Views #1202 | Advanced (C1)

Reasons for Riots

Todd talks about why some people have rioted in both America and Thailand.

Julia: So Todd we're talking about riots. Can you tell me about riots in America? You ever experienced any rioting?

Todd: There has been a little bit, like there's been riots from, you know, fans going crazy, you know.

Julia: Oh yeah.

Todd: After their team won the championship that's usually a problem. Cities sometimes have to be on high alert if their team wins a championship which is absolute idiocy. It's like "hey we won the championship, let's go turn over cars and, you know, burn things." It recently also happened in Canada.

Julia: Yes, I remember, yeah.

Todd: It's happened in Detroit, it's happened in Dallas. I think the most famous riot we had was the LA riots but that was a long time ago, that was over twenty years ago. Now it's about social unrest.

Julia: Yeah.

Todd: And social injustice for like inner city people but I was in Thailand right when they had their riots.

Julia: The political riots.

Todd: Yeah, so I actually left the day before they came down and occupied downtown and things got serious.

Julia: Wow, and you wouldn't have been able to leave probably if that happened? Did they close the airports?

Todd: Oh no, I think the airport was still open yeah, yeah, but I did see them every day so I mean before that they would often ride, you know, the red shirts, would ride down and for people listening you had the red shirts who were against the government and they came and they occupied Bangkok and that was quite interesting. But to be honest, I never felt threatened but then again I'd left the day before anything happened so before things turned ugly.

Julia: And were tourists targeted during those riots?

Todd: No, not at all. Actually it was weird being a foreigner at the time when all this was going on because you felt like you were at somebody's house when they had a family fight. You know, have you ever been at somebody's house and maybe the daughter gets in a fight with the mother and they get so heated in the argument they forget that you're even there? That's what it was like in Thailand at the time.

Julia: So you didn't feel under threat in any way?

Todd: Oh no. And actually the red shirt people were trying to be careful not to hurt anybody. The government, the yellow shirt people, were trying to be helpful and not, make sure that no tourists were hurt. It was really an internal fight.

Julia: A domestic issue?

Todd: It was a domestic issue and it was quite interesting how both sides took so much care to make sure that no outsiders were harmed even though eventually it turned really violent for each other. So a family squabble you might say.

Julia: Hmm.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



Have you ever experienced any rioting?

A 'riot' is public disorder or violent action that happens when a large group of people are unhappy about something and begin to take violent action. 'Riot' can also be used as a verb. Notice the following:

  1. There are many police on the streets during the festival to prevent riots.
  2. Did you see the rioting on the news?

high alert


Cities have to be on high alert if their team wins a championship.

An area, city or country is on high alert when they believe that something bad might happen and are prepared to take action. Notice the following:

  1. Airport security is on high alert right now, so make sure you arrive early.
  2. Is something wrong? You seem to be on high alert today.



It's absolute idiocy that fans get out of control.

An 'idiocy' is an action that is stupid or foolish. Notice the following:

  1. She is usually very careful, so an idiocy like this really surprises me.
  2. He was fired because of his persistent idiocies.

social unrest


Now riots are about social unrest.

There is 'social unrest' when people from a particular area are not satisfied or pleased with their situation or the actions of their government. Notice the following:

  1. With all of the changes in the government, there has been a lot of social unrest.
  2. Even though the war ended years ago, you can still see social unrest among the people.



There are also riots about social injustice for inner city people.

'Injustice' exists in places where people are not treated fairly or equally. Notice the following:

  1. It's amazing that people are aware of the injustice in their judicial system and can't do anything to change it.
  2. The problems with injustice that we have in this country are few compared to what people experience in other places.



It's like a family squabble, you might say.

When you 'squabble' with someone, you have a small, unimportant argument with him. Notice the following:

  1. We probably have squabbles about this same issue every week.
  2. You might say that we live close to Canada.

Vocabulary Quiz

rioting • alert • idiocy
unrest • injustice • squabble
  1. We are not in a fight; it's just a silly relationship .
  2. Election time calls for high for security.
  3. There are extra police at the concert to prevent .
  4. Nothing makes her more frustrated than for poor people.
  5. Governmental corruption causes a lot of civil for the citizens.
  6. This whole situation is just . It's almost comical.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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