Rioting isn’t new. In fact, America was founded on rioting

Published On May 1, 2015 | By Admin | All the way black, Politics, The latest posts

By Evette D. Champion

In the midst of the rioting that is going on in Baltimore, many people are thinking that rioting and looting is something that has only been done within the past 50 years to show civil unrest. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that this country was founded on looting and riots?

During the 1760s in Boston, Massachusetts, there was a lot of political activity going on that rose a lot of eyebrows and ruffled a few feathers. The early settlers were in the midst of constant and violent protests against the British. A lot of the credit for the Revolution belongs to Sam Adams and the group called “Sons of Liberty.”

Adams did not fit the bill of a revolutionary, but he was a devout Christian, and instead of making “freedom of religion” his political rhetoric, he saw the connection between freedom to express your religion, property rights, and political liberty. The Boston Gazette published an editorial he wrote which admonished his fellow colonists by saying that “the security of right and property … is the great end of government [and] such measure as tend to render right and property precarious, tend to destroy both property and government…”

He was responsible for organizing political opposition against the British, who were present in the Massachusetts colonial assembly. He quickly became the colony’s most efficient revolutionary propagandist, and did not limit his efforts to non-violent polemics.

The Sons of Liberty were under Adams’ command, as they would be called out whenever Adams felt the British were taking actions that required protesting. In the beginning, he learned how to make a riot seem spontaneous, when in reality, they were anything but.

He led the Sons of Liberty with precision and demanded they only act toward Royal officials, politicians, and tax collectors. The Sons would create effigies of Royalists from the Liberty Tree and burn them. They would stone their houses and even tar and feather the customs collectors.

When the Stamp Act was published in 1765, the Sons demolished the Stamp Commissioner’s home and consumed all the wine from his wine cellar. The Stamp Commissioner resigned from his position the next day.

Adams and the Sons continued their protests and pranks until 1776 when independence was finally declared. The British government could not handle the hundreds of troublemakers who participated in the riots.

Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty prove that protesting, rioting, and looting could effectively create a revolution.

The question is, could those tactics work today?

 

 

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