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Editorial: Take a lesson from Keene: Rioting is never worth it

By TNH Editorial Staff

The events that took place at Keene State College last weekend have everyone in New England talking about university students. Surely you have heard by now about the flipped car, the bonfires in the streets, the violent rioting, the hurling of bottles  — and apparently billiards balls — at geared-up police officers.

The photographs that emerged from the Keene State riot last weekend were partially horrifying: A student with blood streaming down the side of his face from some sort of object hitting him; others showing off the bruises and welts on their bodies from pepper balls and other projectiles.

But more than anything else, it was embarrassing for college students to once again be put in this light as wild and out of control.

It is truly incredible how the actions of just a few can lead to something as massive in scale as the Keene riot. All it takes is one or two people to start the commotion before the riot mentality kicks in with several more around them and suddenly you have a situation that has rapidly escalated.

UNH has seen riot police take the streets of Durham before but nothing like this, at least not in our time. The Keene riot was far more violent in nature.

What was this riot started over? Were students disgruntled because the police broke up a party? If this is true, is that really worth starting a riot over? Several people were arrested that day, and the police are actively seeking others who were participants in destroying property. All because of a stupid decision made on a Saturday, some of these kids have a violent crime on their record now; something that could likely follow them all the way into their first job interview.

Is it worth it then?

Here at UNH, some people cry foul when the police intervene in a block party or something of that nature. It’s okay to disagree with authority, but it is important to handle your displeasure in an appropriate way. Rioting will end in either being injured or wearing the silver bracelets.

There are a bunch of students at Keene State as well as people from other schools that are spending this week regretting their participation in the violence.

Jacob Clark, 19, of Chichester was arrested on Thursday with a felony count of reckless conduct. Clark, who is accused of throwing a beer bottle at a police officer on Saturday, is the first to be identified from the photos released by police to news stations to share with the public in order to help identify some of the rioters.

Did anyone see the cover of the New Hampshire Union Leader? The Manchester newspaper published these photos on the front page asking readers to identify the assailants.

When was the last time we saw this kind of a manhunt?

Sometimes a rally is necessary when you are fighting for something you believe in. But of the recent “riots,” there seems to have been nothing worth fighting for.

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