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.