Jump to content


Photo

NHL 2010-11 Season


  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#41 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 28,866 posts

Posted 18 June 2011 - 01:48 AM

winter shaker wrote:
: I don't think I know anybody who participated but it's still shocking and alarming to see the mobs torching cars and breaking windows.

Absolutely.

I don't think I know anyone who PARTICIPATED in the riots, either, but the woman who leads my autistic son's behavioural-interventionist team is a big Canucks fan -- like, I've made adjustments to her schedule the last few weeks just so she could attend playoff games -- and she was there in the crowd at Georgia & Hamilton (i.e. the epicentre of the riots) on the night of the game, and when I saw her the morning after, she was fairly upset about everything that had happened. I think she said she left during the third period, because she could sense that things were Not Going To Go Well, but in any case, I felt really bad not only for my city but for people like her who were going to be branded with the stain of this event. And so, needless to say, I was not amused when I came across one Twitterer who said he was "glad" the Canucks lost because of the kind of "fans" they have; when this came up in conversation with our B.I., at the end of her shift, she said that that was just "salt in the wounds", and I had to agree.

Personal side note #1: I'm not much of a sports fan myself, but I've come to like the Canucks because they have a nifty sports program for autistic kids. So it really saddens me when I come across stories about fans who were not involved in the riots but were still afraid/ashamed to wear their jerseys the morning afterward.

Personal side note #2: Georgia & Hamilton happens to be right outside the library where my wife works; but she worked the day shift that day, so she was home when the game happened. (I, too, worked in that building several years ago -- not in the library, but in the Statistics Canada offices. I also happened to work down the block at 401 West Georgia about 20 years ago; that was the building with the Bank of Montreal that got its windows smashed.)

Personal side note #3: That famous photo of the couple kissing in the street behind the riot police? The guy who took it was the photo editor at The Ubyssey (the UBC student newspaper) when I was the culture editor there, back in the mid-'90s.

#42 winter shaker

winter shaker

    Bazooka Babushka

  • Member
  • 301 posts

Posted 18 June 2011 - 02:38 AM

Personal side note #3: That famous photo of the couple kissing in the street behind the riot police? The guy who took it was the photo editor at The Ubyssey (the UBC student newspaper) when I was the culture editor there, back in the mid-'90s.


Whenever I see that photograph I'm reminded of:

Posted Image

#43 Nathan Douglas

Nathan Douglas

    Overeager beaver of the sacramental cinema.

  • Member
  • 495 posts

Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:17 AM

Can't say I know anyone who participated either, but I was down at Hamilton & Georgia BEFORE the game, and things were already pretty tense. I was trying to meet my friend farther down Hamilton, and was working my way through the crowd on Georgia from Homer. I got as far as the southwest corner of Hamilton/Georgia, by the Library Square pub before I had to stop. The mass was just too thick. I decided to stay for the first period and watch from there, then began to wonder if I should just leave immediately, given that the influx of bodies clearly wasn't slowing down. Small groups of people were constantly forcing their way through, and the space got tighter and tighter (and we were just steps from the main library building's wall, getting hemmed in more and more). I saw some shaken folks trying to get out, from claustrophobia, while some 18-year olds on my right emphatically denied leeway to anyone trying to get to Hamilton through their group. The space got tighter, everyone got more agitated, and a girl beside me began to fall over. A larger group arriving in our general vicinity began pushing harder, inspiring our section to push back, which became a necessity as everyone started falling over under the crush. Someone called 911, even though there were cops ten meters away. A girl in front of me started to have trouble breathing, and people were beginning to panic. Everyone was falling over, and we were all being pushed in one direction. A group of police officers somehow made it through the mass to a government office built under the library, unlocked the doors and guided the crush inside (it connected to the library courtyard above) not a moment too soon. It was all they could do to not have a mini-stampede as people tried to get out of the crowd.

I was thankfully pretty close to the doors when they opened, so I got out pretty fast. But it was pretty scary there at the end. Needless to say the combination of agitated, drunk fans everywhere, the general tension of having to put up with pushy types, and almost being crushed in a space clearly over capacity put an early damper on the evening. I went to Woodwards as the first period started and watched from there, hopped on a bus as soon as the last buzzer sounded, and got home in time to see the first curls of smoke rising above downtown.

I can't believe the authorities really thought a Game 7 situation wouldn't be different from everything before. When I saw Game 5 at the fan zone, one of the guys standing next to me turned to his immediate neighbours and said (upon the Canucks winning) "Good, now we don't have to riot." Sure, he was joking. But, then again, it was only Game 5. All through the days leading up to Wednesday's final, I would hear those kinds of jokes, half-serious, musing about the possibility of a riot. The media kept stoking the topic with some trepidation. That it happened was no surprise; the surprise was the scale. And the sheer inanity of it. And now that it's over, the surprise lies in how much social networking has enabled a gigantic public shaming effort, on Facebook and other sites. This past week has been so upsetting and bizarre, but it still feels like the eye of the storm. We're going to be studying this and the next couple weeks for a long time to come.

#44 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 28,866 posts

Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:21 AM

FWIW, I forget where I read this now -- I've read So Many articles and blog posts on this by now -- but someone was saying that the crowd that gathered on the evening of Game 7 felt noticeably different than the crowds that had been there for the previous games. I don't know what we can attribute that to, or if it seemed like that to anyone else, but anyhoo.

A woman from church wrote her own account of that evening, with photos, here. She and her family went to the library initially but found it getting pretty insane, so they went and watched the game at Canada Place instead, where there were apparently more people with families.

Oh, and let's not forget Regent College professor John Stackhouse's excellent blog post on this subject:

By now many of you have seen clips or photos of the criminal nonsense that afflicted the streets and businesses of downtown Vancouver following the defeat of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team in the Stanley Cup final. Less than 24 hours after the store windows were smashed, the electronics and liquor looted, and the cars set ablaze, our family was attending our youngest son’s high school graduation ceremony on the very same streets.

We saw precisely one indication of the destruction of the night before: windows carefully boarded up and festooned with friendly graffiti, declaring that “Hooligans are not hockey fans” and “This is not the real Vancouver” and, most simply, “We love you, Vancouver!” Fifteen thousand people, it has been estimated, showed up yesterday, starting at 5 a.m., to assist emergency and clean-up crews in repairing the streets, the reputation, and the psyche of our city.

So what happened to turn a happy, anticipatory street party into a scene of stupidity, selfishness, and vandalism that had to be redeemed by an extraordinary outpouring of civic spirit? Permission to do so. And that’s all some people need. . . .

N.W. Douglas wrote:
: That it happened was no surprise; the surprise was the scale.

Yeah. I don't remember any cars being burned in '94, for one thing.

: And now that it's over, the surprise lies in how much social networking has enabled a gigantic public shaming effort, on Facebook and other sites.

I don't know that that's necessarily a surprise. One blogger I follow has been saying for months that the crime rate is probably going to go down as all but the stupidest criminals realize that modern technology makes it VERY easy to identify people who stole this car or that phone, etc., etc. And he's been using the Vancouver riots lately as an example of how social networking is going to make it Very Easy to identify the people who were photographed setting fire to police cars, etc. As he recently put it: "Many kinds of crime are increasingly out-of-date. Hopefully, more and more would-be criminals will figure this out, too."

: This past week has been so upsetting and bizarre, but it still feels like the eye of the storm. We're going to be studying this and the next couple weeks for a long time to come.

Sadly, yes. The morning after the riot, our behavioural interventionist said this was going to cause Vancouver to go back to the "No Fun City" status it had in the years following the 1994 riot; the cops will be cracking down ever-more-authoritarianly on the crowds that come downtown to watch the fireworks this summer, etc. We had hoped that hosting the Olympics last year might finally lift us out of the "No Fun City" doldrums, but this week's events could very well plunge us right back into that.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 19 June 2011 - 09:22 AM.


#45 yank_eh

yank_eh

    Member

  • Member
  • 388 posts

Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:22 AM

I was in the thick of it all. I don't have time now but I've been writing some thoughts that I hope to share here soon. I can't stop thinking about it.