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Top 10 Vancouver 2011 Stanley Cup Riot Reflections

June 18th, 2011
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2011 Vancouver Riot

I may not be the world’s best blogger, but I know how to collect links and make a top ten list.  I stayed up until sunrise on June 15th or more accurately the morning of June 16th, reading reports, and writing down my thoughts.  I also participated in the discussion going on simultaneously while people watched the riots unfold on TV.  I was actually in what used to be the centre of downtown Vancouver before it shifted West, I watched the game at the Alibi Room, but after the game was over, despite disappointment and the first car being lit on fire, I just headed on home up the hill to Mount Pleasant.  Pretty ironic I watched the Vancouver Riots of 2011 from my apartment in Mount Pleasant.

Anyway without further ado here are the best ten links I’ve collected, I reread all the links I had collected, plus many more stories that were tweeted or shared on Facebook or that I turned up myself in Google.

  1. The sad, painful truth about the rioters’ true identities
  2. Vancouver Rioters: Young Men Going Nowhere Fast
  3. What went wrong in Vancouver?
  4. Vancouver’s Human Flesh Search Engine
  5. Social Media brings out the Snitch in all of us
  6. Vancouver 2011 Riots
  7. As rioters disgrace Vancouver worldwide, social media will play major role in delivering justice
  8. After a Loss in Vancouver, Troubling Signals of Citizen Surveillance
  9. Vancouver’s mayhem was more about mindlessly filling a void than passion
  10. When spitting isn’t just spitting: The first seeds of Vancouver’s riot

This is my last post directly about the riots, at least until considerable time passes.  There are bigger problems facing the world and me personally, than the damage done to the city where I was born, by a bunch of angry drunks.  Writing about them did increase my pageviews some, but I don’t even have any ads to display…  I do have friends all over the world so I’ve been asked by people from Korea, Austria, and Wales how the city is doing after the chaos.

The windows can be fixed, the streets cleaned, the rioters arrested, but the damage done to the city’s image and the anger caused by the events of the last few days will take years and years to finally disappear.

Update June 24th

Alexandra Samuel collected 10 different excerpts from 10 different individuals reflecting on the riots, some of which I’ve linked to previously, some of which are new to me. I’ve tried to move on, work on something positive instead of dwelling on the actions of idiots. I still don’t understand what the rioters were thinking or those that just hung out and cheered them on. Obvious crimes were being committed, deliberately in plain sight. The riot act had been read. I do think camera phones and internet celebrity producing sites like YouTube played a role in people staying to film the chaos, but individuals who took part in the rioting and looting, they made a choice and especially if they chose to consume large quantities of alcohol prior to heading downtown, they deserve to face the consequences of their actions. No one has a lot of sympathy for drunk drivers, why should rioting while drunk be any different? It is dangerous, reckless, and costs the public and truly innocent bystanders dearly.

Update June 25th

More responses keep getting written, including one by a police officer mocking the apologies of some of the rioters. I of course am on the cop’s side in this. You don’t accidentally light a police car on fire. You don’t accidentally pick up a large metal object and hurl it through a window. You certainly don’t accidentally stay and keep rioting and looting when the police tell you to go home through a bullhorn. I do agree with some of the critics that believe individuals on the Internet may have gone too far, enforcing the law is the responsibility of the police. The individuals responsible for the theft and property damage in downtown Vancouver should be investigated, charged, and punished as dictated by existing British Columbian laws. Since when did claiming you were drunk absolve you from any and all crimes, let alone responsibility for your actions?

Update January 20th

The two largest newspapers in British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province, which are conveniently owned by the same corporate entity now have been compelled by the police to turn over all photos they have of potential rioters. However before doing so they released all the photos, 5,481 to be exact to the general public. I’m not sure if this is in protest over having their journalistic process messed with, or for the ‘online snitches’ to go through them alongside the police looking for visible proof of criminal activity, or if this was to help those planning private lawsuits such as London Drugs, or whether this was an attempt to garner attention and sell more papers/adverts.

I just don’t have the time or energy or even the desire to devote my time to looking through 5000+ photos, none of my friends rioted, none of my co-workers rioted, I went home and watched everything unfold on TV and the Internet.

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