WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

 May I just set some of the record straight for what you’re no doubt seeing on the news.
 
1.  If you were to talk to any Vancouver Canuck fan, they would tell you that they’re proud of their team, they worked as hard as they could and in the end, when it comes down to one game, that means that someone wins and someone loses.  The other team won this time.  And the sentiment of most of the fans was ‘We’ll get ’em next time… high five!’. 
 
2.  The people causing the problem (that core group of rioters) came prepared to riot no matter what the outcome.  Hockey fans do NOT bring bricks, black balaclavas and Molotov Cocktails to a hockey game.  They just don’t.  They bring flags and signs and jerseys.  Yes, they also bring and consume alcohol, but they don’t bring blow torches to light police cars on fire.  They don’t bring bricks to throw at the riot squad.  They don’t bring face masks and gas masks.  They just don’t.  The people that bring those things are people that have only one thing on their minds.  Destruction.
 
3. The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) (which I think might now be referred to as Metro Vancouver) is made up of 13 cities and towns, the larger ones of which are all connected by skytrain and buses.  The City of Vancouver is made up of 578,000 people.  The whole GVRD is made up of 2,250,000 people.  Do the math.  A LARGE majority of the people that were downtown during the game and for the riot were not Vancouver-ites.  They were hoodlums and assholes (pardon my language) from outside the City of Vancouver.  So please, when they say ‘Vancouverites are embarrassing (etc)’, know that it’s not JUST Vancouverites… Vancouver-ites are historically very proud of their city, very much in love with their city and the vast, VAST majority of Vancouverites feel the way I do… sad, disgusted, shamed and astounded!
 
4.  The Vancouver Police Department, the RCMP, the police forces from Abbotsford (over an hour away!), Richmond (20min way), Surrey (20 min away) all did an astounding job.  Before you hop on the bandwagon of criticism, just remember that those officers have families.  One police officer life is worth more than every Bay window smashed.  More than every burning car.  More than any of that.  So when they, as trained officers feel that it’s not safe for the fire department to come downtown, not safe for the paramedics to come downtown and not safe for them to move in, then they’re not going to.  Policing a riot isn’t about the police being as aggressive as possible.  It’s about doing everything they can to minimize the damage, minimize the risk and minimize the injuries and casualties… including to themselves.  Please don’t judge them.
 
5.  Speculation is that the hoodlum gang calling themselves the ‘Black Bloc’ did/participated/instigated this.  They’re not even from BC!  Their main purpose is to travel to events and make a mess.  Think the Olympics riot when they smashed up the Bay and downtown… same people.  Think the G20 in Toronto where they smashed up Eaton’s and the downtown. Same people.  Reckless, irresponsible and disrespectful jerks.
 
To the rioters.
 
1.  You’re on camera.  You’re on YouTube and Facebook and Twitter.  Your peers are forwarding their pictures and videos to the VPD and RCMP so you can be identified.  I plan to scrutinize the pictures as soon as they’re up and try help to identify the criminals.  Many MANY Vancouverites will be doing the same!
 
2.  The police and the government will be wanting to make as many arrests and write as many tickets as possible.  The morons looting London Drugs for a bag of chips?  You’re going to get arrested.  You’re on camera committing a crime.  The idiots jumping up and down on the police cars (not to mention setting fire to them!).  You’re on camera.  You’re going to be arrested.  The jerks kicking in the windows of businesses.  You’re on CAMERA!  YOU’RE GOING TO BE ARRESTED!
 
3.  I hope your parents and your employers were watching and you get grounded, spanked, and fired.
 
4.  To the people that were taking videos, pictures and generally lollygagging around in an unlawful area, you were more trouble than you’re pictures are worth and you made the situation worse.  You’re just as culpable in the crimes committed when you stand to the side, film the nonsense and cheer the idiots on!  When the police told you to go home, you should have GONE HOME!  Had you left, you innocent gawkers, the police could have opened fire with rubber bullets and water cannons (did we just borrow those for the Olympics or do we have our own?), tear gas and full riot actions.  You staying down there and getting  ‘involved’ made the situation worse.  Next time, when they tell you to go home, GO HOME!  The buses and skytrain were running until around 11pm.  The bridges weren’t closed when it was still daylight. 
 
 
I’m absolutely devastated.  Mortified!  Incredibly sad and insanely angry!  This riot has given Vancouver a bad name, when it’s not deserved.  This did not happen because of a hockey game.  This happened because the City of Vancouver graciously opened their doors to the general public to have some fun.  Come down to the city and watch the hockey game with 130K of your closest friends.  Share in our joy and celebratory spirit.  And some good for nothing jerks took advantage of that and decided to use the opportunity to get on the news and make a mess.  It seemed their intention was to do everything they could to make it bigger and badder and much MUCH more expensive than the riot that took place in 1994.  They succeeded.  They also succeeded in people criticizing peace loving hockey fans and a city that was trying to bring a little community spirit to it’s streets.  Thanks a lot!
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9 thoughts on “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

  1. I can tell you, that as an American that's visited your beautiful city, it does NOT give Vancouver a bad name – it gives a bunch of idiots a bad name and I hope they catch those idiots and throw the book at them!

  2. Yes to all of that, and beautifully written. I wish I knew how to get that blog post out into the general arena.I didn't know last night whether to cry or throw up. I still don't.

  3. Thank you PJ! I'm sad to say that for some reason, people seem to hate Vancouver like it's a sport and this just adds fuel to the stupidity fire.Shanny, tweet it… go to my facebook and share the note (I put it there too, cause I don't want to direct 'everyone' to the blog), repost on your blog…

  4. You put in to words, so perfectly, what I've been feeling since last night…What happened last night was so disheartening and I'm so ashamed of the fools who (temporarily) destroyed the beautiful city we're so very fortunate to live in. Thank you for writing this.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with almost everything you've written here. I do take a wee bit of issue with what you've said about suburbanites. I lived in the 'burbs for my entire life until very recently, and I've always considered myself a Vancouverite, rather than a North Vancouverite. I'm incredibly hurt, disgusted, embarrassed and angry about what went on last night. Idiots are idiots, whatever their address. I'm sure many — perhaps even most, although we can't know that at this point; let's wait until all the arrests are made — of the idiots who you correctly say were there only to cause trouble do live in suburbs, but I'll bet a large number don't. Although really, does it matter? Metro Vancouver as a whole is tarnished by this, not just Vancouver proper.Interestingly, there weren't any riots around the public viewing areas in either Surrey or West Van.

  6. Oh, it's not that I'm slagging suburbanites… not at all… it's just that people outside of our small cosmo of 'ones in the know' are being told by the media that it's Vancouverites… and for those of us that live here, it's a city, not an area… and the fact that our CITY is smashed is one thing, but having the general belief that the residents only are the ones that smashed it is another thing!It's a bit like your comment, which is entirely true… there were no riots around surrey or west van… which leads people not 'in the know' to believe that it really IS just resident Vancouverites that are destructive idiots… when the fact of the matter is that the people that wanted to cause trouble came to the biggest, most public arena… from all over the Metro Vancouver area… Why smash up the Guildford mall when you can smash up iconic Vancouver buildings… And don't get me wrong… I'm POSITIVE that there are going to be arrests and identifications made that prove that people were from Vancouver and from the GVRD, AND from places even further flung…

  7. Also remember that the reason that the hoodlums come to Vancouver-the-City to smash it up is because our sporting venue is right in the middle our highest end shopping district. Although part of the point for the arseholes is to cause destruction, I really believe that they create as much bedlam as possible so that they can then go and rob the businesses that are down there. Create chaos so that you are less noticeable. I think that they think it's fun and funny but they also do it for the money that they will make resaling iPads et al.

  8. Fair enough. I guess my point is that the lines between who live in the City of Vancouver and those who live in the 'burbs are pretty blurry. I've always felt like Vancouver is my city, even though my house/apartment was located in a suburb. People from outside of Vancouver (either City or Metro) won't make the distinction, it's true. But I'd wager most Vancouverites (again, City or Metro) don't, either. I dunno…maybe I'm wrong about that. I also consider myself a Canadian before being a British Columbian. Maybe some people do feel a primary attachment to their suburb…I just don't really know any.Anyway. I'm totally with you on wanting plenty of arrests for those responsible for this mindless destruction. :o)

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