List of food riots

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An illustration of the Women's March on Versailles, 5 October 1789

Food riots may occur when there is a shortage or unequal distribution of food. Causes can be food price rises, harvest failures, incompetent food storage, transport problems, food speculation, hoarding, poisoning of food, or attacks by pests. During the period 2007–2008, a rise in global food prices led to riots in various countries. A similar crisis recurred in 2010–2012.

Food riots[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

  • Boston Bread Riot – the last of a series of three riots by the poor of Boston, Massachusetts, between 1710 and 1713, in response to food shortages and high bread prices. The riot ended with minimal[clarification needed] casualties.
  • Flour War – occurred in 1775, this was an uprising caused by the excessive price of bread in France before the French Revolution. Early in the season for wheat harvesting and flour production, the government enacted fewer price controls than later in the year, leaving prices to the free market. This caused the price of flour to climb, and the working classes could not buy bread.
  • Réveillon riots occurred 26–29 April 1789[1] centered in the St. Antoine district of Paris where a factory which produced luxury wallpaper was owned by Jean-Baptiste Réveillon. The factory employed around 300 people. The riots were one of the first instances of violence during the French Revolution.
  • Women's March on Versailles was one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution. The march began among women in the marketplaces of Paris who, on the morning of 5 October 1789, were near rioting over the high price and scarcity of bread. Their demonstrations quickly became intertwined with the activities of revolutionaries who were seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France.

19th century[edit]

An illustration of the Bread riots in Richmond, Virginia
  • Southern bread riots – events of civil unrest in the Confederacy, perpetrated mostly by women in March and April 1863. During these riots, which occurred in cities throughout the South, women and men violently invaded and looted various shops and stores.

20th century[edit]

  • 1977 Egyptian bread riots affected most major cities in Egypt January 18–19, 1977. The riots were a spontaneous uprising by hundreds of thousands of lower-class people protesting World Bank and International Monetary Fund-mandated termination of state subsidies on basic foodstuffs. As many as 79 people were killed and over 550 injured in the protests,[4] which were only ended with the deployment of the army and the re-institution of the subsidies.

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Redirect". Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  2. ^ (in Spanish) Primeros movimientos sociales chileno (1890-1920). Memoria Chilena.
  3. ^ Benjamin S. 1997. Meat and Strength: The Moral Economy of a Chilean Food Riot. Cultural Anthropology, 12, pp. 234–268.
  4. ^ "Egyptians hit Soviet reaction". Bangor Daily News. 24 January 1977. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Talley, Ian (18 July 2016). "Venezuela’s Inflation Is Set to Top 1,600% Next Year". Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Brodzinsky, Sibylla (20 May 2016). "'We are like a bomb': food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics". Retrieved 16 June 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  7. ^ "'We want food!' Looting and riots rock Venezuela daily". 12 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2017 – via Reuters. 
  8. ^ Casey, Nicholas (19 June 2016). "Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation". Retrieved 16 June 2017 – via