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What is the Difference Between a Protest and a Riot?


What is the Difference Between a Protest and a Riot?

Peaceful Protests vs. Riots

What is the Difference Between a Protest and a Riot?
What is the Difference Between a Protest and a Riot?

The unrest sweeping the country shows a deep disconnect in the direction of the United States. Some examples, like the protest in Palos Verdes Estates, are peaceful and represent people’s legitimate concerns. The control of powerful police unions has enabled a lack of accountability. And this results in many things– including, as we saw in Minneapolis, violence. However, this is not the entire story. Furthermore, a look between protests and riots shows the overall picture much better and more transparent.

The crowds are sending two clear messages in significant cities. Many protests are peaceful and follow the general guidelines of dissent. They are constitutional and mainly during the daytime. However, as we’ve seen in LA, Minneapolis, and DC, some very different things happen during riots and looting.

Understanding the Differences

Several significant factors are at play in dividing the two waves of civil unrest. On the one hand, the two may seem the same. However, elements are driving the violence and looting in some major cities.

  • The strength of local leaders. Some local leaders, like the Mayors of Atlanta and St. Paul, MN, called for calm and civil protest. However, some leaders– like the Mayor of Minneapolis and the Governor of Minnesota have been asleep at the wheel. And this goes double for the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.
  • Antifa. This newly declared terrorist organization does not have a significant presence in every major city—however, the cities where they do have seen some of the worst violence. Portland comes to mind. That city is beset by upper-middle-class white young people urging violence among whites and blacks. Several YouTube and Twitter videos showed Antifa members stoking violent actions.

Politicians Creating Hardship?

Put these factors together with the strain of the Coronavirus, and the temperature reached a boiling point. Where we head from here is not yet clear. However, in all likelihood, it will be up to citizens to solve these issues on our own. Keep it here for more updates and legal analysis.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.