Who would have ever thought of this?
Sabotage. Intentional and malicious destruction of property.
We get this word from “sabot,” the traditional wooden shoe worn by peasants and laborers in centuries past and even today. During the nineteenth century, Belgium and French textile mill workers protested against the new machinery that threatened their jobs. So they tossed their sabots into the machines to wreck them. Hence our word “sabotage.” This idea, however, wasn’t new. In earlier times, French peasants, protesting against their oppressively low wages, trampled the crops of the landlords with their sabots—another act of sabotage.
(Information provided by “The Complete Footwear Dictionary: Second Edition” by Dr. William A. Rossi, 2000.)