More digital ink than blood has been spilled over the recent Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver and who’d want it any other way? But it was an easier outcome to predict than the winner of the Cup and in fact, I did.
But to suggest the mayhem that unfolded in downtown Vancouver on June 15 was simply due to a bunch of sore losers, drunk and pissed off that the Canucks lost a trophy is simply shortsighted.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, the large majority if not all of those arrested for partaking in the nonsensical chaos aren’t even Vancouverites. In fact, Vancouverites didn’t hesitate to assist the police from the get-go.
The sheer idiocy that unfolded in Vancouver that night could just as easily happen in any major city in Canada or the world over. It had nothing to do with a hockey game and everything to do with questionable crowd control preparations and a mob mentality that, fuelled by alcohol, was a powder keg waiting for a fuse to be ignited. That’s not to suggest the VPD are solely to blame either. After all, like day one of Toronto’s G20 riot, the police will only intervene in such instances after being ordered.
I suspect Vancouver City Hall, the B.C. Government, and the Vancouver Police Board suffered from a general disconnect with reality. They collectively must have thought, rightly or wrongly, after hosting a successful, peaceful Olympic Games that corners could be cut and costs reduced.
Of the friends here I petitioned, all of them stated they weren’t surprised a riot ensued.
How this city’s officials could’ve suffered such a massive brain cramp is anyone’s guess. That too is tougher to do than it was to predict, win or lose, that all hell would break loose in downtown Vancouver that night.
What’s your take on what happened in Vancouver on June 15, 2011?