Posts: 752
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:05 am

What Is The Riot Act?

Sat Apr 05, 2003 1:00 pm

What do people mean when they "read the riot act"?

RE: What Is The Riot Act?

Sat Apr 05, 2003 1:15 pm

hmmm... that's what your mother does when you get busted for something bad  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Basically you get the biggest telling off of your life....

Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: What Is The Riot Act?

Sat Apr 05, 2003 2:12 pm

A lecture about something you did wrong. Generally is done at a near yelling level.
At worst, you screw up and die.
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: What Is The Riot Act?

Sun Apr 06, 2003 1:37 am

The Riot Act was a method of dealing with riots used by the UK armed forces until the late 1960's.
Basically a rioting crowd, after CS gas had usually been employed without any real success, would be warned to disperse, either by megaphone or a large banner (as this always happened abroad it could be in the local language).
The warning would be to disperse of take the consequences, it would involve reading out or signifying a piece of military law called 'The Riot Act'.
The consequences were usually that a ringleader of the riot would be indentified, then shot by a marksman.
By the time of Northern Ireland from 1969, this law no longer applied, the military were under full civilian control, and developments like rubber bullets and water cannon made the act superfluous
as well as politically unacceptable.
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RE: What Is The Riot Act?

Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:11 am

Thanks GDB, weirdly enough I was wondering about the origin of the expression, just a couple of days back. You the man.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 2:36 am

RE: What Is The Riot Act?

Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:21 am

If I remember correctly, it's not military law. I think the act had to be read by a magistrate which, if true, would suggest to me that it was civil law - albeit more than likely enforced by the military.

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