We travel for a multitude of reasons, but here’s one that’s just coming on the radar: riot tourism. Traveling to attend a riot is more common than you might think. Being part of a riot is a unique experience, and it has a different meaning for each person involved. While many travelers might be shying away from destinations where the headlines include violent riot threats or political unrest, there are some travelers who do just the opposite.
When you think about it, a riot provides a valuable experience for a variety of people. Dissidents and revolutionary groups can confront the State head on and feel solidarity with members of their community engaged in fighting for the same cause. Groups of people feeling wronged can lash out at their oppressors, and people seeking to right an injustice can take matters into their own hands. Police officers receive priceless real-world experience in large-scale conflict while quelling a riot. And journalists emerge with stories that rival some of what their colleagues dispatch from a war zone. Sometimes a riot even feeds the hungry and gives to the have-nots.
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