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Mob mentality

April 1, 2009 - Steve Murch
I’ve never been one to completely buy into the “mob mentality” when it comes to riots and celebrations turned wild. And you know that excuse will be used by more than one pundit when talking about the events in London today during the G-20 summit.

What had been called peaceful demonstrations yesterday took a turn today as protesters broke into Royal Bank of Scotland and tried to do the same at the Bank of England. That whole brand of protests was never something I understood anyway.

Now, mob mentality does exist in the followers, not the leaders. The person who throws trash on a bonfire already ablaze might fall into the mob mentality argument; the person who started the fire by torching his couch to celebrate a basketball championship — not so much. The person who yells at police officers during a riot situation, maybe mob mentality; the person throwing the rocks at the police during a riot situation, not even close.

Who in the right mind, and it can be argued no one in that situation is in their right mind, is going to think violence in the streets – geared toward institutions no less — is going to change people’s minds?

If those people really believed they were in the right they would have the bravery to not wear balaclavas to obscure their identity. If you make a bold statement, sign your name to or show your face. Anonymity is cowardice in most instances. And of course it’s harder to prove who is responsible if you can’t identify them.

And that goes to the heart of the problem with protesters. They don’t want to take responsibility, nor do they have solutions they are willing to work on. They have ideas, but someone else should do the work, spend the money or take responsibility for.

If you take a stand, follow through to the end. Don’t just walk away and leave it to someone else to finish.


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