Vancouver’s Stanley Cup Riot was a foregone conclusion

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.

Messages left by citizens on the boarded up windows of a looted store in downtown Vancouver. Photo by Liam Lahey

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?

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3 Responses to Vancouver’s Stanley Cup Riot was a foregone conclusion

  1. Sue says:

    If they weren’t from Vancouver, then where were they from? I predict another “peaceful” riot when these characters get hauled into court….there are going to be some very angry bystanders I think!!

  2. @LiamLahey says:

    From what I’ve read, mostly surrounding communities & some folks came as far away from Calgary apparently. Thanks for reading/commenting Sue & good point: there’s a lot of angry people here about what happened to their city. But there’s been an upside: This city has united to help clean up & demand accountability. The powers that be should launch an inquiry that’s open to public input. Again, from what I’ve read thus far, the inquiry to come doesn’t involve witness testimony, public’s opinion.

  3. lisa lahey says:

    I can understand how the Vancouver authorities would have prepared to the extent they did for the Olympics. The Stanley Cup, certainly a major hockey event, certainly isn’t on a par with the Olympics in terms of worldwide recognition and the need for the amount of security Vancouver accorded the Olympics. My guess is the riots were unpredicted by the authorities, at least to the extent that they occurred. or the city would have been aptly prepared. Interesting that Vancouverites predicted the riots because I’m reasonably certainly people elsewhere (eg. Toronto) were quite astounded by the riots.

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