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Old 04-20-2004, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Sexymama's arms...
Ever been in a Riot?


Spring celebration sparks riot
Sunday, April 18, 2004 Posted: 8:50 PM EDT (0050 GMT)

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- A yearly festival near the Iowa State University campus turned riotous early Sunday when more than 1,000 people vandalized cars, broke storefront windows and tore down street lights, police said.

Officers broke up the crowd with tear gas and arrested about 30 people on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assaulting a police officer, police said.

About 20 people received treatment for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, mainly for skin and eye irritations from the tear gas.

There were no estimates of property damage Sunday afternoon, but police said the damage was "extensive."

Officers responded to a call around midnight that a group of people at the annual student-organized Veishea celebration was getting out of hand and arrived to find a crowd of several hundred people flowing into the street.

People from the crowd began throwing bottles and cans at police, and yelling "riot, riot!" police said in a news release. Festivalgoers tore down street lights and road signs, set trash bins on fire, rolled parked cars, broke storefront windows and attacked cars, police said.

Police let off tear gas but the crowd did not completely disperse until around 5:30 a.m.

Some at the scene said police behavior escalated the situation.

"The left side of my face is burning up. We didn't do anything. We were just walking away with the crowd," said Andrea Seminara, a junior at the school.

The Veishea celebration, begun in 1922, is an acronym contrived from the names of various schools at the university. It has had disturbances before.

The university barred alcohol from being served at the event after a man was killed in the hours after the 1997 celebration. Neither the victim nor his two assailants were Iowa State students.

There were several riots after Veishea celebrations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said university spokesman John McCarroll.

Although alcohol sales are banned, many students live in the immediate area and drinking is prevalent.

Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy issued a statement saying the university will assess whether the Veishea celebration should continue, and if it does, what changes should be made.

"We simply cannot tolerate violence and destruction," he said.


I understand the concept of "mob" psychology, but I can't REALLY understand how people can do things like this.

For example, I would feel too sorry for the poor schmuck who owned any given car to smash it or over turn it.

The closest I've personally come to such a situation was as a clinic escort back during the Operation Rescue days in the early 90's, but that was a completely different atmosphere with different motivations.

So, have any of you been caught in a sports/party/whatever riot?

And if so, did you engage in destructive behavior, and if so, why?
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C. S. Lewis

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Last edited by Lebell; 04-21-2004 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I never have and hopefully never will. People can be so stupid sometimes.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Beeeeeautiful Bel Air, MD
I've been in several of the "riots" at Maryland that are blown out of proportion by the media and administration. Even had a roommate who was hit by a mounted officer purposly knocking over students at one.

Although it's amusing to see the streets full of cops whenever there is a game with any sort of significance going on
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: the land of milk and honey
a buddy of mine was at a riot at Southern Illinois University back in the early nineties, there was some kind of Mardi Gras( or something) and all the drunks started overturning cars and crap.
he quickly got out of there.
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Iowa City
I know of somebody who was arrested there in Ames for assaulting a police officer. Evidently, they took off their shoe and threw it at a cop. Textbook example of an idiot.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: NorCal
I was at a Fishbone show many years ago. People were slamming, and all of a sudden they shut down the band's audio and the cops swarmed into the crowd with their billy clubs swinging.

I don't know if it qualifies as a riot. I didn't see anyone except the police doing any damage. People went crazy trying to flee, and the cops beat the shit out of some kids. It was frightening.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
I've been caught up in several, not necessarily participated in any.

I was up at school at Ohio State during the 2000-2001 school year, block parties turned into massive riots (huge fires in the streets, cars tipped over/set on fire, looting, etc.) about 5 times. I was hit with rubber bullets on 2 different occasions.

I woulndn't exactly call it a fun time, but it was an experience. I observed another riot when I went to go visit a friend at OSU for Michigan weekend. There was a nice 2 story fire in the street outside her apartment, so we had some entertainment for the rest of the night.
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Denver, CO
I was in the middle of the sports riot in Denver for the Avs first Stanley Cup. It didn't get too out of hand, and I was gone before they brought out the tear gas. I hand't intended to be in the middle of it all, but it started out as a big party in the street so I stayed until stuff started getting broken and burned.

I was smart enough to avoid the riots for both Broncos Super Bowls and the Avs second Cup.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:12 PM   #9 (permalink)

This sounds MUCH more common that I had ever thought. I always assumed this kind of thing didn't happen in the US (outside of the race riots). The one common thread seems to be drunk students.

Anything that comes NEAR a riot in Ireland or Australia gets national news coverage and much wringing of hands...

Mr Mephisto
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Illinois
I live in Ames and attend Iowa State, but I was asleep during the riots.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: University of Maryland
I've been to a couple of riots at Maryland, including the 2001 NCAA Championship one. For the most part they're extremely light-hearted and jubilant; few people actually cause trouble and most people just hang around to enjoy the spectacle.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I was once. Covering a game, the home team won, and so of course a riot ensued. I was a rookie then - that was the night I learned NEVER to turn on your camera light in the middle of a riot
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I was in France two summers ago and there were thousands of students protesting in the streets in all the major cities. I was told that they were trying to get the student/teacher ratio up.

I happened to be in Marseilles at the time and came upon A LOT of people holding signs and chanting. I saw teams of police all dressed up, but there wasn't any fighting going on, at least not in Marseilles. Apparently, though, it wasn't as peaceful in Paris. Cars were being turned over, people were fighting, and buildings being broken into.

A couple weeks later, I saw another "protest" going on, this time it was homeless people protesting their right to be in the city. Seems like people in France like to protests...
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
Location: somewhere
i've been in a riot before...though i didn't participate. i just watched all the other people (try to) break stuff, then get locked up afterwards. then we laughed at em.
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
Originally posted by k1ng
Seems like people in France like to protests...
France has a long, LONG history of public protest and disobedience.

The Storming of the Bastille anyone? Let alone 1968...

Mr Mephisto
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
Never been in one. But it seem pretty fun. Steal some stuff and get out.
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Seattle.
I was in one once. I was far from the "epicenter". I got a pretty nice antique teevee, and a shitload of CDs.
But it was brutal. Many people were trampled. I helped some people up, but I wasn't very successful.
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Last edited by sadistikdreams; 04-20-2004 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Above and Beyond
Never been in one. People were too stoned at my campus to do anything more than have a good time. I have been in many bar brawls where I had to pick some people off of my bouncer friends. I think I stopped my klepto tendencies after 7th grade so looting and rioting were not things I looked to to get into trouble.

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Old 04-21-2004, 10:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
Location: San Francisco
I was in Syracuse when they lost the NCAA National Championship to Indiana in '89 (i think it was 89 anyway). I knew it was time to leave when I turned around to look up the street and saw a line of police in full riot gear with shields and helmets. We got to our car, left the city, slept for a few hours in some parking lot, then drove back down to CT.

Was pretty tame as far as riots go, but still not something I want to be involved with again.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: I live in a giant bucket.
I know I must have walked home straight through that riot, but I can't remember it for the life of me. I don't think I participated. Then again, I was just a little intoxicated, so I suppose it's possible.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Denver City Denver

Both the times the Broncos won the Super Bowl. I don't know if that counts. I did get tear gassed.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
Location: Iowa...sometimes
Originally posted by gremlinx8
I live in Ames and attend Iowa State, but I was asleep during the riots.
No shit? me too.

Estimated 40000$ damage.
Students are screaming police brutality (many non-participants got pepper sprayed and tear-gassed)
VEISHEA has only been 'dry' for six years (due to someone getting murdered), and the students who rioted were at a party that the police broke up. they then moved to the streets.
Their logic - "They took away our right to celebrate on campus, they then took away our right to celebrate in campustown(the adjacent commercial district), and they now tried to take away out right to celebrate off campus , and we got pushed overboard." (Not to mention the alcohol they consumend...assholes.)

I think the police acted professionally and the rioting students deserved all the brutality they can get. The most serious injury reported was a broken foot caused by a falling lamp post.

I also think this will be the last year we'll have VEISHA. In the past ten years we've had one murder, one riot....tally it up. Its only going to get worse.

This quote works nicely:
"Whatever adjective you use [to describe the riots], put 'fucking' in front of it, because it wouldn't do it justice otherwise," said Matt Christiansen, senior in political science. "This is mass chaos."
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Old 04-21-2004, 01:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: Denver City Denver
That first pic cracks me up.

I like all the Abercrombie & Fitch dipshits standing there watching. I don't think mom paid 50 bucks for those nice corgo shorts for you to riot in.
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
A few years ago there was something resembling a riot here at Chapel Hill. We beat Duke, our biggest rival, at the last second, and the whole school ended up downtown. Lots of fires set in the street, a couple of cars flipped, that kind of thing. I wasnt here at the time, but some of my fraternity brothers were.

They are pretty vigilant about trying to prevent such a thing from happening again. I think it still could, however, given the right circumstances.
"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:03 AM   #25 (permalink)
Location: Jackson, MS
Check "Among the Thugs" by Bill Buford. It is the story of an investigative journalist who gets "involved" with studying crowd behavior -- mostly the British hooligans who go to European soccer matches IN ORDER to incite, and participate in, riots and other forms of crowd violence. It is not a "study" or a "scientific investigation," since the AUTHOR HIMSELF gets "hooked" on the violence and starts trying to participate. It's just human nature. There is a lot of insight in there -- how officials escalate things by doing all the wrong (but accepted) things, how many officers get turned on by the violence too, how your head gets turned around into Lemming-think, how it feels to be beaten with a truncheon, how the system of traveling "on the jib" (for free or cheat, illegally) supported the soccer hooligans, etc.

I've been to Mardi Gras and other mass events, and I get the sense. There was once, I was at the Zulu parade, and some French chick was in front of me, acting all Frenchy. It was a throng fifty deep on each side of the street. I kept getting pushed into her from behind, and she kept turning around indignantly. I didn't have much choice, there were like forty-eight people pushing. But she was at the front, and she thought she had a "right" to tell the rest of the crowd what to do. Eventually she gave me this total cunt-face look and told me I wasn't being very polite.

Another time, leaving the Detroit Silverdome, I saw something stunningly stupid. The crowd was pressing forward to the revolving doors (exits and entrances there are by revolving door, since it's an air-supported "parachute" dome). The people were getting more and more pushy as we reached the threshold, and of course the revolving doors were spinning as fast as they could. The woman about three in front of me wanted people to slow down, since she was kind of inept at revolving doors -- she kept trying to grab it and sort of, slow the whole world down so she could gingerly step inside it at a pretty little princess'es pace. Well, that was causing HUGE trouble because the crowd was building, she was blocking, she was letting it revolve empty whereas previously it had had one (or two!) people in each compartment for a constant exit flow. The guy behind her got smart and just picked her up and SLAMMED her into the compartment and joined her, and they exited and the backup eased. But, then, at the OTHER side of the door, dumb princess tried to stop and tell him off, like, right there where other people were exiting the revolving door. She just did NOT want to cooperate with the crowd, and that was endangering EVERYONE.

Finally, I was downtown in Toronto for the first year the Blue Jays won the World Series (1992? 93?). It was a huge victory, of course, and the city went wild, crowds of people converging (for no apparent reason) on Yonge Street (not very near the stadium, but what the heck). I and my girlfriend got too far into the crowd, and we were pressed up against a plate-glass window of a store-front. I felt it bending back with my weight and the weight of the whole crowd, buckling like metal. So, I grabbed her and lifted her and plunged -- head first -- down subway steps into a subway station. She was indignant, like, "What the hell are you doing we could be killed people up there are safer you have gone crazy" but then we heard behind us the glass shatter and people start screaming and we had to run farther down the stairs fast as the swell came toward us. Later I explained it to her and she was more sane.

The thing is, all these people's reactions were insane. "Here's a big piece of glass, I'd better say right next to it as it breaks and cuts me." "Here's a doorway with a huge crowd rushing toward it, I'd better stop it up for a while." Duh. It's how we think, in a group. If you know about it, you can sort of figure it out and work against it. But if you think "I would never be like that, other people are just stupid" then YOU'RE THE MOST LIKELY ONE to cause the problems.
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. Friedrich Nietzsche
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