The riots in Dunedin brought to mind the ‘troubles’ in Befast in the 1980’s except there were no rubber bullets fired by the police. Perhaps there should have been.
I now hear on the news on my way home tonight that some students could spend up to 2 years behind bars for their involvement in the debacle last weekend. Fair enough too. (Researching convictions and sentencing for riot show rates for both were almost non existent between 1991 and 1996)
In my days as a student ‘riotous’ behaviour constituted getting as drunk as a skunk and vomiting in public while your mates cheered and ran around you naked (whoops – there’s that nudity word again).
In my days
- there was never damage to property that couldn’t be hosed down;
- there was never the potential for loss of life other than alcohol poisoning;
- there was never a complete disrespect for police and firemen except good natured bantering and heckling.
It’s no wonder then that given the ‘innocence’ of our riotous behaviour that in the event any of us ended up in court we always offered the “I’m doing a law degree” defence and were summarily discharged without conviction.The students in Dunedin last weekend went many steps too far in the wrong direction.
Teach them a lesson. Book ’em.