Only hours after the riot in Vancouver, the citizens stood up to declare that they did not approve. The rioters were not disappointed fans, as some are saying on the news reports that have spread around the world. They were folks who deliberately wanted to cause trouble. They came prepared for chaos, and they incited it. They no more represent the Canuck fans, than soccer hooligans represent theirs. The regular citizens were as disgusted as the rest of the world, and they were mortified about the negative image that was represented by the obnoxious participants.
Those regular citizens showed up by the thousands this morning to help clean up. They created a wall of messages declaring their feelings about the rioters and their embarrassment and their pride in the city.
This is the real Vancouver:
- The people who tried to get between rioters and buildings to stop looting.
- The people who stood up for others and risked or suffered injury themselves.
- The people who came with gloves, brooms, shovels and garbage bags to clear up the mess.
- The people who signed the boarded up windows of the Bay flagship store, with apologies, declarations of purpose, and hopeful encouragement
I wonder how many police corps could have dispersed so many people as calmly and with as little injury as the Vancouver Police and the RCMP did last night. True, there was significant property damage, but there was very little personal injury. The police kept their cool while being provoked, insulted and attacked. I was totally impressed with them.
The rioters may have given the city a black eye, but the citizens have pulled together to show the true spirit of Vancouver. Be proud people.
PS. Here’s the story from the Canucks point of view: