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Difference Between Riot and Protest

The world has witnessed many protests and riots since ages ago. This occurs as a result of the many dissatisfying moments in life regarding events, situations, and policies. These directly affect people’s lives in areas such as careers, politics, education, and governance, just to name a few. This dissatisfaction is either expressed in riots, protests, and demonstrations. Although used simultaneously, riots and protests differ in various ways.

 

What is Riot?

This is an expression of dissatisfaction characterized by violence, vandalism, theft as well as the destruction of public or private property.  These types of activities are common among disorganized and unruly groups and often result in the use of the police by the use of tear gas and CS gas to control rioters. Due to the bad economic effects experienced during and after riots, rioting is a crime punishable by law.

 

What is Protest?

This is a peaceful public display of disapproval or displeasure carried by chanting and marching in public. Protestors may organize demonstrations in a bid to make have their opinions heard, influence government policy or public opinion or in an attempt to enact certain changes themselves. Protests can be done through rallies, vigils, marches, motorcades, and boycotts, just to mention a few. In accordance with the constitution, this is an inalienable right, and no arrests should be made against protectors.

 

Similarities between Riot and Protest

  • Both are an expression of dissatisfaction in events, situations, and policies

 

Differences between Riot and Protest

Definition

A riot is an expression of dissatisfaction characterized by violence, vandalism, theft as well as the destruction of public or private property. On the other hand, a protest is a peaceful public display of disapproval or displeasure carried by chanting and marching in public.

Form of expression

While riots involve violence, vandalism, theft as well as destruction of public or private property, protests are peaceful and involve peaceful chanting and marching in public. 

Legality

Riots are categorized as a crime and are punishable by law. On the other hand, protests are inalienable rights and no arrests should be made against peaceful protectors.

Riot vs. Protest: Comparison Table

 

Summary of Riot vs. Protest

A riot is an expression of dissatisfaction characterized by violence, vandalism, theft as well as the destruction of public or private property, and is a crime punishable by law. On the other hand, a protest is a peaceful public display of disapproval or displeasure carried by chanting and marching in public and is a human right. To avoid the destruction of property and the violence associated with riots, people need to hold peaceful protests where they feel dissatisfied.

Tabitha Njogu

Tabitha graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, whereby she specialized in Finance. She has had the pleasure of working with various organizations and garnered expertise in business management, business administration, accounting, finance operations, and digital marketing.

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References :


[0]Hank Johnston. Violent Protest, Contentious Politics, and the Neoliberal State- The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture. Ashgate Publishing, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=2cyhAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA133&dq=Difference+between+Riot+and+Protest&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj35PPSz6vmAhXv1uAKHbjIBU0Q6AEIUTAF#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Riot%20and%20Protest&f=false

[1]Joshua Clover. Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings. Verso Books, 2019. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=WgetDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Difference+between+Riot+and+Protest&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj35PPSz6vmAhXv1uAKHbjIBU0Q6AEIWTAG#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Riot%20and%20Protest&f=false

[2]Moran M & Chikota R. Riot in the Cities: An Analytical Symposium on the Causes and Effects. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1970. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wURZI-7uFSAC&pg=PA52&dq=Difference+between+Riot+and+Protest&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj35PPSz6vmAhXv1uAKHbjIBU0Q6AEIYjAH#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Riot%20and%20Protest&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DACA_protest_Columbus_Circle_(90569).jpg

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riot_in_Vancouver.jpg

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