JJV offers his take on recent events in Australia and France. As is my policy, I have posted his comments essentially as they were received, with slight changes to format etc. I have also taken the liberty of answering one of his questions. Off we go:
I am no fan of rioters but in altercations involving Moslems who wins when alcohol is banned? Only the Mullahs I say. Moreover, this is Australia. These are not folks who take kindly to being cut off. I've run into them in bars on five continents and shutting off the tap does not calm them, quite the reverse. Another question, how come on CNN they are "youth" riots in France but "race riots" in an "Anglo-Saxon" nation? Just asking.
Just answering: when the riot involves primarily youth without a clear target it is a youth riot. When the riot involves members of one ethnicity targeting members of another ethnicity, we may use the term race riot. Location is irrelevant. You may proceed.
Also, take a look at the removal of bail for "affray" at the end of this article. This is Terry Pratchett's favorite offense when the police need something to charge a general bad egg with and it's still funny in news articles. I believe its much like "disorderly conduct" here in God's country. Black's calls it "The fighting of two or more persons in some public place to the disturbance of the people." I do not know if they need to prove anyone was disturbed. If the on-lookers response is along the lines of "Is this a private fight or can anyone join in?", I would argue there is no affray. Again, on five continents I have never met an Australian truly disturbed by the presence of a bar fight.
Update 12/19/05: Inspired by the Hugh Hewitt encomium (and reported graciously by JJV), the Pope agrees with me on youth riots.