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A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and exhibit herd behavior, and usually generated by civil unrest. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that riots are not irrational, herd-like behavior, but follow inverted social norms. Riots often occur in reaction to a perceived grievance or out of dissent. Historically, riots have occurred due to poor working or living conditions, governmental oppression, taxation or conscription, conflicts between ethnic groups, food supply or religions, the outcome of a sporting event or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances. Riots typically involve vandalism and the destruction of private and public property. The specific property to be targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings. (via Freebase)