Though I wish it were not the case, being a moronic rioter and being a Canucks fan are not mutually exclusive: a person can make poor life choices and still choose a good hockey team to support. But the people who started this riot were far too prepared for this to be a random outbreak of violence from upset Canuck fans. It is clear that many of the rioters were well-prepared anarchists that came in from outside Vancouver with little desire to watch the hockey game. Or, if not anarchists, then a group of people wanting to have a good time and make their mark on history in the stupidest way possible. Clad in bandanas and armed with makeshift clubs, this group came to Vancouver for only one reason.
Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Too many people chose to stay downtown, egging on the rioters and, in too many cases, joining in. Those standing around watching the destruction with cell phones out to snap pictures and text your friends? You’re partly to blame. Mob mentality began to set in, as more and more people wanted to be a part of the show. Canucks fans posed in front of burning cars for a new Facebook profile picture. Opportunists saw no harm in looting from stores that someone else broke into. A cautious kick at a cop car is greeted with cheers of approval, leading to jumping on the vehicle and eventually flipping it.
People treated the chaos and violence as entertainment.
The riot could have been contained so much more quickly if those not participating in the violence had simply dispersed, leaving it clear for the police to identify the instigators. Instead, the crowds gathered around the fires and flipped cars, reveling in the novelty of the event. By the end, there was plenty of blame to go around. Drunks, anarchists, fools, disillusioned youth, and Canucks fans: there were representatives of every group in the chaos.
The only positive to be found in the number of gawkers on the scene is the obscene number of photos and videos that are now available for the police to identify and charge the perpetrators. According to all reports, the police response to the riot was calm, effective, and didn’t cross any lines in dealing with civilians. They should be commended for their efforts.
I sincerely hope that many people who got caught up in the thrill of the riot last night are ashamed of their actions and will take part in the Facebook-organized clean-up effort this morning.
The dichotomy of the Canucks fans inside Rogers Arena and outside Rogers Arena was truly shocking. Inside the arena, the fans were all class, chanting “Go Canucks Go” as the home team stood dejected and then saluted the crowd, cheering for Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and the rest of the Boston Bruins as they accepted the Conn Smythe trophy and Stanley Cup, and roaring when Milan Lucic took a spin with the cup. Sure, they booed Gary Bettman, but no one was upset about that other than George Stromboulopoulos, who was evidently watching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his life.
To go from the shots of inside Rogers Arena to the insanity of what was happening in the streets was difficult to swallow. Unfortunately for all Canucks fans who didn’t participate, no one will remember the class of the fans inside the arena. Just the riot.
Tags: Canucks, featured, Riot, Shame, Stanley Cup Final, there are some stupid people in the Canucks fanbase