The Psychology of Desperate People: 15 Dead, 40 Injured in Food Stampede in Morocco

by | Nov 22, 2017 | Headline News | 29 comments

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    This report was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper


    In prepper lore, there is a theory about how badly desperate people are likely to behave. Many folks outside the community scoff at this theory. They believe that we have become more civilized than to utilize violent measures when hunger strikes.

    But an incident in Morocco the other day showed us exactly how hungry people behave. And it isn’t pretty.

    Food was being distributed in a rural market in Sidi Boulaalam, a poor village. Women had come to the market with baskets to get food for their families, when suddenly, what could only be described as a stampede erupted.

    At least 15 women died and five were wounded in a stampede during a food distribution operation on Sunday morning in rural Morocco, government officials said.

    The victims were crushed as hundreds of people, mostly women, gathered to collect baskets of food at the market…

    …In the aftermath of the stampede, clothes and other personal items were left scattered across the ground. (source)

    That number was later updated to 40 people who were injured in the crush.

    Witnesses told local media that this year’s annual food aid distribution at a local market in Sidi Boulaalam, an impoverished town with just over 8,000 inhabitants, attracted a larger crowd than usual.

    “This year there were lots of people, several hundred people,” a witness who asked to remain anonymous told AFP news agency.

    “People shoved, they broke down the barriers,” he said, adding that the injured had been evacuated to a hospital in Marrakesh. (source)

    Here’s a video of the aftermath in this Tweet. (If it won’t play for you, go here.)

    The value of the food being handed out? $16

    15 families were left without mothers over $16 of food. To be fair, villagers in that part of the world live on about $3 per day, but still – this shows what desperation can do.

    It’s not just Morocco.

    It happens somewhere in the world every day. Here are some acts of desperation that have happened just in recent months.

    When you are desperate, the normal rules do not apply.

    Every year, we get a glimpse of this kind of insanity in America.

    Every year, on “Black Friday” we get a glimpse of the kind of behavior that causes people to be crushed to death and assaulted. The day after Thanksgiving (ironically) people get up before daylight, stand in line, and shove their way through a crowd to get the best deals. (Stay tuned this weekend for the 2017 Black Friday Hall of Shame.)

    And they aren’t even hungry.

    People climb all over each other for cheap electronics. Fistfights erupt over vegetable steamers. People are ready to throw down and do battle for sale priced bath towels and televisions.

    I’d hazard a guess that folks who spend time and money fighting over electronics are not the kind of people who prep. That means that these are the people who will be hungry in a long-term disaster. Look at those people, stampeding to get to a sale on things that they don’t actually need to survive. Their inhibitions are loosened because those around them are behaving in the same way.

    You have to look at the psychology of this.

    People can justify pretty much anything when they or their children are starving. And I can understand that to a large degree – who could stand to watch their babies suffering? But if someone can devolve to the above degree just to because everyone else is doing it, the chaos we saw above is only a tiny sample of what could come if people were truly hungry.

    The line between civilization and THIS is very thin.

    Desperate people do desperate things.

    We need to be prepared by having the essential supplies on hand to keep us from becoming one of those desperate people in the middle of a stampede for a few days’ worth of food, but what’s more, we need to be prepared for the prospect of those desperate people. Keeping a low profile is the best defense but sometimes it’s not enough.

    In a desperate situation, you have to be ready for desperate people to behave in a desperate manner. It happens in real life all the time. Somewhere on this planet, someone is desperate and they will do anything to meet their needs.

    It only takes one person to start the charge in a tense scenario, and when that happens, the others will follow.

    Don’t count on the rules of “civilization” to save you.

    The Pantry Primer

    Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

    Daisy Luther is the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide To Whole Food on a Half Price Budget.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]


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      1. “the ravages of climate change”? This is intentional and climate change is horse shit.

      2. This would have been the USA if Hitlery would have been elected.


        • zzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzZz…zZzzzZzzZzzzzzzzzzZzzz…zzzzzzzzzz

        • yes hitlery would cause an muslim stampede to the welfare office.

        • No need for a Roman Colosseum. Just pull up to a WalMart in your nearest town tomorrow (Friday) and sit back with a favorite beverage and enjoy the melee. Welcome to the Jungle!

      3. But gold…intrinsic and all…

        Food and water are the only things that have “intrinsic” value when the SHTF.

      4. Most people are “civilized” because they are fed. People revert back to animalistic​ instincts​ when hungry.

      5. desperation = a state of despair, typically one that results in rash or extreme behavior.

        hopelessness, despair, distress; anguish, agony, torment, misery, wretchedness; discouragement

        a wide range of emotions

        simple preparations, a little at a time, can alleviate the severity you may find yourself in.

        slow and steady will get you ready.

        and prep your souls. for it is coming.

      6. I imagine when this sort of situation comes to the US, things here would be just like that 3rd world shit hole but worse…get ready folks.

      7. I can start this off a bit. If such a thing happened here in the US, it’d be the same dindus that attack each other on Black Friday over a discounted television set when the gates are opened @ Wally-World. In a real world crisis in terms of food, no EBT cards or whatever the body count would explode through the roof. Best to just stay clear of any so-called emergency/humanitarian handout… it wouldn’t be pretty.

      8. Thanksgiving shopping sales are mental illness on full display. The local paper weighs 5 pounds full of ads to shop the sales. People will stomp on you to save a dollar. Excited freak show for the stampeding hoards.

        • Aljamo, if idiots will stomp on you to get some useless made-in china crap at wallyworld, think of what that same idiot will do for food. If anyone thinks they turn my home into their “store” they’ll only get shot for their stupidity. I’m only responsible for me and my own and no one else. If you don’t prepare for yourself and/or your family, that’s your own stupid-ass fault and no one else’s.

        • A
          I’m going shopping for Prepps.

          • SGAmmo is running Black Friday sales, on line, no crowds! Shop from your armchair.

            Recently saw some Federal 9mm JHP HST at a great price there. The HST version is an upgrade from Federals Hydroshock.

      9. People were killed in that food stampede in Morocco, because those womens larders were bare, meaning they have no back up after this food distribution. They knew their families were going to starve if they did not get any food this time, and they know others who are starving right now. You can inform yourself if you just look at what’s happening, and how severe the incident is or becomes. I hope and pray more in the US inform themselves better, and prep for both clean water shortages and food shortages. And that they don’t neglect to prepare a way to defend themselves as well. Tempus Fugit.

        • Sean, apparently they don’t believe in prepping over there.

        • And how many mega tons of food do we throw out in ‘merica each year?

      10. Those aid truck should have brough birth control pills as well to distribute to people. The middle east and north africa are have a huge population explosion, these areas have little fresh water to match the populations. It is naive for the government their to tell people to pray for rain, when they should be doing something about the population and resource mismanagement. The trend towards Islamic fundamentalism also includes encourage people to have as many kids as possible whether there are resources to support this or not. This is very dangerous for the region.

        • been doing that to the welfare queens here for decades and decades. pay them more to have more kids they can’t afford without the federal/state handout. and the elected traitors thought this would be good for society. and birth control is out of the question because it is their right to breed, according to the libs/cons/anyone that promote this sheet.

        • What is worse is the Muslim culture promotes first cousin marriages, what could go wrong. The star of Islam is Pakistan and Afghanistan where 50% of all marriages are to first cousins.

          They need a high birth rate, because so many children are being born with genetic disorders that will kill them.

          I visited a newborn in the family in a N Virginia area hospital, the baby was delivered a bit early and had low birthweight so was in the NIC U for a couple days. This hospital actually had a special NIC U section just for recent Middle East and African Muslim immigrants. A small fraction of the local population, they are parents to 40% of the babies in the NIC U, and your tax dollars are paying for their health issues caused by incest.

          Incest, illegal in the US is being ignored in this immigrant population. You would go to jail for this, but your neighbor Mohamed and his first cousin wife get a pass. There’s a real clinical reason these people have an average 75 to 80 IQ.

      11. Tahini, Africans never had any sense anyway.

      12. send in the scoops

      13. Larders are only so big it is so easy to get supplies somewhere else. The bigger your larder the more “zombies” that will come desperate hordes, we should have workshops on prepping free to public well before a disaster. Why don’t we? “Doomsday Preppers” that want to be the last people left, or those that want to be rich teaching people. Give a man a fish you feed him once, teach him to fish he won’t go hungry.
        Prepared people have no need to display this behavior, no need for government handouts. Those that don’t prepare are going to be parasites.


      15. Frankly I was a little confused about this article.
        “this year’s annual food aid distribution”.
        This distribution is an annual one day event?
        If it is expected that the distribution can only
        be carried by one or two women we aren’t talking
        about a lot of food. If they were handing out
        #50 of beans and #50 of rice, I could see
        some excitement, You can live and be healthy
        on just beans and rice. They are only handing
        out $16 worth of food in a place where people
        live on $3 per day. If they are rioting over
        what amounts to be 5 or 6 days worth of
        food these people are already dead.

        • I noticed too. A food distribution once a year is ridiculous. Most people I know eat everyday (unless they are hibernating).

          Could this be fake? I already thought it sounded a little fishy. There is a lot of agriculture in Morocco and I don’t see anyone starving there, especially not in small rural places. Although you can expect to see beggars here and there I guess, in a big city like Tanger or Marrakech maybe.

      16. depends on race and politics. dark libs will eat you alive

      17. If anyone is building a shed, or did, add a second back inside wall that opens. Make the hidden space deep enough to hold a layer #10 cans at least.

        Don’t store long term food there, the temperature variation is hell on shelf life, but the day the SHTF while everyone else is still clueless, move a portion of your temperature controlled basement stash to the sheds hidden space. Fill it and stack extra useless crap from the garage against that back wall. Have little of value in the shed and use a weak lock that doesn’t advertise valuables inside. Add a solar powered motion outdoor light to your shed.

        Don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

      18. Maximize the pics, and tell me, seriously, whether these faces are afraid for their lives. Also, at Black Friday. They’re pretty blasé about their rude behavior; it’s routine.

        I’m not the “fat police”, but these ME people are *not starving.

        They have the strength to shove and carry large bundles, on their back. Someone on the brink of death can *not do that.

        They’re not desperate. This is just how people act. So, you assume that this kind of behavior is the norm, when you undertake every task, every day.

        If you are like most ordinary people, you learned about attitudes, from the playground, bus stop, and school cafeteria. This is how your family, neighbors, co-religionists, and co-workers all act, always. Call that what it is, and make peace with that. It’s mental preparedness.

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