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Vancouver Is Burning
June 16, 2011 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Vancouver lost twice last night. Just over a year ago, Vancouver was the pride of Canada during the 2010 Olympics. This morning the people of Vancouver are waking up and wondering what the hell?

Photos of the most beautiful city in Canada. (Because let's face it, no matter how shameful the riot is, we always want to see the photos)

The National Post
The Globe and Mail
Vancouver Sun Video

and finally: An interesting (albiet, short) story from the Globe and Mail on the citizens who faced down the rioters.
posted by dogbusonline (337 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
This picture is amazing.
posted by empath at 6:10 AM on June 16, 2011 [100 favorites]


Where you there? Tell us your stories.
Where you there in 1994? How does it compare?
There was alot of talk throughout this series that the Canucks were one of the most hated teams in the NHL. Does this event just build on that overall reputation. (I.E- The fans play as dirty as the players)
posted by dogbusonline at 6:10 AM on June 16, 2011


Anyone who doesn't see that sports are surrogate tribal war should take a look at the angry mass of apes we turn into, win or lose. It's scary to look at evidence of just how much animals we all are, under the thin veneer of civilization.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [38 favorites]


Honestly, does anyone get the feeling that Vancouver would have burned no matter what happened last night? A real shame.
posted by inturnaround at 6:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Sports fans who riot are all fucking idiots.

Get a grip on yourselves, douchebags.
posted by bwg at 6:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


This makes me ashamed to be from Vancouver. Its like there's a undercurrent of discontent under the prettiness of the city. I honestly don't understand stuff like this it makes me really sad...
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 6:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vancouverite comedians Dave Shumka and Graham Clark are doing a decent job of making light of a tricky situation.

Dave
: Vancouver 2010: "With Glowing Hearts." Vancouver 2011: "Come At Me, Bro!"
Graham: A crowd that stands for nothing riot against nothing for no reason.
posted by Apropos of Something at 6:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


How 'bout a "hockey" tag?
posted by symbollocks at 6:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Normally, I'm against the police shooting rioters, but in this case, I think it was warranted. Or perhaps carpet bombing.

Seriously. A sports event?

Women and children are literally being gunned down in the street and tortured in Syria for standing up against a dictator and their response is less violent then these fucking morons rioting over a goddamn hockey game.
posted by empath at 6:17 AM on June 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


It's scary to look at evidence of just how much animals we all are, under the thin veneer of civilization.

Having never even come close to participating in a riot, despite 4 decades of living in L.A., I'm comfortable with using the term "they" in these cases.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Look at the guy at the front of this picture - the one sticking his tongue out.

Remind you of anyone?
posted by Trurl at 6:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Normally, I'm against the police shooting rioters, but in this case, I think it was warranted.

Even 21 year old students caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stay classy, Vancouver.
posted by notyou at 6:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh yes, of course! Riots are always improved when you add guns to the mix.
posted by ryanrs at 6:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


these fucking morons rioting over a goddamn hockey game

I think it's possible to over think the motivations of a massive group of rowdy intoxicated people wandering the streets. I don't think this really has anything to do with hockey.
posted by Adam_S at 6:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Have we not learned from the Stanley Cup riots of '94?
posted by kuanes at 6:21 AM on June 16, 2011


Photos of the most beautiful city in Canada.

People I know who have lived there refer to it as a "shithole", saying the natural setting is gorgeous but the city itself has very serious municipal logistical and maintenance problems, that it looks like it's actually falling down, and that it's very rough in terms of its drug culture and crime rates.

I'm hoping this disgraceful behaviour and the resulting media attention will be the catalyst for changing that.
posted by orange swan at 6:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Riots are always improved when you add guns to the mix.

I'm glad you took my statement with the complete seriousness that it was intended.
posted by empath at 6:22 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


"As trouble mounted, TransLink pulled all its buses out of the downtown area, and cancelled SeaBus service to the North Shore."

Which basically means people where stuck downtown with nowhere to go.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 6:22 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


My girlfriend: They destroyed Vancouver last night!
Me: Terrorists?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad to live in a civilized city like Boston.
posted by ocschwar at 6:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


As a bit of contrast, in 1994, the people of NYC were happy, and very well behaved. Large groups of people (myself included) made their way to MSG to buy a commemorative t-shirt, have a toast, or whatever. We were orderly, and people were passing by the police and hugging them, shaking their hands, and patting them on the back. It was fun, and it didn't feel unsafe even for a minute.

As for losses, well, when the Knicks lost the NBA finals not too long after - we didn't make a peep. No bump in crime reports, no notable or newsworthy incidents, nothing. We kept our mouths shut. Maybe some die-hards had an extra drink that day.

NYC: Showing the world how it's done.
posted by Citrus at 6:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


BTW this is why you don't set up massive public outdoor viewing stations and gather 100,000 person crowds to hang out and drink all day
posted by nathancaswell at 6:24 AM on June 16, 2011 [23 favorites]


First of all, Vancouver played like crap last night. It was obvious that Boston showed up thinking they could win, and while Vancouver would show flashes of brilliance, they couldn't keep anything going for more than a minute or two. On the power play opportunity they had in the second period to reduce the deficit to 1 goal, they allowed a shorthander. A disgrace.

Secondly, after Boston won, the fans in the arena were totally classless. After Tim Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP of the playoffs, chants of "Tim, you suck" were heard, and Bettman could barely be heard over the loud boos. Then people started throwing things on the ice. It was at this point I thought, "man, there is going to be some crazy rioting in Vancouver tonight".

I think if Vancouver had lost 3-2 or 1-0 in overtime or something like that, we wouldn't be seeing this. Part of it is that Henrik Sedin (the captain for the Canucks) had pretty much guaranteed a win; then no one on his team showed up to play.
posted by King Bee at 6:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least in Montreal, we riot after we win.

But then, we win more.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's no better way to document a young man's retreat from adulthood, than a photo of him throwing the goat in front of an overturned, burning car.
posted by davebush at 6:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was in Chicago in 1996 the night the Bulls won the NBA championship. Parts of the city were shut down - riot cops at major intersections and so on. We were at a restaurant somewhere in the Loop and knew that Something Had Happened when many, many cars out front started honking their horns. I believe that, the previous year, when the Bulls won, shit went up in flames (because how else are you supposed to celebrate, right? I never understood that), hence the Cops Everywhere approach in '96. It seemed to work.
posted by rtha at 6:27 AM on June 16, 2011


Always makes me proud to be a NYer that even when we lose we don't fucking riot in the streets like a bunch of babies. I mean, they were throwing soda bottles on the ice and booing like crazy after the game. Yeah, as if the Canucks even scored a goal? Fuck you, Vancouver, you suck! I hate Boston but I can stand behind the Bruins for playing an amazing series. Hell yeah.
posted by ReeMonster at 6:27 AM on June 16, 2011


There's no better way to document a young man's retreat from adulthood, than a photo of him throwing the goat in front of an overturned, burning car.

Riot sex is right up there with fugitive sex, I'll bet.
posted by Trurl at 6:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


King Bee: "First of all, Vancouver played like crap last night. It was obvious that Boston showed up thinking they could win, and while Vancouver would show flashes of brilliance, they couldn't keep anything going for more than a minute or two."

Vancouver outshot the Bruins in every period, and in the game 37-21. The difference was the goalies -- Thomas was magnificent, Luongo was mediocre.
posted by Plutor at 6:30 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


And yet the UFC event went off in Vancouver on Saturday without a hitch.
posted by frenetic at 6:31 AM on June 16, 2011


And yet the UFC event went off in Vancouver on Saturday without a hitch.

People! You can't fight in here, this is the UFC!
posted by ShutterBun at 6:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


Huh, I'm more used to places rioting after a win. (See especially Morgantown, West Virginia after any major WVU win.) Though at least rioting after a loss is slightly more understandable (while still idiotic and detestable, of course).

(And as I type, I'm on the train in to work in a building a few blocks away from where the Mavericks victory parade will end. Mavs fan are filling the trains like crazy. It should be interesting!)
posted by kmz at 6:35 AM on June 16, 2011


I must admit I feel a bit of schadenfreude whenever things get a little less lotus-y in Lotusland. Usually this is just occasioned by Vancouver getting a lousy weather forecast while the rest of us slogging away in the east are basking in sunshine, but seeing a significant chunk of the city disgrace themselves so abjectly kind of does it for me too.
I would have been happy to see it come back to Canada for once, but clearly the better team took home the cup. Anything else might have been worth rioting over.
posted by Flashman at 6:35 AM on June 16, 2011


nathancaswell: Anyone who doesn't see that sports are surrogate tribal war

Beats the hell out of actual tribal war.
posted by Kattullus at 6:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [21 favorites]


I had just assumed these were part of a Harper government sponsored program to increase National Pride.

/definitely anti-Harperist
posted by benito.strauss at 6:38 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let me be the first to say it: This seems so unCanadian.
posted by tommasz at 6:38 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Beats the hell out of actual tribal war.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge sports fan. I just see it for what it is.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:38 AM on June 16, 2011


Seeing this happen to my adopted home town just makes me so sad. Mrs Arcticseal said she thought it was virtually guaranteed to happen whatever the outcome of the game. I think there's just an element who wanted to kick off a riot and the Stanley Cup was an excuse.

I don't class Vancouver as a shit hole, it's one of the best cities I've ever lived in. Like all large cities it has it's share of problems, but they do some good work like the needle exchanges. I grew up in the Midlands in the UK and I'd rather live in Lotusland than back there anytime.
posted by arcticseal at 6:39 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


When Dallas won The Cup in Buffalo I was watching the game with a giant crowd in the minor league baseball stadium just down the street from where the game was happening at HSBC Arena. I am fairly certain no one rioted. I remember it more that everyone very quietly and dejectedly left their seats and filed out in almost complete silence.

That's not to say that rioting doesn't or wouldn't happen in Buffalo. A few weeks prior I was also part of a group of people who slept out in front of the Arena to get tickets for the Finals. The line moved approx. 10 people before they were sold out and then there was a mini riot. People tried to throw the police barricade through the glass doors. It escalated a bit more from there, but the crowd was too small for anything to get out of hand.
posted by ridiculous at 6:40 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, Vancouver...what happened? You used to be cool.

*shakes head sadly*
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:40 AM on June 16, 2011


Vancouver outshot the Bruins in every period, and in the game 37-21. The difference was the goalies -- Thomas was magnificent, Luongo was mediocre.

There's more to the game than simply shots on goal. If they're shooting right to the bread basket of an unscreened Thomas, well, it's just not going to go in (but indeed, Thomas was amazing). Totally lackluster play. No sense of urgency from the team when they were down 2 goals and on the power play.
posted by King Bee at 6:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are gonna be some great deals on shadily-sourced consumer electronics on vancouver.kijiji.ca now!
posted by mobunited at 6:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


People I know who have lived there refer to it as a "shithole", saying the natural setting is gorgeous but the city itself has very serious municipal logistical and maintenance problems, that it looks like it's actually falling down, and that it's very rough in terms of its drug culture and crime rates.

This statement bears little resemblance to reality.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:44 AM on June 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


I was on Robson the night the Canucks won the quarterfinal round, and the fans were loud, blowing horns and blasting music (most memorable: a white SUV full of guys in Sikh turbans, playing bhagra), screaming and whooping it up, but it was all in very high spirits. There was never the slightest implication things might turn ugly. Even the cops were chilled out, grinning and gesturing cars along when they dallied a little too long in the middle of the street to trade cheers with fans on the sidewalk.

In light of that I was half-hoping the fans would be above rioting this time. So... damn.
posted by ardgedee at 6:44 AM on June 16, 2011


Oh, Vancouver...what happened? You used to be cool.

This is completely untrue in every possible way that exists for a statement to be untrue.
posted by mightygodking at 6:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


the pride of Canada during the 2010 Olympics
Hope this isn't too much of a derail, but for a lot of Vancouverites, including this expat, "pride" and "Olympics" don't go well together. That was a debacle on a whole other scale.
posted by radiocontrolled at 6:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think this really has anything to do with hockey.

Was there riots the weeks leading up to the Stanley Cup?

You're probably right. Totally unrelated.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Secondly, after Boston won, the fans in the arena were totally classless. After Tim Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP of the playoffs, chants of "Tim, you suck" were heard, and Bettman could barely be heard over the loud boos.

In fairness, they were booing Bettman specifically. The fans muted the boos for the Bruins in general, and hometown boy Lucic got a nice ovation, but every time Bettman opened his mouth the boos were THUNDEROUS.

As well they should be.
posted by delfin at 6:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's more to the game than simply shots on goal.

This. Nobody on the ice for Van was moving with the urgency Marchand was, going into the corners, digging out pucks, fighting to beat icing and generally making plays on sheer hustle and intensity.

It looked like it would be Kesler for a bit. He was the fastest player on the ice during the 2nd period but his impact faded in the 3rd, to these eyes at least.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will let one of the NHL's deepest thinkers speak for me, here.

"It's hockey, you know? Is only game. Why you have to be mad?"
posted by cmyk at 6:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


Also Chara was smothering as usual.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:48 AM on June 16, 2011


@delfin: In fairness, they were booing Bettman specifically.

Yeah, Mrs. Citrus commented that, "It's good to know that the Canadians boo Bettman, too."
posted by Citrus at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why I didn't leave my apartment.
posted by monkeymike at 6:52 AM on June 16, 2011


cmyk, that was awesome. Who is that guy and what is he talking about?
posted by Aizkolari at 6:53 AM on June 16, 2011


Gary Bettman always gets booed.
posted by ridiculous at 6:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Women and children are literally being gunned down in the street and tortured in Syria for standing up against a dictator and their response is less violent then these fucking morons rioting
over a goddamn hockey game.


Get a little perspective will you? Sometimes it's not who loses, but who wins that sends men into the streets with bottles and fists.

They were beaten by a team from Boston. Living under a Syrian dictatorship is a holiday compared to the shame and humiliation of having been beaten in sport by a team from Boston.
posted by three blind mice at 6:56 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


flash bang nut shot
posted by phaedon at 6:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]



Remind you of anyone?


Why, yes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Beats the hell out of actual tribal war.

I dunno. A situation where large groups of working-class people destroy the property and livelihoods of large groups of other working-class people because one small group of millionaires did poorly in a meaningless event seems a good test run actual tribal war.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


There is a Hark, a vagrant! strip for everything.
posted by lydhre at 7:01 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Aizkolari, that's Ilya Bryzgalov, who is known for giving eccentric interviews. He makes jokes, quotes movies like 300, and generally cannot take things seriously.

I think that particular one was about when Chris Pronger refused to be traded to Edmonton which, everybody knows, is always cold like the North Pole.

It's worked its way into daily use, for me -- Why you have to be mad?
posted by cmyk at 7:01 AM on June 16, 2011


^Always makes me proud to be a NYer that even when we lose we don't fucking riot in the streets like a bunch of babies. I mean, they were throwing soda bottles on the ice and booing like crazy after the game. Yeah, as if the Canucks even scored a goal? Fuck you, Vancouver, you suck! I hate Boston but I can stand behind the Bruins for playing an amazing series. Hell yeah.

Yeah, enjoy that moral high ground - New York City had a riot over a Hanson concert.

(Disclaimer: I think riots for any reason other than insurrection are A-1 bullshit and a true waste of human potential, and even though I grew up in Edmonton in 99's glory days, I don't give a hoot about hockey.)
posted by gingerest at 7:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Aizkolari, that's Ilya Bryzgalov (formerly of my beloved Anaheim Ducks) talking about Chris Pronger's somewhat inglorious return to (play against) Edmonton (after requesting to be traded away).
posted by ShutterBun at 7:04 AM on June 16, 2011


I'm just tired of Boston fans draping themselves in this underdog image. In the last 10 years, they've won 7 championships across the 4 major sports leagues and one in each. New York, by comparison, has won 2.

When you've won a title in every league within a decade, you're not the underdogs anymore.
posted by dw at 7:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


I always suspect that sports riots say more about the municipality than about the citizens themselves (especially since the exact same thing happened 15 years ago and yet they still encouraged a massive congregation of people downtown). I don't follow sports much, but there's a reason why there were riots at an event like, say, Woodstock '99 that have little to do with the majority of the attendees.
posted by muddgirl at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just tired of Boston fans draping themselves in this underdog image.

Do we still do that? I feel like if anything what to hate about Boston fans is the sense of entitlement and outright arrogance... we treat each championship like it's manifest destiny at this point.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


There was a theory being thrown around late last night on CTV News Channel (before they switched to a taped broadcast at 12:30PST wtf?) that perhaps there were some "professional" agitators in the crowd. I balked - but pictures like this make me wonder.
posted by jeffmik at 7:08 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


When you've won a title in every league within a decade, you're not the underdogs anymore.

It's not that our sports teams are underdogs, it's that our city is. Mostly in the areas of pizza and bagels, from what I'm told.
posted by bondcliff at 7:08 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't really think anyone makes rioting a profession, but when I read that people were throwing firecrackers it's undeniable that some people showed up planning to make trouble...

...which something that the city should have and could have planned for.
posted by muddgirl at 7:12 AM on June 16, 2011


Look at those jokers glued to rioting over that damned hockey game.

-Joni Mitchell
posted by Danf at 7:14 AM on June 16, 2011


Why so many masks, gloves and bandanas? Who wears bandanas?
posted by jeffmik at 7:15 AM on June 16, 2011


With all due respect, I think that the comments to the effect of "why are they rioting over a stupid hockey game" miss the point. In the 1990s, Bill Buford spent a couple years trying to understand football hooliganism, and the result was his fabulous Among the Thugs. After spending time with a bunch of football hooligans, participating in several street fights/riots, and reading up on various theories about mob violence, he comes to a simple but chilling conclusion: people riot because its a catharsis, to vent generalized anti-social feelings, or simply because it feels good. The Canucks losing, or Manchester United winning, or the political topic du jour are just pretexts: rioting is fun. Or, as he puts it:

"I was surprised by what I found; moreover, because I came away with a knowledge that I had not possessed before, I was also grateful, and surprised by that as well. I had not expected the violence to be so pleasurable....This is, if you like, the answer to the hundred-dollar question: why do young males riot every Saturday? They do it for the same reason that another generation drank too much, or smoked dope, or took hallucinogenic drugs, or behaved badly or rebelliously. Violence is their antisocial kick, their mind-altering experience, an adrenaline-induced euphoria that might be all the more powerful because it is generated by the body itself, with, I was convinced, many of the same addictive qualities that characterize synthetically-produced drugs"
posted by googly at 7:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [35 favorites]


seeing a significant chunk of the city disgrace themselves so abjectly kind of does it for me too

It wasn't nearly a significant chunk of the city. I was there until the end and saw the majority of people leaving peacefully. To the person above who was wondering how people got out of the city without the bus or seabus, the city was still well-serviced by two different skytrain lines. In fact, when I walked into Waterfront station after the game, hundreds of people were waiting patiently in line to purchase tickets. Most of us remained entirely civilized.

That is not to defend the actions of those who did riot; completely disgraceful.

It's scary to look at evidence of just how much animals we all are, under the thin veneer of civilization.

I agree. I was in the outdoor crowd for a number of the games, and you'd get things like cries of "Show us your tits!!" every time a female went on someone's shoulders. Way too many "Fuck Tim Thomas"es for my liking (because, you know, the point of the game is to play well, and we were the ones not living up to our end of the deal). Throughout the entirety of game 7, bottles of urine were flung forward, hitting a number of people around me in the head. How could so many people have the idea that this is an ok thing to do?

Crowds are fascinating and terrifying.
posted by mantecol at 7:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


The photographers got a lot of really clear pictures of people in the act of committing crimes.I'd love to see Vancouver set up a web site with all the photos, and ask for the publics help in identifying the assholes.
posted by COD at 7:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not that our sports teams are underdogs, it's that our city is.

And our fans are merciless and forgetful. Best tweet I saw last night:
keithlaw: Of Boston's four major sports teams, none has gone longer without a championship than the Patriots.
posted by maryr at 7:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


When you've won a title in every league within a decade, you're not the underdogs anymore.


The Bruins hadn't won the cup since 1972, and hadn't been to the Stanley Cup finals since 1990. Sports talking heads have made much of this over the last couple of years, singling out the Bruins as underdogs. The narrative next year will probably be "Boston undefeatable sports juggernaut rah rah rah!"

(Yeah Bruins!)
posted by usonian at 7:21 AM on June 16, 2011


COD, I was thinking the same thing. With so many faces clearly visible, you'd imagine that some of these people are going to have bosses/coworkers recognize them. That might be why people carry bandanas, as questioned upthread.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 AM on June 16, 2011


I don't follow sports much, but there's a reason why there were riots at an event like, say, Woodstock '99 that have little to do with the majority of the attendees.

Bullshit. The reason municipalities or events need security and good logistics and riot preparedness is because people en masse are thugs and morons. You add alcohol into the mix and voila. It IS people. I bet if you had 30,000 senior citizens jammed into a Neil Sadaka concert you'd have a riot eventually if it weren't for the bad hips and narcolepsy.
posted by spicynuts at 7:22 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd love to see Vancouver set up a web site with all the photos, and ask for the publics help in identifying the assholes.

There is a facebook group inviting people to post photos of the riots. I browsed it for a few minutes this morning. The comments on the photos are a good place to spot the No True Scotsman fallacy in its natural habitat.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:22 AM on June 16, 2011


It's not that our sports teams are underdogs, it's that our city is. Mostly in the areas of pizza and bagels, from what I'm told.

You've got clam chowder locked up, though. That crap with tomatoes is not chowder. Period.

Okay, yes, I did grow up IN New England before moving to New York, but still. That Manhattan stuff just plain is not chowder.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Secondly, after Boston won, the fans in the arena were totally classless. After Tim Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP of the playoffs, chants of "Tim, you suck" were heard, and Bettman could barely be heard over the loud boos. Then people started throwing things on the ice. It was at this point I thought, "man, there is going to be some crazy rioting in Vancouver tonight".

Other people have touched on this, but again, this happens every year when Lord Stanley's Cup is giving out. Booing Bettman is a tradition like the captain being the first to hoist the cup or singing the national anthem before the game. It's unfortunate that carried over some into the Boston celebration, the fans were generally well-behaved when their boos weren't directed towards Bettman.

I'm just tired of Boston fans draping themselves in this underdog image.

On paper, the Canucks should have blown Boston away. Vancouver was one of the best offensive and defensive teams in the league. I believe they both scored the most goals and allowed the least. They won the President's Trophy by a significant margin. So, yes, Boston was most definitely the underdog in this series.
posted by jmd82 at 7:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I lived in Vancouver (Burnaby, actually) for 8 months while working on a little project for EA Canada.

Vancouverites are the nicest people on the surface of the Earth.

Sorry, I need to add puncutation to that:

Vancouverites are the nicest people on the surface, of the Earth.
posted by andreaazure at 7:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [19 favorites]


Vancouver's got quite the bourgeois anarchist contingent, no? You know, smashing in the windows of the local Sears and stealing t-shirts as a protest against the industrial-capital-communitarian-fascist state, that kind of thing. When you live in a beautiful wealthy city with decent public transportation, healthcare, and good weed, you gotta rage about something.
posted by Nelson at 7:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


The reason municipalities or events need security and good logistics and riot preparedness is because people en masse are thugs and morons.

No, a tiny percentage of people are thugs and morons. Those people can be directed and controlled. I know this because I've been to several events where someone tried to start trouble, only to be overwhelmed by a trained and prepared security force.
posted by muddgirl at 7:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, a tiny percentage of people are thugs and morons... and the rest of us are prone to depersonalization (something else which can be combatted by thoughtful event planning).
posted by muddgirl at 7:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


After some riot in Montreal, the police put up photos taken during the riots and asked the public to identify the vandals (and perhaps also to put up their own photos if they were useful). As I recall, this was reasonably successful.
posted by jeather at 7:32 AM on June 16, 2011


This also happened after the ALCS '04 riots when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the run up to their first World Series win in 86 years.
posted by maryr at 7:36 AM on June 16, 2011


This is so disappointing it's unbelievable, but win or lose, I feel like the same thing would have happened. People showed up to watch the game and got drunk, already having decided they were going to cause a Youtube-able spectacle one way or another. Fuck the hooligans. (Also, fuck the people taking pictures of themselves in front of fires, fights, and broken windows.)

Things could have been so different. I was living in Calgary when they got to the Stanley Cup final five or six years ago. I had spent the evening at a friend's place watching game 7, and after the Flames lost to Tampa, I got on the train to make the long trip back down home in the south end of the city. My route took me through downtown and past the station next to the Saddledome. We picked up a few homebound fans in Kensington and a few more in downtown. They'd enter the train wearing Flames jerseys, all a bit drunk. They were disappointed for sure, but would jump in the train and cheer. Those of us already in the train would cheer back. The Flames lost, sure, but nobody seemed too angry about it. We'd sort of sit and smile at each other, and chat about how much it sucked that the Flames lost.

I don't remember whether game 7 was at the Saddledome or whether the place had just been opened up to people to watch the game on the big screen there together, but either way it was full. As my train headed out of downtown and through the tunnel that would take it to the Saddledome, it slowly came to a halt underground, just a hundred meters or so from the platform. An announcement came on telling the passengers that the platform at the next station was overflowing, and that we had to wait in the tunnel until it was safe to proceed.

A minute or two passed, and I waited in the train, which had gone quiet because it's never fun to be stuck underground in a train. From inside the tunnel, I started hearing singing. The people who filled the platform of the next station, and there must have been hundreds of them, were singing O, Canada. I sat there listening in silence, completely taken aback by what I was hearing. I'm hardly patriotic at the best of times and I'm not the biggest fan of Calgary, city or team, but I remember clapping and cheering with the other people in the train when they finished the anthem. Even after losing the Stanley Cup, people in Calgary felt ok, happy even. I'm not confident things would turn out the same, if the Flames had been in the Canucks place this year, but it's nice to think that it once happened.

Calgary's not the best city for so many reasons, but when the people living there had the chance, they lost the Stanley Cup with grace, and it became a moment for people to feel like they'd been through something significant together. Sports at its best, I think.
posted by mariokrat at 7:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [19 favorites]


People put tomatoes in chowder? I grew up in NH, lived in Boston for years before moving to NYC in 2003. It has never occurred to me to order chowder outside of New England.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:39 AM on June 16, 2011


Go Wanderers!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:40 AM on June 16, 2011


This is no excuse, but I'm positive part of this happened because of Boychuk's awful hit on Raymond and no discipline from the NHL. That was hideous.
posted by FunkyStar at 7:40 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vancouverites are working Facebook to ID the thugs.

It's a social media world.
posted by warbaby at 7:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


More proof Vancouver is North America's most European city.

People put tomatoes in chowder? I grew up in NH, lived in Boston for years before moving to NYC in 2003.

The thing called "Manhattan Clam Chowder" is an abomination against God and man. I assume the tomatoes hide some of the mistakes.

Boychuk's awful hit on Raymond and no discipline from the NHL. That was hideous.

Uhm, no. Sucks that he was in that position and Boychuck took him into the boards, but I don't think anyone outside of Vancouver thinks that's a dirty hit. Even if it was, the Canucks seemed to even things out last night.
posted by yerfatma at 7:43 AM on June 16, 2011


the point of the game is to play well, and we were the ones not living up to our end of the deal

Favorited for being a really eloquent way of putting it. Well said.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:44 AM on June 16, 2011


This also happened after the ALCS '04 riots when the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the run up to their first World Series win in 86 years.

My wife pointed out this morning that the chances of a riot this time were slim because the college students are gone for the summer.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:47 AM on June 16, 2011


The facebook page is interesting because most of the posters/identifiers are women and all the rioters are men. Did anyone see a female rioter in all those clips? What does this mean? Women are calling out men's thuggish behavior after the fact. I don't think this a trend.
posted by Xurando at 7:48 AM on June 16, 2011


Damn. I was on some of those streets having drinks after game 5 last friday. Glad my trip wasn't postponed until this week.
posted by chundo at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2011


Did anyone see a female rioter in all those clips?

yes
posted by nathancaswell at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I assumed that the person on the left of this photo was a woman, but I could be wrong.
posted by muddgirl at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2011


I'm gonna delude myself into believing that the rioters are from surrey and beyond.
posted by captaincrouton at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have we not learned from the Stanley Cup riots of '94?

Apparently there was a lot more looting this time around, so some people did learn something, yes.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:51 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Those look like Surrey folk to me.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This picture is amazing.

Wow, it sure is. I've never seen anything that reminds me so much of this Antonio López García painting.
posted by invitapriore at 7:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


The only thing I know about Vancouver is that crack shack or mansion? website. Goddamn your real estate prices are crazy.
posted by desjardins at 7:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is no excuse, but I'm positive part of this happened because of Boychuk's awful hit on Raymond and no discipline from the NHL. That was hideous.

What? No. That Raymond was injured is the very unfortunate consequence to a pretty standard hockey hit.
posted by lydhre at 7:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once the Canucks started losing, families in the "fan zones" started leaving. This left Vancouver in pretty much the same situation as 1994 - drunks looking to vent. I was kind of surprised to see that the police didn't have more cops on the ground in that area, but of course they had a lot of ground to cover, especially in the Granville district where all the bars are (an area that had no trouble).

No question a lot of people came down specifically to cause problems. Would it have happened if we'd won? Seems less likely. That having been said, some people here are making it sound like this was Watts in '65 or something.

I dunno, I'm a lifelong Vancouverite and I'm hard-pressed to say I'm ashamed or embarrassed or anything along those lines. Those people aren't me & they're not the city.

I bet "fan zones" will be out the door next cup run.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:54 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


jeffmik: I balked - but pictures like this make me wonder.

So the Shadow Ninja Clan were to blame after all!
posted by Kattullus at 7:56 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


80 people riot at the G8/G20 protests, a few windows are smashed, a car is set on fire. Billions are spent, and people gloat how the treasonous protesters deserved all of the pain and humiliation that was brought on them all.

Thousands riot at the hockey game, many windows are smashed, many cars are destroyed. "Boys will be boys! Oh those passionate hockey fans!"
posted by Theta States at 8:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [20 favorites]


My wife pointed out this morning that the chances of a riot this time were slim because the college students are gone for the summer.

It wasn't college students. We knew there'd be a riot, win or lose, because outside of Vancouver proper, there are suburbs full of people who think of themselves very differently from Vancouverites. Surrey has the worst reputation *, but really this was suburban kids from all over getting drunk and bustin' shit up. From my balcony I can see BC Place a kilometer away, which is right next to Rogers Arean; the Skytrain line runs right past me, and the waterfront path from Rogers Arena to Main St. All I saw was clumps of people in Canucks jerseys walking quietly.

The riot occurred in a roughly four block area just west of Rogers Arena, where the CBC headquarters is and where a large-screen TV was put up for people to watch it on the street; Georgia St. was blocked off for it. That's the crowd that got drunk and rowdy. The burning car was in front of the post office headquarters across the street. There's nothing good about this, but it's hardly the shame of Canada either. It was contained, and there was a bit of property damage. It wasn't "Vancouver is burning!"

* I was eating on a street patio downtown when a jeep drove by slowly with four guys in it, one of whom mooned us. Someone yelled "Go back to Surrey!"

"WE'RE NOT FROM SURREY!" was the indignant reply.
posted by fatbird at 8:02 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Actually, invitapriore, this picture is more amazing. It's from G8 summit in Toronto last year and these are my friends. At least they were kissing for an event more important than hockey!
posted by Kitteh at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2011


Why so many masks, gloves and bandanas? Who wears bandanas?

I'll tell you who: a local group of 'anarchist' perpetual protesters and demonstrators who came to the event with the express purpose of starting a riot. They would have attempted this whether the Canucks had won or lost. The problem was that, as events turned out, their actions met a receptive crowd who were anxious, dismayed, and feeling at a loss. Unless you live in Vancouver you won't understand how everyone's emotions were tied into this series and ultimately this game. I regret to say it, but given all these factors, a riot was pretty much inevitable, in my opinion.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't have been shocked if there was a riotish hullaballoo when Winnipeg had its Welcome Back NHL rally last month; there was a handful of goobers in jerseys on the bus when I was going to work at two in the afternoon, openly drinking and already half in the bag. Not all sports fans are thugs and hooligans, but when you create an environment where getting as shit-faced as possible is condoned, I have difficulty being surprised when trouble breaks out around 'Designated Party Zone'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:04 AM on June 16, 2011


"Boys will be boys! Oh those passionate hockey fans!"

Who is saying "boys will be boys"?
posted by ShutterBun at 8:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Video of the 1994 Vancouver riots.
posted by Eyebeams at 8:07 AM on June 16, 2011


Turtles - as a Calgarian, I understand the emotions of a game 7 - we've been there.

Video of 2011 Vancouver looting.
posted by jeffmik at 8:12 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


canukz4life
posted by snofoam at 8:15 AM on June 16, 2011


FROM AN EMAIL I JUST SENT TO A FRIEND:

We Are All Canucks. Always hated that slogan.

The news this morning is all over the riot, of course, lots of talk of how "confused" everybody is about what happened.

Myself. I wish I was. Everybody talks about how great the Olympics were, streets packed with fans, everyone having a great time. But this was a hockey crowd, mostly male, young and drinking, with no other reason to be downtown than to go-off (hopefully in victory).

Jake was down there for the 1-0 win on Friday and he said it was just too intense for him, too much of a crush, TOO YOUNG. He split during the second period. Another friend who works for CBC and was in their mobile unit on Friday predicted to me that there would be nastiness last night, lose or win. The crowd was just too big, too ugly.

And meanwhile, leading up to the game, the city kept inviting more people downtown. Extra skytrains, extra buses added to get more people into the city center. So yeah, Stupidville Part 2.

Anyway, the best team won. Wish I was a Bruins fan. Dirtiness aside (and they were a f***ing dirty team), I'd be damned proud of my team and what they pulled off these play-offs.
posted by philip-random at 8:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This picture is amazing.
posted by empath


At least someone scored last night.
posted by Windigo at 8:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


It would have been nice had someone on the Vancouver side been in position to take a pass instead of spectating. Oh, and some defense would have been nice, instead of, what do they call it, "defence"?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:18 AM on June 16, 2011


the college students are gone for the summer

Absolutely right. Having lived through everything since 2001 and lived in the Fenway for most of the last decade, I can say without a doubt that the amount of people out last night paled in comparison to any post-season October. There were lines at the more popular spots in Faneuil Hall or on Boylston St., but the crowds were not of the majority college attendee type. It was much more of a localized atmosphere and not the anything-goes carnivals that I've seen in the past. Also, the game was away. When the Celtics finished off the hated Lakers at home in '08, it was a very different experience, but I'd attribute a lot of that to the combination of fan base and year-long hype of the Big Three.

And as much as I regard Mayor Menino's obfuscated social policies with a cockeyed view, I think he does a lot to temper the locals' emotions when it comes to these sort of things that may be harmful in the long run.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, invitapriore, this picture is more amazing.

With all due respect to your friends, the lying-on-the-concrete-fingering-in-the-midst-of-a-riot is the better picture.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


You gotta love Ashley Pehota (if you can find the screenshot of Brock Anton's FB status you'll see why).
posted by Eyebeams at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2011


"Boys will be boys! Oh those passionate hockey fans!"

Who is saying "boys will be boys"?


Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo Lola
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The globe and mail story has a sidebar that says: "Why fans riot - whether their teams win or lose". Just FYI, there's no rioting in Boston right now.

Also, a representative of the Vancouver police was interviewed by Boston's local NPR station yesterday, and he was surprisingly smug about how safe he thought having hundreds of thousands of fans in the streets would be. It really came off as "that sort of thing doesn't happen in Canada."

Oops.
posted by atbash at 8:27 AM on June 16, 2011


How about the guy in the white Canucks jersey in jeffmik's video trying to stop people from smashing the storefront windows?
posted by Eyebeams at 8:28 AM on June 16, 2011


Wish I was a Bruins fan. Dirtiness aside (and they were a f***ing dirty team)

Oh, stop it. Ask a neutral observer to count up the dirty plays and antics in this series, by team. I guarantee that the count will not wind up in favor of your argument.
posted by rollbiz at 8:31 AM on June 16, 2011


OMG watch the end of that video - the bald guy in the black shirt and hat. And then cry.
posted by Eyebeams at 8:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Neat photos, especially the kissing one. And even though it was a minority of the fans, it will be taken as typical of all, which is kind of sad.
posted by Forktine at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2011


nathancaswell: Anyone who doesn't see that sports are surrogate tribal war

Beats the hell out of actual tribal war.


This, for me, would be the crib-notes on pretty much all sports-fan-violence. The downside of big deal team sports is that it encourages our tribalism, no question. The upside is that it funnels this tribalism into something essentially trivial. Better to HATE on some guy in a Bruins jersey than THE JEWS. Better not to hate at all, of course, but we're talkin' about drunk humans here.
posted by philip-random at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


When you've won a title in every league within a decade, you're not the underdogs anymore.

Oh, absolutely. I just knew the Bruins were going to win, because in 2004 the Patriots forced Philly to blow all their time-outs at the end of the fourth quarter, so McNabb couldn't spare any time for a huddle, got sloppy and was intercepted with 9 seconds left in Superbowl XXIX. I mean, duh.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:46 AM on June 16, 2011


The idea of Boston sports fans having a sense of entitlement regarding championships truly only dates from 2004 onwards. A lifelong Bruins and Sox fan, while watching last night's game, I didn't really relax until the third goal was scored. Many of us still have the mentality that the game can be (and often is) blown in the last few minutes.
There is precedent for this anxiety.
Vancouver behaved badly, on and off the ice.
posted by pentagoet at 8:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we're lucky it was Boston that won- if it had been say, the Sharks, we'd be at war with Canada now, and Washington would be in flames again. "They don't even have any proper snow in California!"
posted by happyroach at 8:49 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


2004 the Patriots forced Philly to blow all their time-outs at the end of the fourth quarter,

Woah, woah, woah... I'm as big a Pats homer as they come, but Andy Reid is perfectly capable of squandering his timeouts on his own. It's WHAT HE DOES. IT'S ALL HE DOES!
posted by nathancaswell at 8:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Riots are strange places to be. I was in Seattle during the WTO riots, about 20 yards from where they first started using tear gas. I ended up stuck in my apartment for days because I was inside the restricted movement zone, and having just moved to Seattle, hadn't gotten an updated ID that showed I lived within the zone.

I had just left Pioneer Square square for Mardi Gras the year the rioters ended up killing a young man while police stood by and did nothing. Guys ripping off the shirts of women in the crowd and grabbing at their chests like crazed animals was my sign it was time to get out.

I was also in downtown Seattle the next year when they held a protest to mark the anniversary of the WTO. Somehow, with what seemed like much bigger crowds, there was no violence.
posted by nomisxid at 8:57 AM on June 16, 2011



Other people have touched on this, but again, this happens every year when Lord Stanley's Cup is giving out. Booing Bettman is a tradition like the captain being the first to hoist the cup or singing the national anthem before the game. It's unfortunate that carried over some into the Boston celebration, the fans were generally well-behaved when their boos weren't directed towards Bettman.


This is why I want to marry a Canadian and move to Canada. This. This. This. And curling.

I was laughing/crying so much during the presentation of the Conn Smythe trophy. The home crowd lost a heartbreaker and stayed to boo Bettman.

Anecdotally, Vancouver crushed my local team in '03 and I've always held a grudge, but staying in your own stadium after losing the cup solely to boo the ever-loving shit out of the commissioner?

I'm hoisting my Thursday morning coffee to you all. You deserve it.
posted by Sphinx at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Vancouverites are the nicest people on the surface, of the Earth.

Beware of the nice. They want to eat your brains.
posted by philip-random at 8:59 AM on June 16, 2011


I think riots are delightful, and every major city should have more of them. The tang of the sweaty, hate-fuelled mob, that with wild anger and arbitrary violence, courses like a rolling, rampaging lava-flow out of the mountain of human despair to gouge its way into the city, clawing with firey talons at civilization's false facade and obliterating the match-stick buildings of the bourgeoise with its awesome crushing weight ... Ah, that's the scent of TRUE humanity!

Of course, you prim snobfathers from Niceville-upon-Twee are all too busy tut-tutting to join in this carnival of molten flesh, this bacchanalia of freedom! I picture you all huddled in your thatched cottages, wimpishly mopping your riddled brows and fiddling with your bow-ties. By GOD you make me belch.

Well not I - as soon as I finish buffing my fingernails, I will pick out a fetching cravat, summon Chomondley, my carriage-man, to ready the chaise, and trot on down to join these charming fellows at their sport. I shall speak unto them with words of brotherhood, and perhaps they shall elect me their King, as I'm sure they shall be particularly impressed by my general deportment and the ruffle of my waistcoat. Toodle pip!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


I blame history. If there's a hockey riot in a city once, chances are there will be again. Every time Montreal is in the playoffs, the media are all like "are they going to riot again this year?" Same with Vancouver. It's like permission to go ape shit.
posted by aunt_winnifred at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought only European football hooligans did stuff like this. That's what I read on Metafilter.
posted by mr.marx at 9:06 AM on June 16, 2011


Look at the guy at the front of this picture - the one sticking his tongue out.

Remind you of anyone?


Yes?
posted by mazola at 9:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


People I know who have lived there refer to it as a "shithole", saying the natural setting is gorgeous but the city itself has very serious municipal logistical and maintenance problems, that it looks like it's actually falling down, and that it's very rough in terms of its drug culture and crime rates.

Your acquaintances maybe lived near certain areas in the East half of Vancouver. It really is somewhat of a tale-of-two-cities situation. With that in mind, outbursts like what happened yesterday aren't that incomprehensible.

It may be the most livable city in the world, but that doesn't mean it's the most exciting city nor has the least social ills.
posted by polymodus at 9:07 AM on June 16, 2011


I'm glad we can finally dispense with the myth that Canadians are noble and peaceful compared to their savage neighbors to the south.
posted by Renoroc at 9:09 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was downtown yesterday in the CBC plaza, where the riot started. Shortly before the game finished, I told my girlfriend we were leaving. The people in that crowd were too drunk, too stupid, and too angry. If it were individuals, that would be fine, but it wasn't. There were a lot of them. We walked west on Georgia. I saw black smoke billowing up out of the crowd behind us. A friend in the fray sent me a text, telling me a car was on fire. People were throwing bottles.

By this time, my girlfriend and I were a few blocks away from the beginnings of the carnage. We looked back and suddenly we saw a massive crowd of people stampeding directly toward us. We got out of the way and hid behind a building. The crowd never made it to where we were. We continued walking west, and we made our way north to the subway station. There were lots of police sirens and more and more black smoke rising over the buildings. We waited in one of the huge lines, got on the metro, and made our way home.

That friend who texted me stayed a while longer. He's a journalist. He got bloodied a bit, but he made it home okay, albeit a lot angrier and more disappointed in the people he had seen. Angry and disappointed: I think that sums it up.
posted by smorange at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Vancouverites are the nicest people on the surface, of the Earth.

What drugs are you on, and did you bring enough for everyone?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:17 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems silly to me. I mean, I've followed them ever since I adopted them as "my" team when I started following hockey about 20 years ago. Yet even to me it seemed pretty obvious that after game 6, game 7 would be a formality on the way to Boston hoisting the Cup. I wanted to believe, but not enough to riot when the inevitable disappointment set in. Kind of embarrassing but as a Cancucks / Cubs / Hotspur fan, I'm used to the snatching defeat from the jaws of victory part. Not so keen on the local fan base however.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you who: a local group of 'anarchist' perpetual protesters and demonstrators who came to the event with the express purpose of starting a riot. They would have attempted this whether the Canucks had won or lost.

I'm going with dudebros, actually. The guys in black were there, but they weren't the only ones taunting the cops and throwing bottles and dancing on burning cars and fighting. It wasn't anarchists stabbing Bruins fans and throwing them off bridges. They're probably going to be the scapegoats, but the truth is worse: a large portion of the City's young people were participating, encouraging and/or watching, and this is their idea of fun. "World Class."

I live in the middle of this craziness on the appropriately-named Homer Street. We saw this coming a mile away. Last night my mother-in-law decided to go to her Toastmasters meeting downtown despite our warnings. Right around the end of the game, we could smell burning cars and my wife got worried for her Mom (who has vision problems) so we decided we'd go get her and walk her home. The usual route home for her is over the Cambie bridge, and things were getting ugly around there so we decided to go via the Granville bridge instead. At the corner of Davie and Granville, I overheard a group of 3 young ladies excitedly discussing "going to the riot", and then walked towards it. Then a group of teenagers that overheard that exchange grinned and went in the same direction with huge smiles. From the bridge, still daylight, there were 2 large plumes of black smoke visible over downtown and 5 or more helicopters circling.

We got my mother in law home and decided to head back when we saw reports that they were closing the bridges. We took the Granville bridge again, walking against the flow of people out of downtown, and got stuck in wafting tear gas as we approached the end of the bridge. That was a first for me, my eyes and nose wouldn't stop running and the liquid coming out actually burned my skin. Further down Homer St towards our apartment, shirtless tattooed dudebros were kicking over mailboxes and people were carrying long orange pylons and laughing. Male and female, all drunk. It was dark by now. At home we watched on TV as the police were finally about to make their move on the last of the idiots near Robson Square. This thing was ugly but totally expected.

Anyways, good for Boston. They deserved that series, and Vancouver did not look like the same team that dominated in the regular season. Loved seeing one of my all-time fave players Chara lift the Cup. Man, Ottawa was so stupid to let that guy go. And the Tim Thomas story is just too good. I was rooting for the Canucks because the excitement was infectious in this playoff run, but to be honest they haven't been the most captivating bunch of players since I moved here 5 or so years ago.
posted by Hoopo at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I hope the crowd-sourced hooligan ID project nails a bunch of asses to the wall.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2011


I'm glad we can finally dispense with the myth that Canadians are noble and peaceful compared to their savage neighbors to the south.

Violence as a celebration of how pissed off we were is bad but hardly reflective of 9/10's of Vancouverites. PSU? KSU? Things burnt for every big huge game, win or lose. Its your celebration of violence , south of the border, that freaks me out a good deal more.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slackermagee, this thread is about how awful Canada is, not how awful the US is. Every other thread is for that.

How strange though, that the US should beat Canada in hockey while Canada beats us in rioting...
posted by Mister_A at 9:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I returned to Canada after living in Japan for 10 years, initially I always felt a little on-edge. There's an undercurrent of violence that permeates city life here. I've gotten used to it, but, then again, there's this total cognitive dissonance when you consider "Vancouver". Olympics! Bike lanes! Yoga wear! And then you realize the culture of gangsterism, fueled by the drug trade, that is tolerated and even venerated in Vancouver suburban youth culture.

Blend that with 100,000 drunk people coming out to support a sport that condones, and, let's face it, celebrates dirty hits that leave players with lifelong disabilities such as concussions and broken backs... Why wouldn't there be a riot?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I blame Harper.
posted by mazola at 9:40 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


but staying in your own stadium after losing the cup solely to boo the ever-loving shit out of the commissioner?

It is also fairly common to stay and cheer for the winner, even if it wasn't your team. Calgary fans stood and applauded the Canadiens while they hoisted the Cup and skated on our ice in 1986; in 1989, when Calgary won the Cup in the Montreal Forum, the Montreal fans stayed and applauded as well.

Booing Bettman is a rich tradition, but so is staying for the presentation of the Cup and acknowledging the champs. It looked to me like quite a few Canucks fans in the stands did that last night as well.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you spend that much on tickets, you're gonna ride it out to the bitter end!
posted by Pomo at 9:43 AM on June 16, 2011


If it's any consolation I just had the following phone conversation with a friend:

HIM: Hey, congrats on the Bruins!
ME: Thanks!
HIM: You were better than the Canadians.
ME: Yeah. Our Canadians were better than their Canadians.




yes, I realize T.T. is American...
posted by nathancaswell at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Booing Bettman is a rich tradition, but so is staying for the presentation of the Cup and acknowledging the champs. It looked to me like quite a few Canucks fans in the stands did that last night as well.

Indeed, credit where it's due. In particular, there was a ton of applause for Recchi (retiring Bruin) and Lucic (Vancouver native).

Not to mention that even though things didn't go your way, you are in the same arena as the Stanley Freaking Cup!
posted by rollbiz at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011


It would be nice for GM of the Canucks to come out and say something like this:
I came out here to apologize for letting down Vancouver and all our great fans, but you know what? Fuck that. Our fans let us down. We had a season that any other professional team would kill for, and how will it be remembered? Rioting. Burning cars. People stabbed and thrown off the viaduct. Thanks a lot, shitheels. Way to take a winning season and wipe your ass with it.
posted by fatbird at 9:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Spectacular Vancouver conquers itself

After the Stanley Cup riot of 1994, a Georgia Straight article, titled “Stupidville” pondered: “[Vancouverites] had better decide what we want this community to be about, besides pretty vistas when it doesn’t rain. What shared tasks can we undertake whose achievement will fill us with civic pride? What conditions are needed to come to unconditionally love this place, not for where it is, but for what it is?” But after 15 years of more pretty vistas and nature fetishism, we have failed to produce “something nobler than a mob heading to Stupidville,” as the Straight hoped.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rioter facebook fail. From the Vancouver 'post your photos and tag rioters' group.

Colour me not shocked, but incredibly disappointed. Watching the CBC live stream one of the journalists kept referring to "protestors", but if so what were they protesting? At least the black bloc has a cause. This just seemed pointless and senseless. One person said a lot of these guys were kids during the 1994 riot and wanted their turn. I think because there was a riot last time it became a possibility in people's minds and that helped make it happen. Hey, maybe we'll do it again next year and three times makes a tradition. Then rioting after we lose the cup will just be what you do.

This song has been in my head all day.

I was downtown shortly after the game, on my bike. Coming from the West End and headed east to go home, I heard buzzing rumours of cars flipped and on fire. I approached a swelling crowd on Seymour St that was moving fast in random directions. Suddenly they broke into a run directly at me. I turned and ran with them so as not to get knocked over. Then, a loud 'bang', presumably one of these flashbangs I heard about.

At the Dunsmuir viaduct I was near the main screen by the post office. I went a close enough to see the flames from the burning car. There were a lot of people there but the vast majority just milling around or taking photos. Two or three people started flipping portapotties. Some people cheered. They smashed a window at the post office and I decided to go home.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Indeed, credit where it's due. In particular, there was a ton of applause for Recchi (retiring Bruin) and Lucic (Vancouver native).


The cheers for Recchi were simply because he's also a BC native (Kamloops) and not due to any warm spirits Vancouverites have towards retiring Bruins generally.
posted by Pomo at 9:56 AM on June 16, 2011


Here's a photo of a young hockey fan lighting a rag stuffed in the gas tank of a police car. Nice shoes, bro.
posted by Nelson at 10:02 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Holy shit philip-random, that article is so on point:

Our “leaders” had reveled as young men and women over-consumed alcohol and representations of violence. And now those same leaders feign surprise, shame, and disgust as the cycle of consumption and powerlessness draws to its logical conclusion in tonight’s auto-conquest. Many sitting at home, their gazes fixed on the spectacle, do not like what they see reflected back at them. In denial, they construct mythologies, pretending that the rioters are exogenous, and few in number. The simple truth is that we all saw this coming. The reality is that the rioters were Vancouverites, and the spectacle they created accurately represented the values of a hedonistic Lotus Land, unchanged since 1994.
posted by Hoopo at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the news, I saw a homeless man binning while suburban kids and frat boys were looting a jewelry store in the background. Binning: he was picking up cans off the street for pennies each when lugged to a recycling depot, doing honest work for less than minimum wage in the midst of a riot.

I'd like us to keep that in mind next time we talk about the lazy poor.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [31 favorites]


The cheers for Recchi were simply because he's also a BC native (Kamloops)

Right on, sorry. I'm thinking through a fog of sleep deprivation and series fatigue, with a dollop of hangover on top.
posted by rollbiz at 10:07 AM on June 16, 2011


Throughout the evening I was, on several occasions, a couple feet away from dozens of people smashing, looting, and burning cars. With a few exceptions they were all very young, very well-dressed, and very white. Those jerseys aren't cheap!
posted by Pomo at 10:08 AM on June 16, 2011


Here's a photo of a young hockey fan lighting a rag stuffed in the gas tank of a police car. Nice shoes, bro.

Someone needs a lawyer, I suspect.
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on June 16, 2011


The simple truth is that we all saw this coming. The reality is that the rioters were Vancouverites, and the spectacle they created accurately represented the values of a hedonistic Lotus Land, unchanged since 1994.

Fee Fi Fo Fum
I smell the blood of violence to come
I smell the smoke that hangs in the air
Of buildings burning everywhere;
Even the rats abandon the city
The situation is being studied by a crisis committee.
posted by happyroach at 10:21 AM on June 16, 2011


Holy shit philip-random, that article is so on point:

Yeah, thanks for excerpting a more succinct fragment. I found it while searching for the original Georgia Straight STUPIDVILLE article (published in summer 1994), which I remember reading all those years ago, and yes, it made an impact. In fact, amongst some in my crowd, Stupidville became the nom de plume for Vancouver, reflective of our love-hate for our hometown which, let's face it, was little more than a backwater, full of brawling off-duty fishermen, miners and lumberjacks as little as fifty years ago.

Welcome to the Paris of the Pacific Northwest.
posted by philip-random at 10:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


They used to riot at the opera. Regularly. To change house policy or in support of their favorite actors. In start of revolution. And the ballet wasn't any more peaceful. It's a sad day when hockey fans have become as violent as opera buffs.
posted by stavrogin at 10:34 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Usually when I see photos of rioters wearing hoodies and bandannas over their face, with backpacks, they're the instigators. They came prepared to riot and incite destruction, covering up their identities. Later they reach into their backpacks and change into a new set of clothes, walking away like they weren't involved.

I hate those guys. I think people in general aren't particularly violent, but when gathered in a crowd, that "mob mentality" takes over and one smashed window or one overturned postbox becomes the catalyst for insanity. And these people in black know this.

I'm sure most who've recovered from their hangovers might start to wonder why they actually did all this, over a hockey game. Maybe some won't. But during the moment the energy of the crowd drives people to do crazy things, especially when they see other people doing it, too. Someone mentioned up-thread that these instigators (black bloc or some group emulating them) showed up with the explicit intent to start a riot, and I believe they're the real reason why "Vancouver is burning."
posted by CancerMan at 10:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a life-long Vancouverite, this doesn't have anything to do with hockey.

Every year we have a summer fireworks thing spread out over several days - it used to be called "Symphony of Fire", now I think it's "Celebration of Light" or some other interchangeable thing. Anyway, when I was a kid, this event was really about the fireworks. And as I went through my teenage years, I watched it become this thing where busloads of kids would come in from the suburbs and get absolutely wasted. Throwing-up-on-the-bus shitshows. And then as time went on it transitioned neatly from "kids coming into Vancouver to get obliterated-drunk" to "kids coming into Vancouver to start fights". Each year, for a little while, there were increasing tales of random violence, and it fed back into itself, in that as the fireworks' reputation for being a violent night grew, more people came with that intent.

This is the same thing. I knew this would happen (we all did, I think). Because the '94 riots had set the stage. There were interviews before the game with people "hoping for another '94". And it's sad and stupid and I'm ashamed and angry.

My belief that it's kids from the suburban areas, largely, is anecdotal, but this anecdote has been confirmed by multiple data sources. (And I'm speaking as a former suburbanite). But I think it has something to do, maybe, with growing up in a place that's boring, in growing up in a place that's seen as not-as-hip as downtown (like we all feel about all suburban areas), and growing up in a place where you're never anonymous. So they have this opportunity to go downtown, and release all this shit, in the one place where they feel invisible.

I also wonder how much of this has to do with it being illegal to drink in public in Vancouver. I live near the beach, and all summer, every day, I watch these stupid fucking cops (I don't think cops are actually stupid; I think the policy that they do this is stupid) drive up and down the beach on ATVs and bust people for drinking. It annoys the shit out of me because it seems like such a waste of police resources, and because I'm not wealthy enough to afford a place with a yard, and it pisses me off that I don't have the right to go have a beer in the sunshine. And I guess this sounds like it's neither here nor there but to me there's maybe a connection worth investigating here: would these people act like such shitheads on this occasion if it wasn't such a special event?

Errors, in my amateur view, that the city made: I think having the large mob-friendly outdoor viewing area was a bad idea. I was downtown around 3 and heard people saying bars were lining up at noon already. Would this have happened if there was nowhere in the core for a mob to watch the game? Was pre-forming a mob a good idea when every resident was worried this was going to happen? And: I know shit-all about law enforcement but I feel like the cops not reacting strongly once they started torching cop cars was the signal to the mob that they could really push this. They should have just fucking gassed everyone at this point.*

*I'm not really proposing this but I wish this had been a viable option.

I'm mad at my city.

Oh, and that "Vancouver as shithole" thing is total bullshit. And I don't really like Vancouver, but I don't like it because it's culturally kind of bland. The "everything is falling apart" thing is just not true.

I should proofread this but I'm at work and have spent enough time on this; apologies in advance.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'll tell you who: a local group of 'anarchist' perpetual protesters and demonstrators who came to the event with the express purpose of starting a riot.

Give me a fucking break. Were you even there? I was. This was not provoked by anarchists. Nelson's picture of a guy in the act of torching a cop car is representative. The guy waving the RIOT 2011 sign (self-link) was a sports fan with slicked-back hair and Oakleys who came downtown because he wanted to break shit. It was ordinary drunken assholes, not anarchists, that I saw knocking over portapotties, smashing windows, lighting fires in garbage cans, chanting "FUCK THE POLICE!" and throwing stuff at riot cops. Not to mention the thousands of young people in hockey jerseys who cheered when things started going up in flames, or who stood in front of the wreckage to get their pictures taken by their friends. I don't doubt there were actual anarchists there -- wannabe insurrectionaries aren't going to stay away from a riot -- but last night's crowd didn't need a half-dozen professional protesters to get them to start rioting.
posted by twirlip at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'll tell you who: a local group of 'anarchist' perpetual protesters and demonstrators who came to the event with the express purpose of starting a riot.

I've been in a riot that was started by an anarchist group -- and it wasn't prompted by a sporting event, but rather by a political event. I honestly don't see what the political message would be from starting a riot over sports.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Usually when I see photos of rioters wearing hoodies and bandannas over their face, with backpacks, they're the instigators...these instigators (black bloc or some group emulating them) showed up with the explicit intent to start a riot, and I believe they're the real reason

They were no doubt among the rioters, but a lot of the photos I've seen show more people with t-shirts and towels covering their faces instead of bandanas and black hoodies. Everyone wears hoodies. The hard to swallow fact of the matter is that this is your town, and your town's people that did this.
posted by Hoopo at 10:57 AM on June 16, 2011


Was pre-forming a mob a good idea when every resident was worried this was going to happen?

I don't think allowing fan zones was the bad idea. What they should have done, though, is to have every cop in the city in uniform milling with them. You can see in the photos that it's a bunch of drunks enjoying some consequence-free destruction. Had there been a heavier police presence and had they immediately shut down an locuses of destruction, it would have dispersed much more easily.

I was in Montreal in '95 during the referendum on independence that was lost 50.5 to 49.5. My friends and I went to the No headquarters on St. Catherines, expecting to see a crowd. The Montreal police had formed a riot-squad barrier around the entrance, and there was a large crowd milling around by them. Right next to me, a young Yes supporter jumped onto a car's roof and starting jumping and down. Instantly four plainclothes cops grabbed him and frogmarched him off. There was just this atmosphere in the crowd that no shit would be tolerated, that the cops were all right there to grab anyone who started anything, and it was largely peaceful over all.
posted by fatbird at 11:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Give me a fucking break. Were you even there? I was. This was not provoked by anarchists. Nelson's picture of a guy in the act of torching a cop car is representative. The guy waving the RIOT 2011 sign (self-link) was a sports fan with slicked-back hair and Oakleys who came downtown because he wanted to break shit. It was ordinary drunken assholes, not anarchists, that I saw

And yet Mayor Gregor Robertson insists that it was a minority of troublemakers, rather than sports fans, that caused all the mayhem.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:03 AM on June 16, 2011


"This picture is amazing" pic may have been staged. Looks like it.
posted by gerryblog at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


And yet Mayor Gregor Robertson insists that it was a minority of troublemakers, rather than sports fans, that caused all the mayhem.

I see no reason to believe that both Mayor Robertson is correct about this being provoked by a minority, and others in here are also correct about those "troublemakers" not necessarily being anarchists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:06 AM on June 16, 2011


The only reason why there was no rioting in Boston was that after '04 and a fan was killed, the city realized they couldn't afford any more lawsuits so they sent tons of police officers, many in riot gear, to patrol the city. Last night all the streets near the Garden, as well as Fenway Park and other locations for that matter, were closed off with the cops politely telling people to move along.

They also told all bars to stop serving after the second period, and that they must black out their windows, to prevent outside fans from seeing the outcome. (Normally, bars are required to have their windows clear, so that cops can monitor what's going on inside.) Nobody could've started a riot even if they wanted to.
posted by Melismata at 11:06 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


twirlip: Please note that what you quoted was my response to the question "Why so many masks, gloves and bandanas? Who wears bandanas?". You're right, I wasn't there, but it's clear to me from what I've seen reported that the fires were started very early in the process, suggesting that some group of people wanted to get the riot started. Doesn't really matter, I guess, who started it, as the rest of the damage was gleefully wrought mostly by well dressed kids. Like this hard-core young gangbanga.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:08 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Was there riots the weeks leading up to the Stanley Cup? You're probably right. Totally unrelated.

@cjorgensen What a ridiculous claim. The sport of hockey had absolutely nothing to do with what we saw in Vancouver last night. Here's a stronger correlation: poor grammar and poorer arguments.
posted by wensink at 11:08 AM on June 16, 2011


I don't doubt there were actual anarchists there -- wannabe insurrectionaries aren't going to stay away from a riot -- but last night's crowd didn't need a half-dozen professional protesters to get them to start rioting.

Maybe. Maybe not.

But either way, if you're looking to effectively apportion blame, I'd be looking not at the alleged matches that set the fire, but the idiots that spilled all the gasoline in the first place. In other words, who thought it was a remotely good idea to encourage a hundred thousand plus young, mostly male, often drunk hockey fans to all jam together downtown?

That's One Hundred Thousand people. Plus. With nothing to do.

Even if half of them weren't the stereotype I just described, that still leaves more than 50,000 ... and short of maybe ten thousand cops already in position as the crowd began to form, it was always going to be some kind of mob that was going to be answering to directives beyond anyone's ability to really comprehend.
posted by philip-random at 11:11 AM on June 16, 2011


From the Globe and Mail:
The mayhem we witnessed in the downtown core Wednesday evening and into the early hours of today was not the work of a few bad apples. There are thousands of people who are culpable for what happened – thousands.
posted by bonehead at 11:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every year we have a summer fireworks thing spread out over several days - it used to be called "Symphony of Fire", now I think it's "Celebration of Light" or some other interchangeable thing. Anyway, when I was a kid, this event was really about the fireworks. And as I went through my teenage years, I watched it become this thing where busloads of kids would come in from the suburbs and get absolutely wasted. Throwing-up-on-the-bus shitshows. And then as time went on it transitioned neatly from "kids coming into Vancouver to get obliterated-drunk" to "kids coming into Vancouver to start fights". Each year, for a little while, there were increasing tales of random violence, and it fed back into itself, in that as the fireworks' reputation for being a violent night grew, more people came with that intent.

I can second the whole thing about the issues around the fireworks in Vancouver (the Celebration of Light). I live in one of the areas near the beaches and I bloody dread the fireworks each year, because I know that the cops vanish almost right after they're over and I'll be listening to drunk people screaming at each other and fighting till well into the early hours.

As for the riot, it's bloody depressing - almost as depressing as the way the Canucks played. On Tuesday when I was buying beer at the government liquor store and asked when they would close on Wednesday, the guy answered '4 o'clock. Right before the riot starts.' Turns out he was only off by a few hours.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2011


Our “leaders” had reveled as young men and women over-consumed alcohol and representations of violence. And now those same leaders feign surprise, shame, and disgust as the cycle of consumption and powerlessness draws to its logical conclusion in tonight’s auto-conquest.

Oh, the wankery! Rioting in response to a sports game is deplorable, but the hand-wringing this morning is making my hangover even worse. Everyone seems to want to make grand pronouncements about the nature of team sports or city governance or whatever, when it's just a couple dozen drunken 19 year old boys lighting shit on fire and a gawking mob watching it. The whole "this is what we get for watching hockey" or "this is what we get for having fan zones" attitude is infuriating. Drunk young men have been fucking things up pretty much since alcohol was around. Stop conflating it with some broader message.

I loved the run-up to the Cup this year. There has been a real sense of community on the streets of Vancouver for weeks now. Food and beverage establishments have been booming, families gathered together in the streets around the Lower Mainland in Fan Zones. People held amateur fireworks shows after good games, or bought each other drinks when we lost.

There is nothing wrong with young men and women consuming alcohol and watching some sports. It is a distinctly different activity from going crazy and lighting things on fire.
posted by jess at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anarchists?

There are sports-related riots pretty often* (especially if you count college sports championships), and they are started by drunken fratboy assholes. I find it hard to believe that Vancouver is so special - much as I love you, and I do, Vancouver! - that their sports-related riot was started by anarchists.

*i.e. more than once a decade, somewhere
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's clear to me from what I've seen reported that the fires were started very early in the process, suggesting that some group of people wanted to get the riot started. Doesn't really matter, I guess, who started it, as the rest of the damage was gleefully wrought mostly by well dressed kids.

Thanks, Turtles. I agree with what you say here. I just don't like to see anarchists being wrongly blamed for this, especially when the police chief is already scapegoating them.
posted by twirlip at 11:17 AM on June 16, 2011


"This picture is amazing" pic may have been staged. Looks like it.

I don't think so. I think she probably fell or got hit by something and they're checking on her? I don't know whether that pic was before or after the other one.
posted by empath at 11:18 AM on June 16, 2011


Everyone seems to want to make grand pronouncements about the nature of team sports or city governance or whatever, when it's just a couple dozen drunken 19 year old boys lighting shit on fire and a gawking mob watching it

I thought it was a comment about people like Gregor Robertson trying to shift blame.

it's clear to me from what I've seen reported that the fires were started very early in the process


Yep. I may be mistaken, but I recall I was smelling something burning from home possibly before the game was even over, or else very shortly after.
posted by Hoopo at 11:22 AM on June 16, 2011


Drunk young men have been fucking things up pretty much since alcohol was around.

The majority of public events which involve drunk young men do not end with riots. Why this one?
posted by muddgirl at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2011


There was at least one large fire on Georgia by 8:30.
posted by twirlip at 11:26 AM on June 16, 2011


Also, CTV is reporting the first fire was actually someone burning a stuffed bear, and soon after the car was set on fire
posted by Hoopo at 11:32 AM on June 16, 2011


The majority of public events which involve drunk young men do not end with riots. Why this one?

People had been talking about the possibility of a riot for weeks. Everyone I know was making uneasy jokes about it, and there were plenty of "Will there be a riot? Remember '94!" stories in the media. I think it became a self-fulfilling prophecy -- some folks heard all the talk about a possible riot, concluded that it was going to happen, and headed downtown to participate, thus making it happen.
posted by twirlip at 11:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


From that Globe + Mail article:

From where I stood, amid the braying mob, the police did the best they could given they were massively outnumbered. They took action with some of those who were looting and car burning when they could get their hands on them. But charging into a crowd made up of thousands of people who were mostly onlookers was never going to be a winning strategy.

There are many who wish they’d had. And if some of those so-called innocent bystanders got hurt, if their curiosity cost them a broken arm or leg, well maybe that’s what they deserved for ignoring repeated police requests to go home.

But you can imagine the outrage that might have generated as well.

When it comes to riots, police are almost always in a lose-lose situation.


Four things come to mind.

1. I'm guessing that given their numbers, what the cops did last night was mostly faultless. They contained things somewhat. They didn't pour even more gasoline on the fire by getting overtly violent.

2. Why weren't there more cops there? Why did the RCMP need to be called in? Why was there not police presence throughout the crowd from the beginning?

3. I imagine there were some very interesting backroom cop-versus-city discussions at City Hall etc in advance of last night.

4. I find it odd that I'm more or less on the cops' side in all of this. Must be getting old.
posted by philip-random at 11:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


A little perspective.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


I find it odd that I'm more or less on the cops' side in all of this.

Yes. The VPD is awful. Stop making me love the VPD.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Blaming anarchists? What year is it, 1920?
posted by usonian at 12:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why weren't there more cops there? Why did the RCMP need to be called in? Why was there not police presence throughout the crowd from the beginning?

It may be because Vancouver was trying to save money on policing. Premier Christy Clark flatly refused to pay for extra policing costs, and I do recall watching Mayor Robertson remark on live TV at 11pm that Clark had not yet contacted him - there seems to have been some issues between Van and the provincial government about the playoff celebrations.

Plus, there's the entire idea of the the Christy Curse.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:02 PM on June 16, 2011


Philip, having been downtown a couple of times I've seen police all over the place, usually in little bunches of four or five. But the area we're talking about is massive. Even a hundred such bunches of four or five would be lost in the sea of people.

People had been asked what went wrong in 1994. Two things kept coming up: first, there was no order when the game ended and the mob just formed spontaneously where police were unprepared; second, the police waited until there was trouble before deploying, instead of making themselves known from the outset.

You can see these lessons in the response. The police are getting shit for not being there in string enough numbers and rightly so -- calling for backup from RCMP and suburban police forces is evidence of that, ideally these people should have been there and on the ground from the very beginning. But they were definitely there from the beginning. I saw riot police and dogs and heard flashbangs and smelled tear gas and this was MAYBE an hour after the game had ended. The fan zone allowed them to have some small measure of planning -- erecting crowd control fencing, deploying on the side streets during the game -- though it may have backfired in attracting more people downtown. Then again it's hard to say what would have happened with no fan zone. Would there have been fewer people downtown? Or similar numbers, but less controlled?

The decision to host a fan zone downtown will be debated for years, I'm sure. It would have been a glorious achievement for Vancouver had it all gone peacefully. The runup to the Cup has been exhilarating and there has been a unifying energy in the streets for weeks, and the downtown crowds have been a big part of that. This was an effort to not only recapture the positive energy from the Olympic crowds but to permanently stamp it into the identity of the city. Vancouver, a place where people gather and celebrate, where the civic space is for the public first and foremost, where the people take pride in their city and can be trusted. It would have been a lasting legacy. The biggest tragedy here is the death of this idea. Crowds of 100,000 celebrating in downtown Vancouver -- this will likely never be allowed to happen again. The city trusted us and we let them down.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:03 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


"This picture is amazing" pic may have been staged. Looks like it."

Apparently not:
The picture was shot as police were trying to control rioters after the Bruins defeated the home team 4-0. At first, photographer Richard Lam, who works for Getty Images, thought the woman was hurt and the guy was helping her out - that is, he says, until they started making out.
From The G&M again. It seems that the phtographer never spoke to the couple.
posted by bonehead at 12:13 PM on June 16, 2011


"Usually when I see photos of rioters wearing hoodies and bandannas over their face, with backpacks, they're the instigators. They came prepared to riot and incite destruction, covering up their identities. Later they reach into their backpacks and change into a new set of clothes, walking away like they weren't involved."

If you are going to riot, you must do so in style. Besides who wants there face plastered on tv the next day?
posted by handbanana at 12:18 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Vancouver riot picture everyone’s talking about
posted by zeikka at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh yeah? Well in my town a drunk guy vomited on someone. Clearly we have earned our reputation as by far the worst sports fans.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:26 PM on June 16, 2011


I would just like to remind Vancouver that Edmonton has won 5 Stanley Cups.



That is all.
posted by mazola at 12:29 PM on June 16, 2011


I would just like to remind Vancouver that Edmonton has won 5 Stanley Cups.

Yeah, but Edmonton's ... in the general vicinity of Edmonton.
posted by philip-random at 12:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The runup to the Cup

I read this on quick inspection as "The rump to the Cup." Which is how I will remember it.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:40 PM on June 16, 2011


Come now, this picture is somehow much funnier than the riotfuckers.
posted by dgaicun at 12:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


bet his parents are pissed at him right now
posted by philip-random at 1:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh, and would someone please photoshop a light sabre into his hand?
posted by philip-random at 1:15 PM on June 16, 2011


The Province has some amazing 360-degree *video* views of the rioting.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:24 PM on June 16, 2011


Honestly, does anyone get the feeling that Vancouver would have burned no matter what happened last night?

Yep. My stomach has been in knots the last couple of days with the kind of general just-under-the-surface hysteria throughout the city. And I'm not a precious, sensitive flower: on my way home last night I stopped to talk with a friend who works at Pulp Fiction (best used book store in the city!) who said he was closing up early because of it, and we talked about the level of strong emotion just kind of present everywhere.

There was a bunch of young (mostly) men who were downtown last night to feast on the excitement of loosened social strictures. There would have been outbursts either way, though if the Cancuks won there would have been less... mayhem. The rioters weren't angry about the loss; they just wanted to fuck shit up. I'm mostly upset at the fact that this means that large public gatherings of this type-- which up until last night were remarkably peaceful, enough so that I was thinking how smart the city was being with channelling the energy of the crowds by giving them a place to congregate-- won't happen again for a long, long time.

I should just add that many people went downtown this morning to help with the cleanup. And others tried to hard to intervene and stop the violence last night. There were a lot of families down there, and the Skytrains were packed with people getting the hell out of downtown.

Finally, I bet all those assholes were from the burbs, not Vancouver proper. The end.
posted by jokeefe at 1:30 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Finally, I bet all those assholes were from the burbs, not Vancouver proper. The end.

Ah, so it was they. I see.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hate sports but love riots. Kinda torn here.
posted by telstar at 1:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Finally, I bet all those assholes were from the burbs, not Vancouver proper. The end.
posted by jokeefe


Angry violent drunken youths don`t live in detached pre-war craftsman homes tastefully updated with heated slate floors in Dunbar.

Angry drunken youths have no hope of ever buying anything in the city, it`s part of what makes them so angry.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]



Angry violent drunken youths don`t live in detached pre-war craftsman homes tastefully updated with heated slate floors in Dunbar.


Those weren't angry youths. Those were assholes. And assholes do live in detached pre-war craftsman homes tastefully updated with heated slate floors in Dunbar.

Ben Folds got it right.
posted by ocschwar at 1:54 PM on June 16, 2011


Mmmmmm. Heated slate floors in pre-war craftsman homes. Yesssssss.

Angry drunken youths have no hope of ever buying anything in the city, it`s part of what makes them so angry.

Erm, I don't think they were rioting over the real estate bubble, somehow.
posted by jokeefe at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be clear, they were both assholes AND youths. Whose pre-war craftsman homes are probably owned by the same parents that bought them the $200 sneakers.
posted by Pomo at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2011


Finally, I bet all those assholes were from the burbs, not Vancouver proper. The end.

Ah, so it was they. I see.


My story, sticking with it, etc.
posted by jokeefe at 1:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Angry drunken youths have no hope of ever buying anything in the city, it`s part of what makes them so angry.

Give me a break. How much does a replica Canucks jersey cost? $70? $100? While there are obviously issues with youth unemployment in BC, the riot last night was a result of too many people in too small a space, too much booze mixed with too much testosterone, and a game that celebrates violence.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:01 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


He meant housing, not clothing, KokuRyu.

I agree with those who say these riots were simply fulfilling the prophecy wrought by all the news stories and speculation about whether there would be riots. This wasn't about hockey, and it wasn't about politics and it wasn't about professional agitators. It was about people having the idea they could get away with busting shit up, and doing so.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah KokuRyu, I guess in retrospect you are right.

Besides, I grew up in the 80's and we were the last generation that would riot becuase of skyrocketing real estate valuations.

It's still a truism that most people are confused by in Vancouver today, angry drunk yobs probably didn't grow up in Kits or Dunbar. No kidding the economic underclass has to train into the downtown core from the valley rather than stroll the seawall from their Coal Harbour pied a terre.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:08 PM on June 16, 2011


People were rioting over housing prices?

If you take out outlier locations and stop relying on the overall average, Vancouver's median house price is about $660k, which is in line with the rest of the country.

So the rioters are FOOLS!
posted by KokuRyu at 2:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, Keith, I would have to kind of agree - how many of us can afford to go shopping at Louis Vuitton, Coach, or Tiffany's (all shops are basically in the Georgia riot zone)?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:10 PM on June 16, 2011


Angry violent drunken youths don`t live in detached pre-war craftsman homes tastefully updated with heated slate floors in Dunbar.

Yeah, these weren't poor kids for the most part. It was the same crowd of drunken meathead dudebros you'll find on the weekend in the Granville Entertainment District spending absurd amounts of money (seriously what is up with the price of beer in bars out here?).

Angry drunken youths have no hope of ever buying anything in the city, it`s part of what makes them so angry

I'll never afford shit in the City either, and I'm plenty angry about plenty of things, too. Also I'm frequently drunken. These youths can call me when they want to riot over something that's not hockey and it somehow gets us cheap homes downtown, provided they don't mind hanging out with an old fogey in his early 30s.
posted by Hoopo at 2:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


oops, sorry Keith I'm late to the party
posted by Hoopo at 2:11 PM on June 16, 2011


HA! Only among Vancouverites would a discussion of hockey and a riot eventually morph into one about residential real estate prices.

This is sadly like every backyard barbeque I'll attend this summer.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


A rioter part daredevil, part superhero, and at least some part jackass.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:16 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh fuck, Boston won? I want to riot myself.

Photos of the most beautiful city in Canada.

I found it to be as bleak as Toronto. It seemed kinda like Dallas, but colder and Canadian. I was only there for 3 days, though.

I'd like us to keep that in mind next time we talk about the lazy poor.

When do we talk about the lazy poor? I wanna get in on that.

Ask a neutral observer to count up the dirty plays and antics in this series, by team. I guarantee that the count will not wind up in favor of your argument.

Most neutral observers turned it off. Worst seven-game Stanley Cup Finals ever?

and a game that celebrates violence.

Rioting happens in other sports, but I think this is a good point. The NHL continues to condone violence and even fighting in its games. It's not such a stretch to think that the attitude sticks with its fans.

"The Cowichan News Leader Pictorial is writing a story about my son is innocent. It will come out in the courts that he's being framed for the poor performance of the team. Mark my words." (Possibly NSFW for language)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:18 PM on June 16, 2011


Angry drunken youths have no hope of ever buying anything in the city, it`s part of what makes them so angry

"Dude, I put in a bid on a North Van townhouse, real nice one - honestly, dude, brand-new stainless appliances, on-demand hot water, even a little climate-controlled wine cellar, just lovely - and one of these downtown latte-drinkin' fucks outbid me for it."

"Bro, seriously?"

"Dude, I shit you not. I said 825 and I'll forego the conditional sale on the muhfuh."

"Bro, you put in an unconditional bid?"

"I am fucking hardcore, dude. I wanna walk to the muhfuckin' ferry."

"Hell, yeah."

But, dude, you know what?"

"Yeah, bro?"

"Fuckin' guy comes in at 850."

"No way, bro. No fuckin' way."

"Yeah."

"That muhfuckin' piece a shit."

"Yeah. But you know what, dude?"

"Yeah?"

"I'll show that piece a shit. Canucks are gonna go all the way this year . . ."

"Fuckin' A, bro."

". . . and when they get to Game 7 and choke . . ."

"You fuckin' know it. Fuckin' Luongo. Those Sedin fuckers."

". . . yeah. And when it happens, know what I'm gonna do, dude?"

"What."

"Fuckin' trash that guy's favourite chain bookshop. Show that piece a shit who he fucked with, dude."

"Surrey represent, yo."

"Fuckin' A."
posted by gompa at 2:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [24 favorites]


The rage against this Brock Anton dude is odd to me.

Flash bang to the nuts
posted by mrgrimm at 2:25 PM on June 16, 2011


Also burning cars absolutely reek for miles around. Walking over the bridge last night I had to wonder how awful the stench must be in the cities and towns we've been fighting wars in.
posted by Hoopo at 2:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ask a neutral observer to count up the dirty plays and antics in this series, by team. I guarantee that the count will not wind up in favor of your argument.

I gave up on the Stanley Cup the SECOND time a Bruins player stuck their fingers in the face of Sean Burrows demanding he bite them. The Canucks played dirty, but the Bruins were classless.
posted by dw at 2:37 PM on June 16, 2011


Most neutral observers turned it off. Worst seven-game Stanley Cup Finals ever?

Actually, you're wrong.

posted by rollbiz at 2:38 PM on June 16, 2011


Ah, so it was they. I see.

Sort of. It was a suburban THEY by which I mean male (mostly) youths (mostly) with suburban as opposed to urban consciousness and values -- who cares where they actually live or grew up? Something to do with a societal alienation that they are mostly unconscious of, a state of mind and soul that is very infused with the distorted light of The Spectacle.

I feel pretty safe making this claim because up until I was say, nineteen, I was one of them. Never found any riots to attend but I certainly found a few serious house-wrecking parties. No, I didn't initiate the wrecking. I barely even participated. I was just there, getting off on the crazy wild virility of it.

But then a few people got hurt, got arrested, old friends got tedious, film school got interesting, I discovered punk rock, I stopped reading only bestsellers, I became less STUPID.
posted by philip-random at 2:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would just like to remind Vancouver that Edmonton has won 5 Stanley Cups.

So? Winnipeg's won it six times, and I wouldn't stop driving to take a dump in either city.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


@mrgrimm An apt name.
@rollbiz Thanks for getting hockey's back. The TV ratings are even more impressive when you realize that only one U.S market was in the Stanley Cup Final and that the Nielsen ratings don't include Canadian viewers.
posted by wensink at 2:53 PM on June 16, 2011


I would just like to remind Vancouver that Edmonton has won 5 Stanley Cups.

So? Winnipeg's won it six times, and I wouldn't stop driving to take a dump in either city.


Montreal has won 24, more than any other team ever, *AND* it's the funnest Canadian city hands down. At any rate, The Great Hockey Glory Pissing Match is not really a fight that we in Vancouver should really be engaged in.
posted by Hoopo at 2:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, there was something like a 26% correction in the real estate market after the '94 riot. With hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, if I were looking to be all Lex Luthor I'd have hired a bunch of black bloc types to start shit like they did last night.

Just saying.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:00 PM on June 16, 2011


Montreal has won 24, more than any other team ever, *AND* it's the funnest Canadian city hands down.

Considering the Winnipeg cups he's referring to were all over 100 years ago, we can safely say Montreal has won 52.
posted by Gary at 3:08 PM on June 16, 2011


I work for the City of Vancouver, and I just wanted to mention that we had over 1000 citizens come downtown today to volunteer in the cleanup efforts.
posted by good in a vacuum at 3:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


There have been, apparently, hundreds of people downtown today helping to clean up. My roommate came home a few minutes ago and said that she saw a woman with her 10 year old son who was writing on the sidewalk I'm still a Canucks fan, I still love the Canucks, Vancouver is sorry for this, or words to that effect. She stopped to talk to them, and found out that they had been in the bank last night, taking cover, when the windows were smashed.

There have been many messages left on the walls and the streets: Dear Vancouver, We're sorry, signed Vancouver was one of them. The mayor signed on one, as well. So there's some kind of direct cleansing/healing happening, as well.
posted by jokeefe at 3:15 PM on June 16, 2011


I work for the City of Vancouver, and I just wanted to mention that we had over 1000 citizens come downtown today to volunteer in the cleanup efforts.

When's the union grievance over that? Ain't no way CUPE's gonna just sit that fight out.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:17 PM on June 16, 2011


Oh please. A union snark? A bit dated, no?

And note to self: tags, try to close them.
posted by jokeefe at 3:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a CUPE member myself, I'm not joking, jokeefe. Not in the slightest. Were I in CUPE 15 (I think that's the local) I'd have filed the grievance last night before anyone even showed up with brooms.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:21 PM on June 16, 2011


I just want to thank phillip-random for posting Spectacular Vancouver Conquors Itself, easily the most compelling and insightful piece I've read on the riot so far.

I think everybody is making good points in this talk of home prices and unemployment and parents' money buying $100 jerseys and $200 sneakers. There are a lot of youth who live relatively comfortable, boring and frustrating lives in their parents houses, as they watch their 20s drain away, as they work for peanuts in a crappy job, possibly paying off a huge amount of student debt, in any event not able to live in the city on their own. Lots have lost their jobs. They don't see ever owning their own home, even as their parents shop for a home to retire to in some sunny locale. They might be making it, but not on their own, and they are frustrated and aimless. There is a subgroup of these who are angry and stupid young men well trained as consumers and spectators. It is them that above all, buy into the consumer-spectacle of fandom, which in Vancouver reaches the fevered pitch of religion, with the encouragement of the "civic" and business elite in this city.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:22 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Whitelaw says that his 1994 report on the last Stanley Cup riot had over 100 recommendations, and several important ones – such as not allowing cars to park on downtown streets near the crowds – were ignored.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The author of "Spectacular Vancouver Conquors Itself" does know that massive riots around sporting events long predate modern capitalism, right?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:40 PM on June 16, 2011


When's the union grievance over that? Ain't no way CUPE's gonna just sit that fight out.

I can't speak for the union, but I don't know if public goodwill is a force that they'd want to pick a fight with.
posted by good in a vacuum at 3:46 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm a member of CUPE (2950), and I agree with good in a vacuum here. The union has better things to do than complain about a group of engaged citizens with brooms and dustpans.
posted by jokeefe at 3:48 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The always awesome Stephen Quinn interviews an academic on CBC 690 who's been studying sports-related violence for most of his career: MP3 of the interview

The professor, Jerry M. Lewis, has an excerpt from his book about sports violence on Google Scholar.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:53 PM on June 16, 2011


The concerns about our reputation are a little strange to me. This city seems so fixated on its branding and so self-conscious sometimes, it's like we're all wondering "does this riot make us look fat?" It's the same fixation on how we look to the world that Toronto and other Canadian cities obsessed about being "world class" have. I can't see this being something people are going to decide not to come to Vancouver over. The GnR riot and the 94 riot didn't dissuade me, and I never avoided Montreal over their riots. I also wouldn't let football hooligans put me off visiting England again, either.

So Vancouver is yet another place that has a bunch of assholes in it that can't behave themselves. The cat's out of the bag, I guess. Maybe it's better to worry about catching these idiots and preparing better for next time, and not about how Calgary is gonna make fun of us.
posted by Hoopo at 4:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm also in 2950, jokeefe, across campus from you (anonymously, I'm afraid). While I clearly have time to waste here, right now, All the public goodwill in the world wouldn't stop CUPE 116 from requiring campus security to turn away people with brooms if such a mess occurred here. I've had two complaints because I dared to take out my own garbage. I shit you not.

Such grievances are what your union rep is for: to ensure that work that needs to be done is done by staff wherever possible. If that means overtime, if that means new hires, so be it. If your members could be paid for a task, you don't let someone else do it for free.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 4:11 PM on June 16, 2011


KokuRyu writes "If you take out outlier locations and stop relying on the overall average, Vancouver's median house price is about $660k, which is in line with the rest of the country."

No it isn't, at least according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Even using $660K as the average home price Vancouver is 30+% more expensive than the second most expensive city and 40% more expensive than the thrid place city. Don't know how these numbers have been jiggered but the average price for homes in Toronto, the second most expensive market after Vancouver, is only $454,000. And prices fall rapidly after that. Calgary is barely over 50% of Vancouver's $792K at $401K. Ottawa clocks in a $338K, Montreal at $300K, Halifax at $262K, and Fredrick ton is only $153K.

Hoopo writes "Also burning cars absolutely reek for miles around. Walking over the bridge last night I had to wonder how awful the stench must be in the cities and towns we've been fighting wars in."

It's the tires and the plastic. Nasty stuff to be around too.
posted by Mitheral at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm glad we can finally dispense with the myth that Canadians are noble and peaceful compared to their savage neighbors to the south.

Eh, I'm a yank and I don't think I'd be seeing this headline in the Vancouver Sun if the situations were reversed:

Boston Globe Metro Desk: "Canucks fans apologize to Boston for post-game rioting"

posted by Diablevert at 4:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vancouver's median house price is about $660k, which is in line with the rest of the country.

I just spat my latte all over my iPad reading that.
posted by mek at 5:29 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you take out outlier locations and stop relying on the overall average, Vancouver's median house price is about $660k, which is in line with the rest of the country.

So the rioters are FOOLS!


We've had this discussion before, I know, and it's a tangent at best, but your numbers are very wrong.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 PM on June 16, 2011


Well, I was being somewhat facetious upthread, but I seriously do not think that housing prices led to this riot.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:47 PM on June 16, 2011


No, I think you're right. Although I can only guess how disenfranchised youngish people feel in Vancouver, given politics and economic trends in recent years. Can't help.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:51 PM on June 16, 2011


Then again, you would have to wonder how things would have turned out if more young people had better jobs. The unemployment rate in the GVRD is about 7%, but in the 18-25 cohort it must be double that. How many of these folks are living in their parents' basements? While they are entirely responsible for their own actions, surely a more engaged and optimistic population would hold off on trashing the city.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've heard a wide range of opinions on why this particular riot happened...

It was drunken Canucks fans.
It was anarchists.
The police were too lenient.
The police were too overbearing.
It was spoiled kids from the suburbs.
It was gang members.
Digital cameras encouraged rioters to act out more than they would have.
Asking tens of thousands to a central location is asking for it.
It wasn't having a central location but having people in penned areas that escalated the violence.

...and the truth is probably some combination of all of the above.

What I'm more interested in though, is why a riot or violent incidents happen sometimes and sometimes it doesn't, even given very similar circumstances.

For example, just using "Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Final in the last twenty years", we see:

1993 - Montreal - win the Stanley Cup in five games at home - riot
1994 - Vancouver - lose series in seven games on the road - riot
2004 - Calgary - lose series in seven games on the road - no riot
2006 - Edmonton - lose series in seven games on the road - riot
2007 - Ottawa - lose series in five games on the road - no riot
2011 - Vancouver - lose series in seven games at home - riot

There doesn't seem to be any connection between whether riots happen and if the series goes the distance or not, if it's lost at home or on the road, the population of the city, the demographics of the city, the number of people who gather, whether bars and liquor stores are shut down early or not, whether big screen TV's are set-up or not, the day of the week that the deciding game falls on and so on.

There do seem to be some cities that seem predisposed to riots (Montreal has also rioted in early rounds of the playoffs, Vancouver had riots after a Guns 'N' Roses concert was canceled) while others such as Calgary don't (there was nervousness when the G8 was held in nearby Kananaskis given the violence at other gatherings of this type but again, Calgary went against historical precedent with very few incidents and no riots.)


(And on that note, to sneak in my own Stanley Cup final story, my wife and I lived in Calgary during the Flames' 2004 Stanley Cup run. We lived about six blocks from the "Red Mile", regularly went down to join the tens of thousands of people on 17th Avenue during game days. On the day of Game Seven, we had to go to a bar off the Red Mile at noon for a six o'clock game because all other bars were already full and, after the Flames lost that heart-breaking game, made our way along the Red Mile before stopping for Vietnamese food on an outdoor patio where we watched dejected but definitely not angry/violent Flames fans straggle by.)

posted by Jaybo at 6:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I forgot to say this earlier, but it's important so I'd like to say it now:

Hi Vancouver! I'm a native Bostonian (now in Central MA) and a Bruins fan. I know you've had some tough hockey years up there, for my entire life before last night things were very similar here. For that reason, I really wanted to be able to be happy for your team if they had won this series instead of us, but I felt the way they acted on and off the ice made that difficult.

That being said, I feel for your hockey fans in the kind of way that only four decades without a Cup can make someone understand. I know you wanted it so badly, because I wanted it so badly for Boston. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you this year, but I'm much more sorry that you have to wear this additional black eye because some idiots who probably don't fit the loosest definition of a fan were trying to ruin your city and break its spirit. I'm sorry because I can't even imagine what it would be like to have lost last night and have my city burn down. It's clear to me that many of these people were not real hockey fans, because real hockey fans do not take their jerseys off and burn them in the street.

Anyway, Vancouver, I want you to know this: I've been to more than a hundred cities in over a dozen countries on multiple continents, and I still think yours is one of the prettiest to visit. I loved your sights, I loved your people, and I loved you. I'm heartened to see you out volunteering by the thousands to clean up someone else's mess. You're going to be quite alright.

Call me when you come visit, your first beer is on me. Just don't bring Alex Burrows or Maxim LaPierre, please... :)

Sincerely,

rollbiz
posted by rollbiz at 7:06 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Here's a photo of a young hockey fan lighting a rag stuffed in the gas tank of a police car. Nice shoes, bro.

One site says they found him. They say he's a high school student from Maple Ridge. He also has an athletic scholarship for water polo. Definitely in the bored suburban dumb ass category, and not a disenfranchised downtown youth.

(I'm not sure if linking to it goes against Metafilter's personal info rules, or Canada's young offender rules for that matter.)
posted by Gary at 7:19 PM on June 16, 2011


Gary: Can I ask at least what site you're looking at?
posted by rollbiz at 7:27 PM on June 16, 2011


I've seen it on facebook and one of the "let's identify these rioters" sites. His situation might still be a misidentified person, as opposed to the guys who brag about rioting on facebook.

I still hope the courts do something real about this, and the city can show some patience while that happens. That is, I hope the line isn't crossed between using the social networks to find these guys, and using the social networks to sink to their level and carry out vigilante justice.
posted by Gary at 7:43 PM on June 16, 2011


psst rollbiz, have a look at the top hit on reddit
posted by stinkycheese at 7:44 PM on June 16, 2011


Thanks!
posted by rollbiz at 7:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Could someone point me to a list of major sports-related riots in North America? Because I want to see all the riots that will be forgotten fifty years from now when people are still talking about how terrible Detroit and East Lansing are because they once had riots after a game. [/HyperSensitiveMichigander]
posted by NorthernLite at 8:15 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are a lot of youth who live relatively comfortable, boring and frustrating lives in their parents houses, as they watch their 20s drain away, as they work for peanuts in a crappy job, possibly paying off a huge amount of student debt, in any event not able to live in the city on their own. Lots have lost their jobs. They don't see ever owning their own home, even as their parents shop for a home to retire to in some sunny locale.

This is true - I am one of these people 20 years later. I grew up in Vancouver and have been working internationally for the last 15 years or so. When I left, real estate prices were crazy and I knew that I'd never be able to afford to live there as an adult despite being a productive employed person. Obviously, the economics have only gotten worse in the intervening time.

And my parents are exactly as described above. They were there at the right time, have always been in the local market, and have seen their house values rise and rise. And my dad is on a super generous retirement package, the kind that almost nobody these days could ever hope to have.

It's just one more thing for me on the big pile filed under "those greedy baby boomers got theirs, and fucked things up for everyone coming after them". I love you, dad, but I fucking hate your demographic.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Still love this town. Love. It.
posted by LordSludge at 8:55 PM on June 16, 2011


For the record, a chair went out the window of my CH pied a terre* while the neighbours were chanting "Riot! Riot! Riot!" They could have killed someone, since it went down to the sidewalk. Nice.

*Not that I have another residence.
posted by acoutu at 9:07 PM on June 16, 2011


So very sorry that it took riots and looting in Vancouver to elicit a MeFi front page post and 250+ comments about hockey. That said, hope it brings a few more fans to this remarkable sport.
posted by wensink at 9:22 PM on June 16, 2011


This Jets' post garnered 135 comments (and is still open) and is obviously about hockey.
posted by Mitheral at 9:41 PM on June 16, 2011


Aww man, from the facebook page of the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC:

Wildlife were not unaffected by the rioters in downtown Vancouver last night. This morning WRA admitted a small fledgling Black-capped Chickadee, whom had been rescued by a kind bystander after rioters pelted it with rocks. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the bird passed away within a few hours of admission.

:( Fuckers.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This Jets' post garnered 135 comments (and is still open) and is obviously about hockey.

@ Mitheral This post thrashed the Winnipeg post.
posted by wensink at 9:54 PM on June 16, 2011


Well in my town a drunk guy vomited on someone. Clearly we have earned our reputation as by far the worst sports fans.

Christ, man, that was over a year ago. Like a too-full belly of beer and cheesesteak within puking distance of a young child, just let it go already.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:58 PM on June 16, 2011


I've never been more proud to not give a good goddamn about professional sports.

I remain embarrassed that we have a lot of shitheels on Vancouver.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:18 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Secondly, after Boston won, the fans in the arena were totally classless.

I'm a Boston fan and I was at the game last night, and I'd like to say that from what I saw this is not accurate. Inside the arena, Canucks fans were mostly very gracious in defeat. Many of them congratulated us on the Bruins' win.

Outside was a different story, but within the venue things were calm and under control.
posted by tom_r at 11:01 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christy Clark promises to expose rioters to public gaze. I just wonder if there is a legal mechanism to do that. It seems hardly possible to publicly shame people without definitive proof.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:29 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vancouver cleanup (Flickr set); To Vancouver, I'm sorry, from Vancouver (set on Facebook; pictures of graffiti on boarded up shop fronts); The Real Face of Vancouver (Facebook, portraits of the cleanup volunteers.
posted by jokeefe at 11:40 PM on June 16, 2011


Thank-you notes to Vancouver police
(re-posted from my Facebook feed so others can see it)
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


This morning WRA admitted a small fledgling Black-capped Chickadee, whom had been rescued by a kind bystander after rioters pelted it with rocks.

THEY THREW ROCKS AT A BABY BIRD. That's actually made me angrier than anything else I've heard about this debacle. Fuckers. Torturing a helpless animal. Just great.
posted by jokeefe at 11:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


@ tom_f We saw it on the TV here in DC. Couldn't agree more about the Vancouver fans inside Rogers: respectful cheers for the Cup, Thomas and Lucic. (And appropriate boos for Marchand.)
posted by wensink at 11:45 PM on June 16, 2011


I was a participant in the riot. And by participant I mean that I was one of the thousands of passive observers watching from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre; about 50 metres away from the burning car.

I went over to my buddy's apartment in Yaletown for a bit of pre-game drinking and then we headed to the big screens downtown with Okanagan 1516 beers in each hand. FYI to the Americans, we are not allowed to drink in public places in Canada.

We figure worst case, the cops are going to make us pour out our beers, not a big deal. After all that's what they did in previous games instead of charging people.

Pregame drinking is important, especially when the police close down the liquor stores in the downtown core an hour before the game begins. However I believe the City and police and media made a bad move when they closed the liquor stores for Game Six as a reaction to the poor behaviour of the fans after Game Five. Game Five was a Friday night home game while Game Six was a Monday night away game. There were a lot fewer people out for Game Six than Game Five. The closure only gave warning to the people that they needed to stock up prior to Game Seven.

We are walking down Richards when we saw a cop car at the the intersection and held back as we didn't want to sacrifice our beers. Other people were not so prudent and crossed the intersection with their beverages. Surprisingly the police did not take notice of the open alcohol and allowed the pedestrians to continue. These were the only police that I saw until the second intermission.

We continued north on Richards to Georgia, having finished our beers before we arrived there because we knew the police would be doing an alcohol and bag inspection. A week earlier I had watched the game on the big screens with my father and future brother-in-law, and we had to pass through a checkpoint into the fan zone. But yesterday there were no checkpoints and no police anywhere.

The crowd was massive. We could barely see the big screen TV on Georgia, two blocks away. We made our way slowly through the crowd. It took us a full period to make our way through to the second TV screen facing south on Homer Street next to the roman colosseum library. We barely saw the first period at all, slowly making our way to within visible range of the giant screens. There were moments when one was pushed along by the crowd and that's not really a pleasant feeling, it's kind of dangerous.

It was not the same crowd as the Olympics. Everybody was happy, everybody was friendly during the Olympics. Even when the crowd was being crushed hard, such as at the corner of Granville and Robson after the gold winning medal game, there was never a feeling of threat. But last night, there was one asshole, he was a big dude, over six feet and he bulldozed through the crowd, leading his girlfriend behind him and pushing people aside without regard. He was big enough to do it, he was a snowplow, he was headed away from the screens, maybe he felt it was necessary to do that but that shit would not have happened during the Olympics, it was a different atmosphere.

By the beginning of the second period we had a decent tree-blocked view of the giant screen on Homer. There were people sitting on top of the portable outhouses and others climbing over the barbed wire fence and climbing up to the bases of billboards and on top of the glass awning of the Ford Theatre. There were no cops around. Pmakeeople were in the trees, on top of the traffic signals and bus shelters and nobody told them to get off.

Third period we managed to make our way onto the road from the sidewalk and had a much better view of the game. People were drinking and smoking marijuana openly. And actually much more surprisingly to me people were smoking cigarettes in the crowd as well. People in Vancouver object much more to the smell of cigarettes than other substances.

After the game ended, we headed south down to Robson and we were hungry. West on Robson towards Granville, Japadog was too busy, but the lineup at Red Burrito wasn't too bad. After we ate ridiculously amazing overstuffed burritos, we saw a TV screen on Robson showing a burning car fire in front of the Canada Post office, so we decided to check it out. North on Seymour and then east on Georgia, we saw no cops except formake the riot police and horses getting prepared on Richards, north of Georgia. All the portable toilets had been overturned, the Bank of Montreal branch was being smashed with hockey sticks and road barriers and there were plenty of people dancing around the car fire and doing stupid shit things such as standing on top of the burning car.

We retreated to the QE Theatre grounds across the street and watched various stupid people take stupid poses in front of the burning car. There were thousands of people watching but not participating in the riot. Do we deserve any culpabilty? I don't know, but this Globe and Mail article seems to think so.

Ok yeah, there's a riot going on. There's burning cars and garbage cars. To the south and the east are blue fences and a pair of half dozen cops with neon yellow vests, all watching the action going down. They are allowing people to leave the riot zone and not allowing people to enter. However, they are not doing anything to encourage people to leave.

Thousands of people are watching the action down and a ridiculous number of people are taking pictures of the happenings with their camera phones. People are climbing on the glass canopy in front of the QE Theatre and climbing on traffic signals and on top of traffic bollards and egging the crowd onwards. It is difficult to leave, having to push our way through the crowds of people, through the police line, and through the crowds of people south of Georgia.

Did I commit a crime? I don't know. In order to leave, I had to push my way through a crowd, pass through a police line and then push my way through another crowd. I could have left earlier, which would have actually been the smart thing to do. I could have headed north then east then north then west.

From Hamilton, we walk west on Robson towards Granville. There are dumpsters burning in the alleys and there is a man down in the middle of the road with a couple of police officers attending. We don't know what happened to him or how he got hurt. We head south on Granville and there are hardly any people on the street. Apparently there has been some action going on but the cops have dispersed it. We continue south on Granville, and there are the remnants of tear gas hurting our throats and watering our eyes.

Continuing down Granville, even though we see the police controlling an intersection. We want to go east but the cops won't allow us through, so we have to backtrack. And finally we find our way out of downtown. It took us about an hour to do so.

I have mixed feelings about the riot. After 8pm, the behaviour of the police was absolutely exemplary. They did not rile up the crowd; they acted extremely conservatively; they went out of their way to not provoke any violence. I liked that; I appreciate that. But before 8pm, they were non-existant; I do have an issue with that.

Overall, thank you Vancouver Police, Vancouver Fire, and other agencies. You made it safer than it would have been otherwise.
posted by angrybeaver at 11:58 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


You should know some things.

1) Vancouver looks like Canadian Seattle to the casual gaze. Vancouver is not the presumed Utopia Canadian Seattle would be. Vancouver has some of the most visible class divisions in Canada, including its worst slums.

This is a town where a man killed sex workers and fed them to his pigs, and the cops didn't really care to look for them until relatives shamed them.

2) Vancouver is really fucking racist in a way that dovetails with its class divisions. Urban Americans in particular have little clue about the level of racism against First Nations that exists -- it is simply outside of their experience. (Yes uban American liberals, I know you might think you know what I mean, but you don't -- it's *worse* than that.) The resentment toward the Asian population is probably something a little more familiar in the character of its vileness.

3) You are, right now, being totally fucking lied to by the mayor and chief of police, who would very much like to lay the blame on 20-30 anarchists, persons whose discrete existence they have yet to prove, and who, as a subculture, don't look anything like most of the people wrecking shit.

Really, watching Mansbridge eat this shit up live, with no independent confirmation, was a low point for CBC journalism.

Why this story? Well, Vancouver riot cops are pretty pumped up, since some of them were shipped at great expense to Toronto, to help maul protesters at the G20. I bet they figure this handy indoctrination/excuse -- where anybody who doesn't run fast enough is an anarchist -- works for them back home, too.

And they need an excuse, because they behaved idiotically. The CBC's own report tonight -- the one where they swallowed this excuse -- clearly shows riot police menacing the crowd with dogs and batons while relatively little was happening, and herding a crowd that was seemingly dispersing into a concentrated area. The idea that trouble was unexpected rather than *especially anticipated* requires amnesia to believe -- media spent days talking about 1994.

So what does this all mean? This had little to do with hockey, or with anarchists. It had to do with police colliding with a damaged city, where plenty of anger sits below the surface -- a place whose weepy suburbanites would like you to think this was uncharacteristic of Canada's Seattle, instead of the natural consequences of letting loose excitable thugs in a fucked up town under the thinnest excuse to express themselves.
posted by mobunited at 12:04 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Perky 'Canada' Has Own Government, Laws"
posted by bardic at 12:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hi mobunited, wrt to the riot cops being pumped up; I have to say they were pretty low-key last evening.
posted by angrybeaver at 12:11 AM on June 17, 2011


mobunited - The resentment toward the Asian population is probably something a little more familiar in the character of its vileness.

Mrs A is of Chinese descent - I have 2 personal datapoints of this in Vancouver.

First was while offshore in the North Sea talking to a crane op who lived in Surrey and once he found out I lived in Vancouver was harping on about the Asians. I shut him down publicly in front of his team and his boss as the racist he was; irony is he was an immigrant Brit like me.

Second was in a traffic jam where some idiot was driving like an idiot and swearing at "f***ing immigrants" as all he could see was my in-laws in the back seat. Shut the hell up once he saw a white guy driving.

tl;dr - racists are racist. The influx of Asian immigration in the past few years into Vancouver doesn't excuse them. I've found Vancouver and Vancouverites overall tremendously friendly and the cosmopolitan nature from immigrants from all over only adds to it's friendly nature.

Meatbomb - yeah, prices are crazy. We were lucky enough to get on the ladder a few years ago, I couldn't afford my place now. Friend of ours sold about 7 years ago when her Realtor aunt advised her to sell expecting a bubble to burst. She still can't afford to buy back in to the market and the bubble shows no sign of bursting.
posted by arcticseal at 1:08 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


She still can't afford to buy back in to the market and the bubble shows no sign of bursting.

Like hell.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:52 AM on June 17, 2011


Not talking about flipping houses, this is primary residence for her.
Given the sheer amount of mainland Chinese investment into BC, especially since the govt. enforced the 2 houses only policy, I don't think the market in Vancouver shows much sign of dropping drastically in the near future. IANYR, TINRA.
posted by arcticseal at 2:26 AM on June 17, 2011


Here's an interesting take on the photo of the kissing couple -- identified as Australian Scott Jones and his girlfriend Alexandra Thomas.
posted by gubo at 5:36 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]



It's just one more thing for me on the big pile filed under "those greedy baby boomers got theirs, and fucked things up for everyone coming after them". I love you, dad, but I fucking hate your demographic.


For what it's worth, that sentiment isn't limited to Vancouver...

Here's an interesting take on the photo of the kissing couple -- identified as Australian Scott Jones and his girlfriend Alexandra Thomas.

I'm glad that the photo seems to have a happy story behind it (well, aside from her being knocked down by the police), since there was all kinds of speculation before.
posted by Forktine at 5:59 AM on June 17, 2011


Mobunited: - I appreciate and agree with many of your points. We cannot underestimate the control the police had over this and that police were quickly brought in from many other districts. Their actions were very strategic.

Am I the only one that remembers the Gas Town riot (1971)?.
posted by what's her name at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2011


FYI to the Americans, we are not allowed to drink in public places in Canada.

Actually, we're not either, not even in Wisconsin, The Drinking State. If you want to drink at the family picnic in the public park, you need a permit. If you want to stroll down the street sipping your Seagram's, you'll get cited. That said, there are lots of street festivals (and church festivals!) where outdoor drinking is just fine within the boundaries of the festival. Usually there are cops at each entrance to make sure people don't take their alcohol with them.

Also, possibly unique to Wisconsin, the liquor stores close at 9 pm, so you gotta plan ahead for parties.

posted by desjardins at 6:26 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mobunited: - I appreciate and agree with many of your points. We cannot underestimate the control the police had over this and that police were quickly brought in from many other districts. Their actions were very strategic.

Am I the only one that remembers the Gas Town riot (1971)?.


I wasn't there on Wednesday night but, as the story continues to emerge, it's looking to me like what went down was anything but analogous to what happened in 1994, or in Gastown 1971. In 1971, it was a case of full-on hippie-skull-cracking cop-fascism (all in vogue at the time). In '94, it was ill-prepared, inexperienced cops taking a bad situation and making it magnitudes worse by essentially charging a surly crowd that had nowhere to go.

On Wednesday, it seems that there just wasn't enough of a police presence to deal with the size (and temper) of the crowd. So right from the get-go, it was always going to be a situation where the best that we could hope for was a situation of patient containment, which is pretty much what we got. Some cars got torched, some glass got smashed, some purses got looted, a handful of people got badly thumped ... by other people in the crowd.

I'm no cop lover. But as I commented already, I'm surprised to find myself on their side in this (the guys on the street, that is, not the higher-ups who it seems are culpable in terms of not being prepared). I honestly can't think of anything they might have done different in the immediacy of the situation to neutralize things any better than they did. Which gets us back to the conditions/decisions that allowed the mob to gather in the first place.

That's the discussion I'm interested in following in the days-weeks-months to come. And I look forward to seeing a lot of this discussion start to revolve around the part of our lily-white mayor in this, the golden boy who invited everybody downtown in the first place without having a crisis plan, then barely
paused for a breath before he blamed it all on a few badass black anarchists.

What an asshole!
posted by philip-random at 7:38 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's the discussion I'm interested in following in the days-weeks-months to come. And I look forward to seeing a lot of this discussion start to revolve around the part of our lily-white mayor in this, the golden boy who invited everybody downtown in the first place without having a crisis plan, then barely
paused for a breath before he blamed it all on a few badass black anarchists.

What an asshole!


I think Robertson is just a big, dump, dope.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:29 AM on June 17, 2011


It wasn't college students. We knew there'd be a riot, win or lose, because outside of Vancouver proper, there are suburbs full of people who think of themselves very differently from Vancouverites. Surrey has the worst reputation *, but really this was suburban kids from all over getting drunk and bustin' shit up. From my balcony I can see BC Place a kilometer away, which is right next to Rogers Arean; the Skytrain line runs right past me, and the waterfront path from Rogers Arena to Main St. All I saw was clumps of people in Canucks jerseys walking quietly.

The riot occurred in a roughly four block area just west of Rogers Arena, where the CBC headquarters is and where a large-screen TV was put up for people to watch it on the street; Georgia St. was blocked off for it. That's the crowd that got drunk and rowdy. The burning car was in front of the post office headquarters across the street. There's nothing good about this, but it's hardly the shame of Canada either. It was contained, and there was a bit of property damage. It wasn't "Vancouver is burning!"


Yes, agreed. I was in the middle of the crowd that likely supplied the majority of the rioters, and it was just a sea of underage kids drinking alcohol from McDonalds cups. Especially on Game 7 night. I arrived after most of the crowd had assembled, and walked through trying to find a place to squeeze in to watch. I passed some pockets where it was like, for my own safety there is no way I'm standing next to these dudes for 3 hours, as they get progressively drunker.

I was expecting a slightly older crowd, but I guess people who could get into a bar were watching from there. Anywhere on the street where you could actually see and hear the broadcast was packed way past comfortable standing capacity.

It was officially an "alcohol-free zone" and police were conducting bag checks at every entry point, but I never had any trouble bringing open bottles of water in. I saw people with actual beer cans, as well.

I think the next time Vancouver hosts a "fan zone," it will be a lot more tightly controlled. I wouldn't be too upset to see a moderate entry fee, but I guess that's difficult to enforce in an area like this.
posted by mantecol at 8:33 AM on June 17, 2011


public shaming from Cap'n Vancouver.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:42 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm no cop lover. But as I commented already, I'm surprised to find myself on their side in this (the guys on the street, that is, not the higher-ups who it seems are culpable in terms of not being prepared)

Me too, it's a weird place to be. I actually like the restraint they showed here in not jumping straight into head-bashing mode. In the end about a million dollars in damage was done and there weren't a huge amount of injuries given the size of the crowd. This could have been a lot worse, and frankly $1,000,000 in damage pales in comparison to the amount of money the 4 rounds of playoff festivities have brought into downtown in the last couple of months.

Gregor Robertson should now put up some money to help smaller businesses downtown recover from the damage that was done to their shops. Riot damage is often not covered by insurance, and City Hall needs to share some of the blame for this.
posted by Hoopo at 9:46 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Secondly, after Boston won, the fans in the arena were totally classless. After Tim Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP of the playoffs, chants of "Tim, you suck" were heard, and Bettman could barely be heard over the loud boos. Then people started throwing things on the ice.

To defend the fans inside the arena - I didn't hear any chants of "Tim, you suck", though maybe there were a few. Mostly this is what I heard. 18,000 devastated fans showing some class. They kept up chants of "Go Canucks Go" even after the final whistle had gone. They cheered their boys off the ice. When Bettman came out he was booed mercilessly (as he always has been and should be). When Chara was presented with the cup they cheered. When Thomas got the cup they cheered louder. When hometown boy Lucic got it they gave him a huge pop. This display of class and sportsmanship was of course in stark contrast to what happened outside the arena shortly after.
posted by n-clue at 10:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, it was a lot more than a million dollars in damage. London Drugs alone experienced between $700k and $1M damage. Then there were at least 16 cars destroyed. Almost every business in a two block radius was damaged or looted or both. Traffic lights destroyed, and on and on.

It'll be at least $10M. Twenty wouldn't surprise me.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 12:19 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I realize Cap'n Vancouver has as much right to free speech as masked man in an offensive T-shirt, but ...

Some will disapprove of my posting of Mallory Newton’s photo as somehow linking her to the criminal activity of rioting downtown. In no way do I accuse her of such. However, I think she’s a moron for posing with this guy and then posting it up.

So just taking the wrong picture (not doing anything unlawful or violent) is enough to be publicly shamed?

This could have been a lot worse, and frankly $1,000,000 in damage pales in comparison to the amount of money the 4 rounds of playoff festivities have brought into downtown in the last couple of months.

Indeed. So people broke windows. Big deal. Give the offenders a warning and let them go. Let the private business sue individuals for damage, and stop wasting the criminal courts time. This was mostly non-personal violence from what I see.

And I look forward to seeing a lot of this discussion start to revolve around the part of our lily-white mayor in this, the golden boy who invited everybody downtown in the first place without having a crisis plan, then barely paused for a breath before he blamed it all on a few badass black anarchists.

Yep, first and foremost this is a crime of city planning.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vancouver riots 2011. A short film.
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on June 17, 2011


FYI to the Americans, we are not allowed to drink in public places in Canada.

Actually, we're not either, not even in Wisconsin, The Drinking State.


Yes and no. Open container laws in the US. Surprisingly, I have been to Fredericksburg, TX several times and did not realize that people were legally drinking wine on Main Street - I thought it was just charming law-flouting.
posted by muddgirl at 3:17 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I work in insurance claims and live downtown. I honestly cannot see this being anywhere near $20,000,000. I initially read somewhere that they estimated $1.1 million in damage which does seem low, but now after the adjusters have been in to take a look I'm hearing it's more in the neighbourhood of $2 million from looting and vandalism (the link starts with an alarming statement). It's quite a small area affected, and the worst of it was focused at Granville & Georgia. Most businesses aren't dealing with much more than broken glass and a short business interruption. It was business as usual for most of the area shops by the time I got off work at 5pm. I even bought a suit there yesterday.
posted by Hoopo at 3:24 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So just taking the wrong picture (not doing anything unlawful or violent) is enough to be publicly shamed?

Yes. Not all legal acts should escape social disapprobation. There are a great many things people can legally do that are immoral and ought to be discouraged. Shaming is how society expresses its disapproval. Those who delighted in the riot and produced evidence of their delight have revealed themselves to be bad people. Their bad instincts and inclinations should be condemned.
posted by smorange at 4:08 PM on June 17, 2011


On CBC I just heard about a student who was stabbed to death at a high school graduation bush party, and it reminded me that it's grad season in British Columbia, and that a lot of the alleged rioters being "shamed" and exposed on Facebook are high school students.

So I kind of wonder if high school grad season also played a role in the riot. Certainly a lot of the behaviour captured on video reminds me of my own experiences at junior and senior high school in the 1980s: there was always a group of thugs who got drunk and sometimes extremely violent at parties.

There was a big bush party when I graduated from high school, and several people were so severely beaten they had to be taken to the hospital.

It was a nasty part of teen culture here in BC that does not seem to have gone away.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:08 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Georgia Straight has a decent editorial regarding the bleakness of the future faced today's young adults, ie. rioters. I disagree with the conclusion. I think it is great that there is enough public outrage, and enough public photographers, that the hooligans are suffering consequences.

This may be the shutterclick heard 'round the (Western) world: if you behave as a hooligan in public, you will be photographed and you will be publicly known.

(I think the Eastern world had theirs with the Dog Poo Girl.)
posted by davidpriest.ca at 7:52 PM on June 17, 2011


muddgirl writes "Yes and no. Open container laws in the US."

Holy Guacamoly, you can drive a car while simultaneously drinking alcohol in Mississippi as long as your blood alochol stays below the limit.

smorange writes "Those who delighted in the riot and produced evidence of their delight have revealed themselves to be bad people."

One of the problems I have with that is we don't know if she was aware of or even observed any rioting when she posed for that picture. She could have just been posing next to a guy in a funny (pre-riot) shirt.
posted by Mitheral at 12:47 AM on June 18, 2011


MeFi's own Synthosaurus—a dinosaur known for his ability to perform mind-melting synthesizer solos—recently took to the streets of Vancouver to cheer up some spirits.
posted by ageispolis at 10:26 AM on June 18, 2011


Even beautiful people do things they will regret

From Cap'n Vancouver's shaming blog, linked to above. Make sure you follow the link to Youtube and get the verifiable video evidence of one of Mayor Robinson's anarchists in action.

A woman, identified as "Alicia Price" in a Facebook group aimed at identifying the rioters (http://tinyurl.com/aliciaprice) and then later identified as "Ashley Price" on this YouTube channel, is among the morons in this mob. She is seen smashing in a police car window, talking about lighting it on fire and then clearly seen accomplishing this goal.
posted by philip-random at 11:46 AM on June 18, 2011


Vancouver riot's 'kissing couple' tell their story
posted by homunculus at 12:51 PM on June 18, 2011


After Vancouver riots, signs of gratitude shown to Vancouver Police.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Police grossly understaffed for Game 7: union
Mayor says that after peaceful previous events, he didn't anticipate trouble would arise

posted by mek at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awww, ericb, that made me tear up. I'm such a baby.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2011


Identifying Looters in Vancouver’s Riot.
Facebook (as mentioned above).

Tumblr.

Website.
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on June 18, 2011


Six rioters turn themselves in, police upping investigation team.
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on June 18, 2011


Stanley Cup Riots in Vancouver 2011, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Tetsuro Shigematsu gets caught up in the mayhem of what was supposed to be a great Canuck's celebration.
posted by philip-random at 11:33 PM on June 18, 2011


LOSER

kind of says it all.
posted by philip-random at 1:46 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Faces in the mob seek forgiveness.
posted by jeather at 8:42 AM on June 20, 2011


Man, people need to go home now. The Bay is not Ground Zero.
posted by Hoopo at 8:48 AM on June 20, 2011


Dear Vancouver, I am sorry

I’ve heard people discredit the theory of mob mentality in the case of the 2011 Vancouver Riot. People say that it is clearly possible not to be influenced by others, because for one, majority of people left downtown right away and didn’t participate. And further, that many people who stayed didn’t do anything but watch/take pictures/film. Therefore anybody who tries to reason out by citing the theory of mob mentality is just finding a scape goat. Not true. I would know. John Tauer, physiology professor of the University of St. Thomas would probably also know. In a Minnesota newspaper he states that “many factors…create a mob mentality — though emotion and alcohol do top the list.”

And that’s really what it was for me. I was immature, intoxicated, full of adrenaline, disappointed in the loss, filled with young rage, and have a “go-out-and-do-it” kind of personality. It had nothing to do with anarchy because I am definitely not an anarchist. I am a law-abiding citizen that has had a clean slate criminal record before this night. I had no intentions on harming the law, the city, any businesses or any people. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I just got caught up in the chaos.

posted by philip-random at 9:32 AM on June 20, 2011


The sad, painful truth about the Vancouver rioters’ true identities

"By the time the investigation into this week’s Stanley Cup riot wraps up, there will be dozens of people implicated in the disturbance who do not fit the narrow profile of the riot perpetrator that public authorities have created. The fact is, it’s easier to blame hooligans and professional nihilists for what happened than confront the more disturbing possibility that under unique conditions that wonderful teenaged boy who lives next door is capable of coming unglued."
posted by twirlip at 11:11 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sad, painful truth about the Vancouver rioters’ true identities

The more I read about it, the more I tend to think that the riot is somewhat connected to teen culture in BC at this time of the year. Euphoric (about the end of school), drunken, violent.

More than a decade ago a group of teens killed another teen, Reena Virk, here in Victoria. While I am not suggesting whatsoever that the murder is representative of teen culture, I will say this: other students at the local high school knew what happened and who did what, but said nothing. I was in teacher training school at the time, and the instructors, some of whom where teachers at the school, were shocked and outraged about the code of silence.

More recently in Victoria, two boys sexually assaulted and murdered a classmate, and then immolated her remains along a popular biking trail. Once again, there was a code of silence.

I wouldn't say there is something wrong with kids, but there is a certain dynamic that needs to be addressed somehow. I don't know what the solution is, except for more engaged parenting.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:13 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


An E.R. nurse’s thoughts on an instigator’s “apology”
To me, it’s getting home to shower, only to have my elderly neighbour knock on my door and ask me if he should make an appointment to this doctor because he was experiencing shortness of breath which later turned to chest pain in the morning. He did not think about leaving his window open as he went to bed at 9 o’clock. The smoke from all the burning cars made it to our building, into his room and triggered his asthma, which then raised his heart rate, which then became a small heart attack. I asked him why he didn’t go to the ER, and he answered, “I turned on the tv this morning and saw the rioting, I did not want to be a burden.” To you, it’s just an overturned car that you set on fire.
...
You, Tim Kwong, are a douchtard. Apology not accepted.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:26 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Teen culture just one element of suburban culture.
posted by mek at 12:26 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will say this: other students at the local high school knew what happened and who did what, but said nothing. I was in teacher training school at the time, and the instructors, some of whom where teachers at the school, were shocked and outraged about the code of silence.

Don't be a rat is -- for better or (I believe) for worse -- a major part of our society. The problem isn't that teenagers don't give up other teenagers who commit crimes, it's that no one, teenager to adult, is willing to be the whistleblower.
posted by jeather at 1:30 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem isn't that teenagers don't give up other teenagers who commit crimes, it's that no one, teenager to adult, is willing to be the whistleblower.

Depends on what you're blowing the whistle on. There's a different (IMO) between a kid who shoplifts a stereo and a kid who rapes someone. I just don't value property crime very highly.

This may be less true in Canada than in the U.S., but one problem I have is that property crimes are punished far too severely here, and that criminal records have far too much effect on people's lives.

I wouldn't turn in many non-violent criminals, to be honest, unless I consider their behavior dangerous (e.g. reckless driving).

under unique conditions that wonderful teenaged boy who lives next door is capable of coming unglued

I am often reminded of Growing Up Absurd whenever disaffected teenage boys and girls create mayhem.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:26 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


a line from Growing Up Absurd that sticks with me:

"The young man who is not confused is not on the path."
posted by philip-random at 7:27 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


From a recent Globe + Mail article regarding whey there were so few police present last Wednesday night:

“Our understanding is the matter was brought up with the people at city hall,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his job. “And the chief [Jim Chu] was told that he could put as many officers as he wanted downtown to control the crowds but the money had to come out of the existing budget.

“So city hall, or the mayor or the city manager, didn’t turn down a funding request, per se. They said put as many officers on the ground as you think you need. But it has to come out of your overall budget.”


As someone who's always been fascinated with the 1960s zeitgeist, last week's LOSER riot is looking more and more like Altamont to the Olympics' Woodstock.
posted by philip-random at 9:32 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


From a recent Globe + Mail article

The writer is Gary Mason, who has long covered BC politics.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 AM on June 21, 2011


Fresh video footage appearing to show Vancouver's famous riot couple indicates that sympathy more than passion was the motivation...
posted by Flashman at 8:26 PM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop Apologizing: a cop's letter to the miscreants. Well-said!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:52 AM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. Though I agree with the sentiment, my initial reaction to that cop's letter is not a positive one at all.

Then again, I've rarely had positive interactions with police, at least in Canada, so that may just be me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 PM on June 26, 2011


stavros, I had the same reaction. The mentality on display in that open letter -- the condescension, authoritarianism, easy recourse to violence, simplistic black-and-white thinking, and self-congratulatory elitism -- is precisely what fuels all the objectionable shit that cops do in this city. "You came up to me like you owned the streets ... I didn’t snap you in half ... You disgust us"? I don't want to be "protected" by people who think and talk like that.

This is by far the most intelligent, insightful, and well-written piece I've read about the riot and the response to it.
posted by twirlip at 1:25 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


From twirlip's link:
There have been those who have used the event as an excuse to call for state repression: "How about a total media blackout and we let the police REALLY do what should be done?" I have heard many arguing that the riot shows that Canadian society has become too liberal, too tolerant.
Geez. Even if you honestly think Canada is too liberal (which I'm sure many of Harper's voters believe) you should be able to see that giving police an unsupervised carte blanche is a recipe for disaster. Hopefully the people he was quoting were exaggerating.
posted by Mitheral at 3:48 PM on June 27, 2011


The cop's core msg to me was "actions speak louder than words". That saying "sorry" is facile and the "I was caught up in the heat of the moment" is a bullshit excuse.

Which I agree with.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:19 PM on June 27, 2011


That saying "sorry" is facile and the "I was caught up in the heat of the moment" is a bullshit excuse.

...unless we're talking about police brutality, of course. I mean, I accept that civilians can believe that such excuses are bullshit no matter who makes them, but to hear such statements from a police officer rings very hollow.
posted by muddgirl at 4:48 PM on June 27, 2011


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