Concerning Recent Events: A Letter From A Vancouverite To The World

So I guess you’ve heard. Beautiful Vancouver, host of the 2010 Olympics, home to orca whales, multiculturalism, cheap sushi and polite Canadians, is really filled with bloodthirsty hockey fans eager to self-destruct their surroundings if the score disappoints. Or at least, that’s the impression the riot has left you with.

I’d like to defend Vancouver – best I can – when I say that a majority of the Canucks’ REAL fans were not the ones wreaking havoc in the downtown core Wednesday night. The rioters have been misrepresented around the world as angry and gypped diehard Canuck fans. This representation, fueled by photos of jersey-wearing imbeciles, is vastly incorrect.

Let one thing be known: the riot would have ensued regardless of the game’s outcome. Many of the rioters brought goggles and ski masks to the city center before the game had started. Furthermore, police reports now allege that many of the rioters were also those who participated in the 2010 Olympics anarchist demonstrations. If anything, Wednesday night was the result of premeditated anarchy, not a hockey score.

The people rioting downtown were bored, angry, alcohol-fueled and idiotic. They were hell-bent on causing disruption but they weren’t acting on passionate, furious emotions. They were going through the motions of starting a riot, because, essentially, they simply wanted to riot.

These people’s behavior Wednesday night was despicable. Those who defend the rioters as “true fans” are being willfully ignorant. The true Canuck fans were deflated, crest-fallen, and seeking solace in the comfort of a quiet bar or their homes on Wednesday night. They weren’t flipping over cars, throwing lit trash cans at the police or looting Sears.

The fact that the riot has completely overshadowed the hard work of the Canucks this year is yet another blight on our city that we should all work to amend. The Canucks deserve to be congratulated on their wonderful season, and Vancouverites have let them down just as much as they have “let us down” by denying the city the Stanley Cup. The Bruins outplayed the Canucks in the last games of the playoffs, and arguably, the better team won. The Canucks should not have to be further embarrassed for their city and the destruction triggered by Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final.

Those who acted in defense of the city also deserve congratulations. A recent YouTube video of one brave woman is particularly inspiring. “This is our fucking city,” she yells, “what is WRONG with you people?” I can’t watch the taunting reaction of the rioters without my stomach lurching. To this woman – thank you.

The level of idiocy documented by the riot is paramount. Personal favorite photos include these men striking (lame) poses in front of the fire and some trashy girl flashing the camera in front of a burning vehicle. I hope the parents of those involved find these photos and dole out their own brands of guilt and punishment. My father, upon watching a video of some wasted girl looting moisturizer, sighed and muttered (albeit melodramatically) “I feel embarrassed to be a human-being.”

In light of the role of social media in our society, this embarrassment can be felt stronger than ever – the photos of the riot are spread far and wide. However, there is good to come of this. Some of the culprits can be identified, and opinions on their actions can be easily expressed. An impressive amount of Vancouverites have already uploaded photos into post-riot Facebook groups, designed to collect images of the rioters in hopes that some justice will be served.

One site called “public shaming eternus” has gone semi-viral; this alone speaks to the amount of people determined to amend the wrongs done against their city. The site creator, self-proclaimed “Captain Vancouver”, says it best when he states “Anyone […] commits a sin of omission by not doing the right thing and walking away from the actions perpetuated by others that are not good.”

But I maintain: the people in these photos are not Vancouverites – not in earnest. They do not represent the loyal fans and kind people of this city. A small amount of morons, spineless enough to be seduced by mob mentality and the token prize of a rowdy, rebellious new Facebook profile picture, are now representing the whole city through these images. It is a shame that they have played a part in creating what will surely be remembered as an infamously sad day in Vancouver’s history.

The real Vancouverites emerged Thursday, taking to the streets early in the morning to clean the mess. In this, there is hope. The people who truly cared about the Canucks weren’t those seeking to destroy the team’s beautiful city. The real fans were those writing honest, heartfelt proclamations of regret for the rioters’ actions on the boards covering the destruction. They were the people taking the time to express thanks to the Canucks for their season, and to the police for taking action against those who undermined it. The team played brilliantly for the most part. They helped us unite in the streets, in bars, with our families and friends. On a personal level, they made the move from the East coast back to the West less mind-numbingly dull. During the playoffs, Vancouverites bonded through a silent commonality: we had a team worth cheering in the streets for, and we still do. The real fans will be there, next season, white towels in hand and jerseys on their backs.

Rioters, stay home. TC mark

image – Duncan Rawlinson

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  • Ian

    lol Anarchists? Please. Stop trying to pass the blame. It was stupid, drunk Canadian hockey fans, and that’s that.

    • Edouard

      No, it wasn’t. Just like this article meticulously explained, true Canadian hockey fans would never do that to their gorgeous city. As a Montrealer myself, I am ashamed of what those idiots did to one of Canada’s finest destinations. “Anarchists” may be strong, but this was not “rowdy drunk Canadian hockey fans.” Trust me, we don’t behave like that.

      • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

        “Anarchists” isn’t “strong,” it’s factually incorrect. Unless they were anarchists, which I’ve seen no evidence of, so correct me if I’m wrong

        it’s not like there is a continuum of pissed-off people with “anarchists” at one end

      • Kane
      • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

        that’s why I said I might be wrong, I really didn’t know. thanks for informing me. my point about the word “strong” still stands though

      • robyn

        I suppose you are wholly unaware of the people dressed in all black, wearing balaclavas, wielding fire extinguishers at people and throwing jugs of gasoline on whatever they could. Maybe you should take a look through the thousands of photos…

      • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

        I only looked at one photo, I’m under the impression that the riot mostly consisted of people making out in the street

    • Ian

      And I agree, there ARE good Vancouverites, but unfortunately they are the minority, whereas the rest like to set cars on fire, shoot up heroin, and beat up people who try to prevent cars from being set on fire, ie, this video.

    • guest

      yeah, blaming ‘anarchists’ for deep seated, widespread, psychological forces at the root of rioting is a pretty hilarious and pathetic attempt at scapegoating; IT WAS THE BAD BOOGEY MEN ANARCHISTS, NOT THE NICE “REAL” PEOPLE/FANS lmao. Cool analysis of events written for your 12th grade social studies class or something, bro

    • Guest

      People said there would be riots regardless of the outcome of the game, and if you watched the game at all and heard how loud the Canucks fans were singing the national anthem, you’d understand that they wouldn’t riot.

  • Guest

    Beautifully written. Such a poignant and compelling article from someone who clearly loves their city.  

  • Mr Shankly

    What an extremely condescending article. Thankyou for clarifying that the violence was catalysed by alcohol, and that the rioters were silly geese who had no real moral reasoning for being so angry. Before now I’d assumed that the events were on par with the civil unrest in northern Africa. It’s nice, too, that you seem to view yourself as a more accurate representation of a ‘Vancouverite’ than any drunk, irate dickhead in a hockey jersey.

    I suppose I can conclude, then, that everyone in Vancouver is as sanctimonious as you. How awful. I’ll have to make sure I never, ever visit.

    • Mr Shankly

      Oh, and someone ought to make a ‘Concerning Recent Events: A Letter From An Athenian To The World. Or something along those lines which might actually be an amusing article.

    • zzzzz

      Yes, if you’ve never visited Vancouver, don’t bother.  It’s a pile of shit, as evidenced by “rioters” and self-righteous others like this piece would suggest.  And I would know, I live here.

  • dorothytortoise

    Thank you. 

  • James

    Holy No True Scotsman, batman.

  • steve

    …because there couldn’t be any underlying and greater dissatisfaction helping fuel the burning of your third rate, racially segregated, class divided economically depressed, middle of fucking nowhere, chip-on-its-shoulder-having, no sunshine getting city?  Don’t be so fucking simple and sanctimonious.

    • Carly

      irrelevant. 

    • siouxie

      the riot had nothing to do with any sort of racial or class division. as a “vancouverite” all i saw were a bunch of suburban bro’s wanting to fuck shit up. don’t give them any more intelligence than that.

      • Clare

        Exactly. Don’t bring class division into this – that’s not what the article was addressing. Just because Vancouver has class division does not mean any riot or protest comes back to those issues. 

      • guest

        lol

    • http://roamania.tumblr.com Jillypants

      I wouldn’t say Vancouver is in the middle of nowhere. Saskatoon maybe. but not Vancouver. And the summer months are super sunny!!! I got a sunburn the other day! and the rest of your comment is far too exhausting to even begin to address. so, I will return to my SUNROOM and talk to my DIFFERENTLY RACED roommates about how nice our day was.

    • Alex

      HAHA at “no sunshine getting city.”
      The forecast calls for clouds, letssss riots! 

      The article was not simple, nor sanctimonious, it was just confined and clear. 

      And “middle of fucking nowhere” is also incorrect…

    • guest

      lol

  • Anonymous

    Well said. Absolute idiots, they can be found everywhere including Canada! 

  • Fire&Skill

    Vancouver is a beautiful city, without a doubt, and one of the best to live in… if you have the 1.5 million to actually live, as in own property, there. Those people rioting were Vancouverites, and were real representations of our city, if anything this riot has cleanly assigned this cities youth into  a few distinct categories. 
    In the heart of the riot, were Vancouver’s politically unsatisfied, radical, left-wing anarchists. Primarily white residents of east van, or anywhere else housing is cheap enough. They see what’s wrong with Vancouver, and Canada, and they want to change it. They are the ones who brought balaclavas, and Molotov cocktails, and had, what they felt, were legitimate reasons to riot.
    These were the ones who are less likely to be seen on facebook, looting The Bay for Mac products, they have rioted before and understand the importance of anonymity.
    The two other categories involved in the riot, what made it such a unique chaotic event, were mainly bridge and tunnel folk. The true anarchists were helped by true idiots. Thugs from Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, or wherever, commonly Asian and Brown. Their little angry eyes, light up at the sight of a car lighting up, and they quickly transformed into curious bystanders, to window-smashing, other race bashing, rioters. There first riot, they barely cared for being anonymous, because in the heart of the matter, they were all one identity, and you can get in trouble, if EVERYONE is doing it. These thCugs, couldn’t pass up a free ipod, or the chance to brag about their tough and “hardstyle” antics. The other group of youths, who saw this situation and chose to involve themselves, were the rich white private school kids, of West and North Van. Consequence is a word they can’t spell, and with Daddy’s 401k keeping him busy, and mommy’s fucking of the pool boy, his concern in getting fucked over from knocking over a porter potty was limited. A first time rioter, who just wanted to feel something, opposed to his vast nothingness. A sort of “less than zero” phenomenon. 
    And finally, the fourth, and maybe worst crowd of all was the pseudo self-righteuous hipsters, who come by with their garbage bags and pens in the morning hoping to pick up trash, and sign a fucking wall, expressing their firm “belief in Vancouver”, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. I don’t know which one of these groups is the best representation of Vancouver, I sure hope it’s none of them, but all I can tell you is that many of the rioters knew what they were doing to “our fucking city”. They can see the dreadful separation of class, and that some residents were spending $185,100 to watch the Canucks game from a luxury box, while others were too busy trying to feed 4 kids on a salary that would allow them to buy that box seat if they saved everything they had for 3 and a half years. It’s beautiful, but everything is a mess, and that’s why anarchy exists.

    • Stfu

      wow, could you have added any more offensive generalizations? this is not how life works.

    • Greg

       as uncomfortable as these generalizations made me feel, I find these categories to be present in most cities…kind of well done(reluctant slow clap)

  • Alexkane

    Personally I didn’t find this condescending at all. It was well-written, informed and expressed exactly what I was feeling about our city post-riot. Yes, there are class differences and yes there were a bunch of Vancouverites involved, but the real problems was that there were people there who set out to cause trouble from the get-go. 
    We do live in a beautiful city, regardless of other socio-economic problems, but this article wasnt setting out to address all of those – it was defending the image of Vancouver in regards to the riot alone. In that, you succeeded quite well. Thank-you. 

  • Kasey

    THANKYOUFORTHIS
    RIOTERS, STAY OUT OF OUR CITYYYY.

  • Derrick L.

    People need to calm down. This was a beautifully written, fair article. As a fellow Vancouverite I just want to thank you for expressing what I could not put in to words. 

  • Clare

    If people are going to hard on this article, at least be informed. It WAS apparently “anarchists” who were destructing the city. While the term may be used loosely, it is not factually incorrect. 

  • Kat

    If you’re a “Vancouverite” why did you spell behaviour the wrong way??

    • Brandon

      tc’s run out the US, where behavior is spelled ‘behavior’.

      -brandon

      • yeah

        i was just having this conversation at a party (between americans who study in canada and canadians who study in america): we all agreed that if an american spelled “honor” in a canadian institution and a canadian spelled “honour” in an american institution no one would give a fuck. why would you change “behaviour” to “behavior”? I noticed this also (it glared out at me!) and i was weirded out.

      • tak-um-tak

        sorry – my error – u know – stupid never get -en A- :((- grammar bad too – thats why whoever good must know what i am talking ritenow/
        if u should  call me, and u know what call  many times cuz my Ring’s tone is big add high tone
         and i can see you ringing my fone – i always can see it big  highing tone, what put in front of my eyes make me easily to know who it en-like or not to be talkIng
        if u then make me many calls as you can anyway – BECUS i-fone sometime have no signal so hard to know “how i miss u” calls, thousand years long long long times – 1o1 hahahahha woohoo
        so anytime , >>> anytime<<<< i dont care – if u dont mine of your bzzz lately now.
        but u must know what — hehhehe
        if u must can come today is the best time – i want to be my LOVE most deaddy tmr – all day long with him – cuz he just say how much love me – and want to be with his day what – we both never have time almost a month to see each other — what i did for him a lots – 1 to 1 but who cares this ugly daughter .

        never can make me right time to see – take me wait to look arround this place to that place to see him — but never he have that promise right – daddy never trust in me – i know –

        he try to get me many Game Plays — but i hate all game he bought for me — so high-tech what make me read many dirrection in that guy notes – i warn him this time – u know — digzzy me in that much deep — enough so far or so close , whatever – but this time he realize how long to be with this pwoor girl – I, he must make this time for wi –

        whether , ,,,,, i done know behave with you , or what u really want to  see me – I AM OKAY all any times for u – and i now must ready to wait my dad want to talk to me and take a shortly trip with him

        alright — now u go ,  check right now,  see to have with me this great time — check then call my this supper loud ring tone — i make music  same DOREMON – oh yeah u should have this ring's name- what we try to find in hongkong language version — hahhaha love to hear this song late.ly

        wish having ur good dream whole night – biebie

    • nou?

      I think you mean VANCOVERITE

    • ButGoodQuestion

      TC edits the articles, the Canadian spellings are changed to American.

  • Clare

    I really enjoyed this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    This is great. 

  • Mary

    Nice! AND there are more ACTUAL Canadians on the Bruins. You should be thrilled! haha

  • Ambibmabi703

    Doesn’t this happen all the time.. Ah, well.. C’est la vie…

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  • um

    anarchy =/= chaos

  • a canadian

    canadians rioting about anything is truly hilarious.

  • Elle

    A well-written article. Kudos to the brave woman who stood up to the rioters. I don’t know if I’d ever have the guts to do something like that.

  • Dewe

    Canadians are so un-badass. I cringe when they have “riots”.

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