Riots

You may have heard by now, but there were riots in Vancouver. Wednesday was the Stanley Cup Finals (the finals for hockey), and its was game 7 in Vancouver. The Canucks were facing the Boston Bruins for the trophy. I’m not going to get into technical hockey terms about what exactly happened, but Vancouver lost. Badly. 4-0. I didn’t watch the game, because quite frankly I had no interest. I cared to know if Vancouver won or not, because I had to support a Canadian team, but that’s it.

The flag of British Colombia in front of a burning cop car

Thursday morning, I walk into my mom’s room and she’s watching the news. I see burning police cars, angry crowds, looters, breaking glass. My first thought was “Where is this?”, never suspecting for a moment that this was in Canada. But alas, I was wrong. After the game, people (dumbass people) started rioting and causing destruction. There were police on sight, prepared for this, because in 1994 when Vancouver was in the same situation in relation to the Stanley Cup, there were riots when they lost then. The police presence was larger this time, although no one really thought a riot would happen. Unfortunately, they were surprised by how quickly everything escalated. Some reports said that the police were overzealous and in some ways resembled the G20 in Toronto.

Quite frankly, I felt disgusted by what I saw. I thought of the majority of the crowd, who had nothing to do with the destruction, and were just disappointed hockey fans, got caught up in their surroundings, trying to get away and go home. A headline by the Chicago Sun-Times said it all: Hockey fans didn’t  fuel Vancouver riots, idiots did. It is sad that because a bunch idiots, probably drunk, saw the opportunity to riot, they took it. They weren’t doing it for some sort of cause; certainly not for hockey. But  just because they could.

This “Kissing Couple” became very popular

Now, Vancouver, a beautiful and wonderful city, has this dark shadow and a PR nightmare. After the success of the 2010 Olympics and just a general good reputation, they been sullied by stupid people. But even amidst everything that happened, there was still good (in a way). A video was released of a man who was bravely fighting off looters, trying to get them to stop from stealing and breaking windows. Unfortunately, some of those looters turned on him and started beating him. He was saved by bystanders who stepped in to help him. Screen captures of this incident were posted on the front page of the Toronto Star, making the (then) unidentified man out to be a hero, when I think he was really just some who didn’t want to see he city destroyed. (here’s the article). Although one wonders what he was doing beforehand. Especially since the issue of what those taking the pictures and recording the videos were doing and the role they played.

Here are some other links should you care to read more about what happened or watch a video.

The Toronto Star:
     Vancouver Riots could have happened anywhere
     Vancouver crowd turns ugly after Canuck’s heartbreaking loss in Stanley Cup final
The Vancouver Sun
     Vancouver police grossly understaffed for Game 7 riot: union
     Youtube videos of Vancouver Riot destruction
     We will overcome the riot and its stain on our city

– Turtles

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