a riot of color"

verb
1. take part in a violent public disturbance.
"students rioted in Paris"
synonyms: rampage, go on the rampage, run riot, fight in the streets, run wild, run amok, go berserk;

informal
raise hell
"the miners rioted"
And so, there you have it. It's high time to take off those blinders and call it for what it is. There is nothing peaceful about riots, there is no message being sent through one, there is no meaning behind them and all these people are doing is cause untold millions of dollars in damages, losing more and more sympathy as time goes on to the point where all it ends up becoming is nothing short of a farce and in the end, nothing gets done.
 

P DeRudio

Planetoid
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Location
Ft. Zinderneuf
I think the system is very good at self-preservation and nearly immune to change. In the US, at least, riots are allowed to happen because they're ineffective at challenging the status quo. They give the rioters and their supporters the illusion of power and influence without actually having either, and this is especially true for the slacktivist SJWs who live and die on social media. The Occupy Wall Street kids had permission to "occupy" a park and couldn't last through a winter. Rioters in Ferguson or Baltimore or south central LA might burn the cities to the ground but it's of interest to no one living elsewhere except as items in the news cycle.

Serious rioters in during the civil rights movement faced down police dogs, fire hoses and night sticks and prevailed. Mobs who take down governments pick up rifles and use them, they don't get assembly permits or permission to "occupy".
 

RedRose

Star
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
As a French I can't anymore. Lucky me that I can avoid riots - some cannot, and get insulted, hurt or lose their business.
 
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