It really is a shame what happened last night in Vancouver–I truly believe it was the work of a small minority, taking advantage of the situation. I personally believe we would have seen rioting and looting even if Vancouver won. Here’s why:
I have always been a fan of the “street party”. From my early high school days in South Western Ontario where small towns would shut down streets to let everyone roam around with (or without) drinks, to homecoming parties at Queen’s, to Canada Day here in Ottawa. I’ve always thought that being outside with multitudes of people celebrating is a great way to spend a day/evening. But more recently there seems to be people who are not there for the celebration, but are there for the chance to cause some damage.
I’ve noticed this happening recently in Kingston. Incidents lead to Homecoming moving from the fall to a time during the summer session — when far less students are on campus. Was it alumni coming back and ripping up the town for old time sakes? No way, it was current students, Kingstonians, and many out of towners in for the party.
That’s why I think the riot would have happened whether they won or lost. There were people in that huge crowd that were just there for the chance to go crazy. Now I shouldn’t say that the negative vibe from losing wouldn’t have made things a bit more violent–that is a distinct possibility. But I really do think the party was going to get out of control one way or another.
Now what to do about this. Truthfully I’m not sure–this seems to happen more and more often with these major sports championships. Perhaps a greater police presence? Or should there be some more communication with the revellers before the game that night? I’m not sure, but I do hope that the follow up actions that Vancouver is undertaking at least make people think before things get out of hand. Unfortunately this has put the great city of Vancouver in a very poor light.
And just edited my post to add this–I do hope that the idea of the street party continues! So many good (non-rioting) memories!