Jun 162011
 

Genuine Vancouver Canucks fans barely had time to catch their collective breath after the stinging Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final before they were kicked in the proverbial groin when masquerading fans took to the streets and burned down their city’s downtown core.

Quite simply, it was senseless madness. It started with a car being flipped over and set ablaze, continued with stores and boutiques getting broken into and looted, and ended with fist fights and tear gas used to subdue the rioting crowds.

To those outside British Columbia, let me assure that this is not what the city of Vancouver is about. No, the real city of Vancouver is the one you saw in February of 2010 when the world watched Canada raise the Olympic standard of responsible celebration and respect among people. What you saw last night were people dressed in Canucks jerseys, only pretending to be fans when in reality they carried backpacks of rocks, hammers, and harboured a will to destroy the things that true Vancouverites hold so dearly.

It’s embarrassing that history repeated itself 17 years later, that a new generation of adolescent males who feel so alienated from society took it upon themselves to smash windows and start up trouble. It’s shameful that people who tried valiantly to protect these places and other people from assault were the ones who were hurt. No, what you people saw wasn’t Vancouver at its finest. It was undoubtedly the city at its worst.

Just so you can grasp just how stupid and senseless all this was, a couple dozen people took it upon themselves to break down the steel gate at the London Drugs on Burrard Street. Once the gate had come crashing down and people had gone inside to loot and pillage, one particular man emerged from the chaos throwing Pringles potato chips in the air. Pringles potato chips! Evidently these were people who had never looted before and put zero thought into what they were actually breaking the law for. It’s almost unbelievable that someone would stoop low enough to break into a store in the name of potato chips.

And then there were idiots who took it upon themselves to clean out a MAC cosmetic store, women who decided that they’d cut their Game 7 losses by stealing some lipstick and mascara. It seems almost irrational at this point to bring up the fact people decided to break into a Chapters bookstore to… well, steal books. Since when did these unintelligent looters and losers have the smarts to actually read?

To those who were part of the chaos in the downtown core last night, congratulations. You’ve turned what was the Vancouver Canucks dream season into a formidable nightmare, and at the same time have completely tarnished the legacy that the 2010 Olympics in our fair city had established. Bring back the old label that we’re “No Fun City”, because evidently you’ve shown why Vancouver can’t have nice things and can’t celebrate in a peaceful manner.

To the members of the Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Firefighters, thank you for courageously defending our city from the delinquents who have caused damage in the millions of dollars. Given the limited resources and numbers you had from the outset, the job you did was nothing short of commendable.

And there is light at the end of the tunnel. Honest citizens of Vancouver showed up the very next morning to get to work and help cleanup a mess that they didn’t even cause. At the end of the day, those are the true Canucks fans and the real Vancouverites, because from what the world witnessed last night, we are not all Canucks.

  • J P Kurzitza

    That’s not what the city is about?  Really?  You’re not labeled Riottown?  You haven’t rioted in ’71, ’94, ’97, 2002, and now 2011?  Oh, our bad.  If you’re not that type of city, why was everyone predicting – win or lose – that a riot would break out.  Wasn’t hard to see this coming…

  • Schorert

    it’s really getting laughable.  Vancouver is trying so desperately to distance themselves from their brothers.  manufacturing this “riot conspiracy” that a band of a dozen “imposters” caused all this trouble…because there’s no way a “true canuck” would EVER do something like this.  I’m surprised you’re not saying that these were bruins fans dressed as canucks.  Oh yes, we will judge you all for the actions of the several thousand wilding in your streets last night, and we’ll snicker at you after your self-righteous tirades of the entire series. 
    A million(easily) will turn out for a celebration in title-town on saturday…we’ll celebrate our teams victory, and I’m going to guess that there is no looting, no stabbing and no burning of cars.  And thank we’ll thank the hockey gods that we’re not all canucks.

  • Schorert

    and again…

  • http://twitter.com/drummergirl73 Sheryl Harry

    You two. Both. Shut it. You weren’t there. Alot of the rioters have already been identified. They are criminals who came downtown already equipped with masks and weapons. It was freaking scary. I was alone down there.

    I stayed and applauded the Bruins and each team member as they raised the Cup, as did many other Canuck fans. It’s a beautiful city with millions of very cool people. Two guys a couple of seats down were intent on going downtown to riot. I thought they were joking. I’m talking to police. Lots of people are reporting rioters to police.

    Celebrate your Bruins. Congratulations. It’s a great team.

  • http://twitter.com/waterboy99troop waterboy99troop

    Here’s a little gem I’ve found on twitter:

    “People arrested at #vanriot from Seattle and Portland who were banned entry during Olympics. Also those from Tor/Mtl arrested during G20.”
    So you’re right, we are not all Canucks. In fact, the people who started the riot are definitely people who are looking for trouble.

    And for all of you who googled this page just to bash Vancouverites, do your research!

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com/ J.J. Guerrero

    You’re damn right we’re distancing ourselves from those hooligans.  They’re not our brothers.  They don’t represent who we are.  99.99975% of our population actually enjoy the game of hockey.  We don’t use hockey as an excuse to destroy a city.

    If you’re narrow-minded enough to judge an entire fan base by the actions of the 0.00025% last night rather than the actions of the millions who came to the city for two weeks during the Olympics and the millions who enjoyed the playoffs peacefully in the last two months, that’s your call.

  • tinkette

    It’s ok Sheryl, ignore the verbal harrasment from the morons who don’t know any better. They don’t know Vancouver and they don’t know the real true Canuck fans who like you cheered on the Bruins victory despite our sadness for our boys loss. It’s called RESPECT. We have it. The ones who were causing the riot didn’t have any, and they aren’t the only ones who live there. They don’t represent the rest of us. They are idiots. We are strong and can pull through. You will be ok. Be strong hon.

  • tinkette

    It’s ok Sheryl, ignore the verbal harrasment from the morons who don’t know any better. They don’t know Vancouver and they don’t know the real true Canuck fans who like you cheered on the Bruins victory despite our sadness for our boys loss. It’s called RESPECT. We have it. The ones who were causing the riot didn’t have any, and they aren’t the only ones who live there. They don’t represent the rest of us. They are idiots. We are strong and can pull through. You will be ok. Be strong hon.

  • Cherryfairy3

    Grow up and open your eyes. That was very few people out of the many more fans and people who live there. Geez. Keep your damn opinion to yourself. What are you doing in a CANUCK blog anyways if we are here trying to collect ourselves as fans, the real fans whom wouldn’t do this. I wouldn’t do that. But hey, then again, there was that 9 year old boy that was elbowed in the face in Boston for wearing a Canucks jersey. So, we can point fingers all day, all in all we agree to disagree. Now go get a life and write in your own teams blog you jerk!

  • Cherryfairy3

    Just cause a select few chose to be dicks doesn’t mean you have to be one too.

  • Cherryfairy3

    I think it is unfair to put the Canucks to blame for the riot, they are not to blame for peoples lame choices to do those stupid things last night. I am a true blue Canucks fan and am not a moron who would do such idiotic things if they lose or win. I personally think after reading/hearing/seeing all the riot stuff that those assholes would have done it regardless. And to think they are putting a bad name for not just Vancouver but all of BC and Canada out there is just gross. Hopefully there are people out there in the world with great sense to realize it was only those people who did that dumb act and not all Canuck fans, or Canadians for that matter are that stupid. Congrats go to the Bruins, they have the right to celebrate their win regardless of the sting of the loss on our end. The game is over but the cleanup is just starting. On to rest for all hockey players then start on to the race for 2012′s cup. Sorry to those who were harmed.

  • Gadfly

    This is one over-rated hoceky team but Luongo is the most over-rated. He actually looked shakey during ther Olympics. Jr. B. Stop the cliches !

  • Schorert

    so lets be clear here, you are now blaming the US for your riots?  It’s really hard to be sympathetic to the plight of canucks fans who have been dragged down by the unseemly behavior of a few, when you cannot even accept responsablity for your own bad apples.  This is almost more embarassing than a riot…to look at a picture of a guy in a nucks jersey burning a car and saying “well, he MUST be from the US”.
    Watch the videos…dozens and dozens loot, vandalize and riot…and thousands are cheering. Portland must have had a holiday.

  • Schorert

    jesus, tinkette, there you go again, that’s just the point!  you self rightous fans painted the whole town of boston as thugs because of this alleged act on a 9yr old.  the hypocrisy of your post, of most of the posters here, is laughable.  THOUSANDS of canuck fans rioted…I watched it live until 1:30 am est.  So anecdotal info from a few canucks fans in boston makes our whole city crap…and thousands of fans trashing your city, doing a million dollars in damage,  is NOT supposed to represent your fanbase.  got it…whatever gets you throught the night.
    I pity the majority of canucks fans, I really do feel bad for you, your countrymen let you down. 
    congrats…this is this jerks last post on this sorry blog.  hope we see your team next year in the finals…

  • Koby

    Not blaming the US – but the police do have in custody the “usual suspects” – involved during the G20 riots in Toronto, and “activists” who were involved in the WTO riots in Seattle way back. Can’t deny that the majority of the mob would identify themselves as Canucks fans, especially if the team had won the cup. The same “fans” who have probably gone back to calling the Sedins “sisters” and generally falling back in line with the people going out of their way to come to this site to talk smack about the ‘Nucks.

  • Koby

    Not blaming the US – but the police do have in custody the “usual suspects” – involved during the G20 riots in Toronto, and “activists” who were involved in the WTO riots in Seattle way back. Can’t deny that the majority of the mob would identify themselves as Canucks fans, especially if the team had won the cup. The same “fans” who have probably gone back to calling the Sedins “sisters” and generally falling back in line with the people going out of their way to come to this site to talk smack about the ‘Nucks.

  • Sternip

    I lived in Vancouver for a year, downtown, for a while on Granville Street, later closer to the lower east side, and I do think Vancouver has got a definite rowdy/rough element that you can see on any Friday night. For sure, every city does, but there is something for me particularly hedonistic in Vancouver, especially in the summer, with an element reminiscent of a Mediterranean 18-30 resort or Cancun during spring break.

    I thought the nightlife was great, but I also saw way more riotous behaviour from locals than anywhere else I’ve been (in the developed English speaking world), and even worse consequences on several occasions. 

    But I think as much of it is about that as about how united the city is behind hockey. It’s like in England (and other countries in Europe which also have hooliganism problems), where in most cities football/soccer is the _only_ sport people care about, with everything else distant runners up, kind of like CFL is in Vancouver. I believe this creates a religious, patriotic fervour for the local team in the town that isn’t quite seen where loyalties are significantly split between competing sports. 

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