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NCJ Number: 78875 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Mob Action and Civic Responsibility - Three Hundred Years of Rioting in New York City
Author(s): D J Monti
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The history of New York City's civil disorders over nearly 300 years is analyzed, and implications for public policy regarding mob action are discussed.
Abstract: This historical analysis shows that the 'riot habit' is deeply set in America's political heritage, largely because groups and even classes of citizens have had legitimate grievances and political aspirations which were too frequently ignored by public leaders. Collective violence by such citizens has been one of the few approaches that has consistently forced city leaders to amend their priorities so that citizen grievances could be heard. As distasteful as mass rioting may be to the majority of Americans, a policy to interfere with the political process to discourage mob violence would have even worse consequences for the Nation's cities. It would encourage some minority citizens to abandon any pretense of working with unconventional but largely nonviolent strategies and compel them to undertake a systematic program of urban terrorism in an effort to achieve their goals. The history of mob action in New York City shows that intermittent acts of collective violence occur when established grievance procedures fail. The mob action can force public leaders to make grievance procedures more available and effective. Should officials aim only at repressing civil disorders, the Nation's cities are likely to witness the rise in terrorism that the Nation has so far avoided because citizens have been able to use mob violence so successfully in the past. Seven footnotes are listed. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Civil disorders; Collective violence; New York; Policy analysis
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