Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vancouver Riot 2011

It's been almost a week since the city of Vancouver was raped.

Now I'm a Calgary Flames fan, and I was quite pleased to see our rival, The Vancouver Canucks fall in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. I was not however pleased to see it's citizens take part in the worst riot of that city's history. I was working the night of the game, but was keeping tabs on it. When it was over, I saw Facebook posts about people flipping a car. Now, I had heard hype from many people that a riot may ensue. I believed that this was a different time than the '94 riot after Vancouver lost to New York in the finals. I believed that we as a "society" had matured. After the Olympics, and the jubilant celebrations that took place night after night, how could they turn?

Well they did, and boy, did they ever.

By now, everyone has heard of the destruction, the looting, the fires and fights that took place so I'm not going to bother explaining it. What I want to talk about is 3 particular points. 1. Who it was that took part in it. 2. The accused and the backlash. 3. The city's blind sense of identity.

First off. When the initial reports came out that it was a handful of anarchists that came from Surrey and surrounding areas that brought weapons and destruction tools. With a plan to start trouble regardless of the outcome of the game. While yes, there were those people around starting shit, there were non-anarchists that joined them. There were more average Joe's and Jane's causing a ruckus than those wielding hammers, and wearing face masks. They were your co-workers, your classmates, the person that serves you coffee, and the people you walk past on your way to work. A lot of them were teenagers too. And if it wasn't bad enough that they were reeking havoc on the streets, thousands more stood by to watch and take pictures only making those causing the shit to make it worse. Oddly enough those pictures are why most of them will be caught and prosecuted. Which brings me to my next point.

You got caught, and now your upset because people are mad at you. In this social media day and age, news travels very fast. Nathan Kotylak is the 17 year old from Maple Ridge who is the dipshit trying to set a police car on fire. He has since apologized. But the backlash he is receiving from this may even put his family at risk of being ostracized. Are some of the comments directed at him and his fellow rioters like Dustin Anderson or Camille Cacnio harsh? Yeah, they are. Are the actions that these drunken idiots did harsh. Absolutely. Now I'm not condoning death threats directed at them or their families, but I see nothing wrong with thousands of angry people letting these crooks know how they feel. What they did was atrocious, and appalling. Don't come whining that people are being mean and not accepting your apology. Now I'm not saying my shit don't stink, I did some dumb things in my youth, but never to this magnitude. What these people did to the city, the shop owners, the people watching disgusted, will stick with them for a very long time. I don't think that it's fair that after a week they want people to feel sorry for them. You made your bed, now lay in it.

And finally, Vancouver is not the latte sipping, hippie drumming, peaceful place that it thinks it is. It has a dark side. Don't get me wrong, I like Vancouver (the city, NOT the hockey team). I do. But it has is it's fair share of problems. Drug addicts, crooks, gangs, douchbags and lowlifes. It seems that when there is a celebration in that city, there is always people there to stir shit. For no reason other than to take away a good time from someone else. A problem that comes with being a port city I guess. Of course every city has it's problems. But after Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa lost their Stanley Cup finals in the last 10 years. There were no riots. Mayor Robertson did shit all in preparing for this game. "Hey everyone, lets have a street party of over 100,00 people and have a only handful of cops nearby". "Nothing will go wrong, we're Vancouver after all." If I have one message of Gregor, it would be this. The next time you have an extremely large crowd, with emotions and booze running rampant, and a scar from the last time it happened, you might want to spend more money on police presence than on giant screens. Can't really point the finger in one direction on this one, too many variables, but I think they city should apologize too. For being ill prepared and foolish. It's kinda like the woman that gets beaten from her man, but she keeps saying "oh, he loves me though, you don't know him."

I would like to finish this post with a shout out to the brave men and women who took upon themselves to face an unruly crowd of thousands to defend their city. You guys deserve medals. Seriously.

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