FOLLOWING THE CROWD - How We Fall In Line With Others
After that point I felt invincible, anything was possible. A main part of this nightly gathering was to award the strongest, most courageous girl of the day. That night, at the first ceremony I earned the moon frog necklace. When my counselor gave them to me she said.
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Family Travel Forum. Comment on this article Cancel reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Subscribe to our Newsletter. The crowd force squeezes the air out of your lungs, and you struggle to take another breath. Shock waves can be propagated through the mass sufficient to lift people off of their feet and propel them distances of 3 m 10 ft or more. People may be literally lifted out of their shoes, and have clothing torn off.
Intense crowd pressures, exacerbated by anxiety, make it difficult to breathe. Crowd disasters occur all over the world, and for a variety of reasons. According to a recent paper published in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness , reports of human stampedes have more than doubled in each of the past two decades.
In the developing world, they often occur at religious festivals. In November, hundreds of people died in Cambodia, in a crush that occurred on a bridge in Phnom Penh during the annual water festival; there were reports that the police had fired water cannons at people on the crowded bridge. Thousands have died making pilgrimages to Mecca in the past twenty years, mainly in the ritual called the Stoning of the Devil, which occurs near the Jamarat Bridge; in , three hundred and sixty pilgrims were killed there.
In India last month, more than a hundred Hindu worshippers died in a crush in the state of Kerala. In the developed world, soccer games and rock concerts are the most likely events to generate deadly crowds. In , in Sheffield, England, ninety-five people died after they were caught in a crowd crush at Hillsborough stadium when fans were trying to get into a soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. A ninety-sixth victim was taken off life-support four years later. At a rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark, in , nine people died after a crowd collapse that occurred near the stage while Pearl Jam was performing in front of an audience of fifty thousand.
Last July, twenty-one people were killed at the Love Parade, a free electronic-music festival in Duisburg, Germany, when a crush developed in a disused rail tunnel that led to the festival grounds. In the literature on crowd disasters, there is a striking incongruity between the way these events are depicted in the press and how they actually occur.
Investigators collecting evidence in the aftermath of crowd disasters have found steel guardrails capable of withstanding a thousand pounds of pressure bent by crowd force.
In disasters not involving fire, panic is rarely the cause of fatalities, and even when fire is involved, such as in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, in Southgate, Kentucky, research has shown that people continue to help one another, even at the cost of their own lives. So why do we still think in terms of panics and stampedes? In many crowd disasters, particularly those in the West where commercial interests are involved, different stakeholders are potentially responsible, including the organizers of the event, the venue owners and designers, and the public officials and private security firms whose job is to insure crowd safety.
In the aftermath of disasters, they all vigorously defend their interests, and rarely are any of them held accountable.
But almost no one speaks for the crowd, and the crowd usually takes the blame. The origins of the term Black Friday are obscure. Either way, it is now a de-facto national shopping holiday. On TV, images of people racing through the aisles of stores for sale-priced items, in a sort of American Pamplona, have become as much a part of the day after Thanksgiving as leftovers. Shoppers get discounts, programmers get some lively content for a slow news day, and retailers get free publicity: a good deal for everyone, except for the clerks who have to work that day, breaking up fights among shoppers and cleaning up the mess left behind.
In days of commentary that followed, the crowd was widely vilified. We are continuing to work closely with local law enforcement, and we are reaching out to those involved. Rather, they went out of their way to blame Wal-Mart for the incident. Certainly it was a foreseeable act. The family of Jdimytai Damour filed a wrongful-death claim against the company.
In return, Wal-Mart would face no charges or criminal liability for the death of Jdimytai Damour. If the company failed to meet the standards set by an independent monitor for three years, the criminal case would be reinstated. But Wal-Mart elected to contest the citation, and hired the Washington, D. Wal-Mart objected on multiple grounds. Wal-Mart also maintained that it had taken steps to protect its workers from the crowd, but it could not have protected workers from this particular crowd.
A federal administrative-law judge, Covette Rooney, of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, was assigned to the case, but it did not come to trial for more than a year. In all, OSHA lawyers invested around five thousand hours in the case. Why was Wal-Mart fighting a paltry fine so hard? Moreover, no retailer welcomed OSHA jurisdiction over how it managed its customers. Does it mean I have to hire an event-management staff next time I hold a doorbuster sale?
So is that a crowd? To do that, it needed to find an expert who would testify against Wal-Mart. Most experts in the field consult for private industry—event planners and promoters, venue owners and operators, and, to a lesser extent, large retailers. One of the best-documented crowd disasters in the U. Until then, crowd planning had largely been the purview of fire-safety engineers, who focussed on how to get people out of buildings, in the event of an emergency—not into them.
The band began its sound check at around six-thirty, and played for half an hour. People toward the back of the line, mistakenly believing that the concert was beginning, pushed forward. Some of the people in front pushed back, and shock waves began to ripple through the tightly packed mass.
The coliseum staff, thinking that the crowd was attempting to rush the doors and enter without paying, kept most of the doors shut, even after the sound check ended and the opening time had passed. If a wave came and you were being stood upon with your feet pinned to the ground, you would very likely lose your shoes or your balance and fall. Their cries were impossible to hear above the roar of the crowd. There was a pile of people forming, and all of the people around them were being crushed into the pile, for there was no resistance.
If the person in front of you went down, then you would follow for there was no one to lean against.
The Science Behind Why Some People Don’t Follow the Crowd
A wave swept me to the left and when I regained a stance I felt I was standing on someone. The helplessness and frustration of the moment sent a wave of panic through me. I screamed with all my strength that I was standing on someone. I could only scream.
Marching and dancing together encourages people to follow the crowd
The media blamed the crowd. At the time, Paul Wertheimer was a twenty-nine-year-old public-information officer for the city of Cincinnati. He became chief of staff of the task force that Mayor Kenneth Blackwell appointed to investigate the incident.
Wertheimer and some of his staff members spent months travelling around the country, talking to venue operators and promoters and public-safety officials. The report pointed out that doors and turnstiles in buildings of public assembly were tested only for normal conditions, and failed to take crowded conditions into account.
It also called for national standards to better protect crowds.
Injuries and fatalities at concerts continued. This has never happened before! And I thought, Somebody has to step up and do something, because there are ways to prevent these people from dying. And I guess that guy is going to be me. I am going to be the ghost of that Who concert.
Wertheimer began carefully documenting crowd-related incidents in the U.