NHL 2010-11 Season
Posted 18 June 2011 - 01:48 AM
: 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.
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.
Posted 18 June 2011 - 02:38 AM
Whenever I see that photograph I'm reminded of:
Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:17 AM
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.
Posted 19 June 2011 - 09:21 AM
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. . . .
: 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.
Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:22 AM