I said in the previous post that I don't want to get into the politics of things, but I will say this: it's been determined some people went downtown with the intention of starting a riot, regardless of the results of the game. Some of the original rioters caught on film sported the same black bandannas as the protesters from the Olympics, and are connected with an anarchist group.
That's what got it started, anyway. The rest of the rioters were mostly a lot of young males (late teens, early twenties; our age of majority here in BC is 19). They were severely intoxicated; although they're responsible for what they did regardless of their level of inebriation, they were ripe to be pushed over the line from drunken kids to brainless minions.
Okay, I am done with the negativity. The world is focusing on the bad stuff. (But as my husband, who studied journalism in college, likes to say: "If it bleeds, it leads.") I'm not going to link to some of the things I've read because I don't like to propagate negativity, though I will say I'm frustrated how many are jumping to these dark conclusions and assuming that this was all about hockey.
What needs more attention is all of the amazing good things that came out of this.
- Wednesday night, a group event formed on Facebook: Post-Riot Cleanup: Let's Help Vancouver. The logo was a modification of the Canucks Logo.
- Eighteen thousand people showed up on Thursday morning to help clean the city (at least, that's how many people RSVP'd yes). Yesterday they were thanked with a pancake breakfast. I wanted to be there, too, but it was our AGM at work, and that kinda took priority. Also, check out the photos! And this wall of support. And this police car covered with notes of gratitude.
- The premier has declared that this will not stop Vancouver from having public outdoor gatherings. In her words, "... we are not going to stop having outside events in Vancouver and we are not going to give up the streets to criminals".
- Another Facebook group sprang up encouraging those caught in the riot to share their photos and videos with the police to help catch those criminals. As of this writing, that one has more than 72,000 fans. (Sigh. If it bleeds, it leads.) And many, many people involved with the rioting and looting are going to learn the hard way that in this digital age, it's impossible to assume anonymity.
- Next week there is a Vancouver Spirit Rally planned. I'm downtown for a number of reasons that day, but I'm definitely going to stop by!
- Finally, slightly off topic, but have you seen this kiss? So sweet and romantic (and undeniably hot), especially when you read the story behind it.