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A contrast

During the Olympics, Vancouver folks were very patriotic, yet very civilized in their fervour, as it should be.

A year later, their hockey team loses a 7th game in the Stanley Cup final – a team supposedly representing all of Canada (which I’ve already said is baloney), and a sizable chunk of them decide to set their city on fire and destroy stuff. What happened in just over a year?

6 comments to A contrast

  • G.J.W.

    Many of the riot crowd, came prepared for a riot. They had face coverings, gasoline for starting fires. This was not random, this was deliberate.

    There were some small separate crowds in many different areas, vandalizing and stealing. The police must put the safety of the public first, before vandalism. Had the police have separated into groups to stop, the separate small crowds of vandals, they would have been overwhelmed by, sheer people power.

    Short of shooting at the vandals and perhaps hitting innocent by-standers. What else would you have the police do? The next time there is a big event, they should have the military, backing up the police. The police were very badly out numbered. Rioters are very mentally unstable, as it is. There is no way to predict what they, with their mental instability, and some rioters also drunk, may do next. I think the police took the right action. They played it the only way they could, without using deadly force. The police should be commended, not bashed.

  • The question I have to ask myself is why this was allowed to happen? In 1994 the police were accused of ‘overreacting’, kettling the troublemakers and innocents alike allowing for no escape routes, etc., etc. This time they obviously ‘under-reacted’, with little to no police presence and preparedness (police really needed to be in place and ready to react in force to the first incidents), even having to call for reinforcements from Abbotsford, which is 45 minutes from Vancouver?

    This really suggests to me there was a deliberate method to their madness. What is it, I would like to know?

  • John

    While I agree wholeheartedly that violence and mayhem can result when people are oppressed, I disagree completely that this is what has happened in this instance.

    I have frustrations with Canada’s direction in recent years, but there has been no major disintegration of our basic social, cultural and political foundations.

    I’ve seen these people on the streets of Vancouver, and the numerous videos I’ve seen posted only confirm it. They’re young, mostly drunk, and just want to wreak havoc, jazzed up in Canucks gear and toting cell phones and cameras. This is just a wild night on the town for them, at everyone else’s expense. Some of the fools boasted of their exploits on facebook and twitter, which I hope yields them a just reward.

    These are NOT poor souls oppressed by a broken system. They’re simply obnoxious, disrespectful of others, and looking for trouble.

  • Last night speaks more about how easily violence and mayhem can happen when a people find no outlet for their frustration and anger with a system that is broken.

    Violence is random it comes from nowhere and leads to nothing. Who can fight nothing from nowhere.

  • John

    Well, as someone who was there in Vancouver during the Olympics, the biggest thing was that there was a huge cross-section of people from across the globe. The spirit was positive from day one, and it reinforced itself even during the intense Hockey Games.

    Even then, I saw first-hand the small riots that broke out on the second day (the morning after the Opening Ceremony). Even in that case, with all the security blanketing the city, the response to the downtown window breakings was pathetically slow. For fifteen minutes I and a group of other people publicly challenged the small group determined to break windows and cause general havoc. What kept that situation from being worse was it was a very small number of protesters, outnumbered by a crowd of folks openly challenging them, including some of their fellow protesters who they had alienated with their actions.

    What I see in the videos of this crowd are the normal losers – and I use that term appropriately and sparingly – who wander downtown each weekend to get drunk and seek confrontation. It’s a hickish, “gee, isn’t it fun when we break windows at a bus shelter!” schtick, and it’s tiresome. It too is normally held in check because their numbers are small.

    So watching those videos tonight, what I see is a confluence in which a bunch of them gathered in one place and one time, then egged each other on. I have no doubt NONE of them are truly local, having driven into the city hoping they might get the chance to “rip things up.”

    I’m sure most people left the streets as soon as they sensed the changing mood. I even read a local report that said many people started leaving the area around the arena early in the third period because they could see where things were heading.

    I fault those responsible first and foremost, but the police really needed to be in place and ready to react in force to the first incidents . . . not a delayed response when the streets are packed and the fires have started. I could sense this coming half a continent away, watching the game on TV. All of the events I’ve seen depicted thus far took place within blocks of the arena, on main streets. These weren’t incidents several blocks away; they were practically in the “fan zone.” There is no excuse for the police not to have been in place in large numbers when the rioting began.

    I no longer live in Vancouver, but that was my neighborhood. If I still lived there, I could have walked onto my small balcony and watched. It is sad to see all that happening on the same spots were I watched days of joyful crowds during the Olympics.

  • I was thrilled with the Hockey. Vancouver had an incredible year! I was very pleased to see the good cheer for the Bruins when the cup was given to them. I loved it when they booed Gary Bettman. and of course the good cheer Thomas received when he awarded the Conn Smthye.

    The group of idiots after the game outside was disgusting.

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