Riot aftermath: disturbed, but hopeful

Disgrace

I may have been crushed by the Canucks’ loss in Wednesday’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, but it’s what happened afterward that angered and disappointed me more.

It was 1994 all over again, but with an intensity and severity that was totally unexpected, considering the lessons that were supposedly learned after the last time a riot broke out after the Canucks lost a Cup Final game 7. For me, the experience was made worse because I was seeing it unfold live, on TV. Among the atrocities I saw were police cars flipped over, then set ablaze, and one agitated taunter of police, who clearly had enough after he threw a woman to the ground. It was overwhelming, and I had to keep the TV off when I got home to avoid getting more emotional. (This post by Tijana Martina has been featured on WP.com’s front page, showing some of her photos of the mayhem that night.)

But I went to sleep last night with a glimmer of hope. A spontaneous clean-up effort, organized on Facebook, happened throughout the day today, as ordinary citizens reclaimed Vancouver from the previous night’s hooliganism. At the same time, other Facebook pages and a tumblr have been set up to post pictures of rioters, and where possible, identify them. (Also send photos directly to the Vancouver police.)

Few good people helping clean up the mess from many idiots...

It’s a start, but given that the riot footage has been replayed by major news organizations worldwide, Vancouver has been given a black eye by, let’s face it, a very small minority of troublemakers who were going to cause chaos, regardless of whether the Canucks won or not. They did not represent Canucks fans (if, indeed, they are even fans), and they certainly did not represent Vancouver. And I’m sure almost everyone in the city agrees with me.

Top photo credit: “Disgrace” by flickr user AaverageJoe.
Bottom photo credit: “Few good people helping clean up the mess from many idiots…” by flickr user Chayuth.

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