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Food riots have been one of the most common forms of popular public protest across the world for centuries. Recorded in the ancient world and documented across most continents since at least the Middle Ages, the specific form of the riot may vary but the root causes tend to be similar. Most commonly, food riots arise due to one or a combination of a number of factors: (a) shortages, particularly of staple foods; (b) a perceived lack of fairness in food supply; (c) poor distribution; (d) widespread poverty; (e) high prices; and (f) a feeling of powerlessness linked to an urgent popular desire for broader political change. The resulting protests may take various forms, ranging from seizure and redistribution of food to attacks on either ...

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