I found so many articles about riots that I had to do another post about them. Most of the rioters were people trying to effect social change the only way they knew how, the downtrodden making a stand against poverty or injustice. But not always.
The riots in this post are smaller scale than the ones in London right now and, like London, are not about people campaigning for change. They are all about letting off steam, having a shout and smashing stuff.
First up, in 1939 the crowd at a roller derby in England became so angry at the tactics of the American visitors they tore the place up. I don’t know too much about the rules of roller derby, but I have noticed that it isn’t a sport for the faint-hearted or those that don’t like a bit of behind the scenes argy-bargy. I’m not sure how different the sport was in 1939 but clearly it wasn’t a leisurely skate around a rink with your friends.
I am not sure how bad those tactics would have to be to elicit such a reaction from the crowd but I bet that the American team weren’t so full of fight when they were holed up in the changing room with thousands of angry spectators baying for blood at the door.
Secondly, we have a group so incensed by the injustice of a coronation celebration being delayed in 1902 that they smashed the shops and made bonfires in the street. I wonder if the festivities were delayed because the authorities were worried it might get out of hand…
As I said in my London Riots post, some people like to get out of the house and have a shout in the street with their friends. Not all riots are about social injustice, sometimes they are about ferals with nothing better to do. I wonder how big either of these past riots could have got with the help of social media rallying the troops.
The internet news today tells me the people who have been arrested so far for crimes committed during the London riots cover quite a demographic. All the way from the 11-year-old whose furious mum delivered him to court, to the heiress with a car stuffed full of stolen goods. Ferals come from all walks of life.