riot?

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chobalsim

Banned
India-Hindi
When you call an action by a large group of people "riot" do you describe it as negative, wrong, and unjust? And if a group of people show violent acts like throwing stones or destroying police cars but they do it to destroy dictatorship and set up democracy, then could it be called "riot" because of their violent acts?
 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Interesting question.

    'Rioting' generally has a negative connotation, reflecting the notion of 'civil unrest' that has become 'un-civil.'

    But as the saying goes, history is written by the victors. What the dictatorship calls a 'riot,' the new government (that takes its place) will call a 'revolution'!
     

    chobalsim

    Banned
    India-Hindi
    Hmm... then, it has a negative connotation, anyway, although a situation can be described differently depending on who describes it.
    Thank you, mgarizona.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    A riot against a dictatorship could be called an uprising or a revolt-- neither of these words is negative. Even a failed revolution is an attempted revolution. Rioting isn't just "negative," it's criminal activity. Among people who believe that "government derives its just powers from consent of the governed," a coup or attempted overthrow of a tyrant or dictator is not a crime-- in fact it is considered a civic duty.
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    chobalsim

    Banned
    India-Hindi
    Yes, I know "uprising" and "revolt" is more proper that "riot" in describing democratic movement.
    But I wanted to know the exact nuiance of "riot" and your answer was much helpful to me. :)
    Thank you, foxfirebrand.
     
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