Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

THAT’S more like it! June 17, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:30 am
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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:


for shame June 16, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:05 am
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Vancouverites packed downtown to celebrate the Stanley Cup.  Game 7 Canucks vs Bruins.  Vancouver needed to win.  They didn’t.  I was unimpressed with Vancouver’s play, but I was absolutely disgusted with the adolescent behaviour of the ‘fans’ afterwards.  The lack of basic citizenship, shown by refusing to disperse, cheering trouble makers, and filming every moment demonstrates a disturbing trend.

What could have been a really great memory of community spirit is marred by idiots who don’t know what civilized behavior looks like.  Kelowna lost its wonderful community Regatta because the same sort of people started coming into town with rocks in their trunks to riot for fun.  Alcohol fuels such behaviour, and although the police and security tried to prepare in order to prevent these kinds of riots, when good citizens do not stand up to decry such actions, fools are going to do stupid things.

Who is going to pay for the clean up and the policing bills?  Business insurance will go up.   The Orca Bay Group raked in some tidy profits in seven games.  I sincerely hope they will take some financial responsibility.  As well, all those cameras and phones filming every moment should make it fairly easy for the police to identify the trouble makers.  I hope they are all caught and severely fined so that hard-working, respectable citizens who weren’t rioting in the streets for amusement, don’t have to pay for their foolishness.


At the same time that I was writing this blog, those respectable citizens were making plans.  This is social media at its best, mobilizing the citizenry to positive ends.  Smitty Smith has created a Facebook event inviting Vancouverites to come downtown and help clean up the mess.  How inspiring is that?  Good on you, Smitty.  If you’re in Vancouver, the details are here:!/event.php?eid=219286898091948


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