Frances Bula header image 2

The hockey riots: How did this happen?

June 16th, 2011 · 319 Comments

I’m in Rome, but we woke up around 7 this morning, typed in “Canucks win” in Google search and spent the next two hours, reading and listening (Twitter, all news sites, CBC livestreaming), appalled.

The question all of us have to have is: How did this happen? All we heard from the police and city was that things had been great up to that point and they expected no trouble. Was that really what they were thinking or was it just positive messaging as strategy?

I heard, among the avalanche of information I surfed through, some comments about how the crowd that night was slightly different and scarier-seeming to people who came downtown. Did that get factored in?

We all want some answers to these questions, I’m sure, as we squirm with embarrassment as our shiny world reputation turns to muck. Is it inevitable, given the human nature of young drunk kids, that this kind of thing will happen with certain events and all you can hope to do is contain it somewhat? Or was there some seriously wrong thinking here?

I note that NPA council candidate Joe Carangi has just sent out a news release blaming the mayor and Vision/COPE councillors for bad planning and so on (attached below). That seems like a simplistic response to me, but we need to understand the conversations the police were having with the city about what could be handled and what precautions were in place.

I’m sure it will take a few weeks to hash out all the answers, but it sounds like many of you were watching closely or downtown last night or helping with the clean-up. Any thoughts, particularly people who were watching things unfold during the day?




Vancouver City Council candidate Joe Carangi is condemning the lack of planning by Mayor Gregor Robertson and his COPE/Vision coalition for Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup riots. 
“The public needs a full accounting about the events of last night to be able to understand the whats and whys of what happened.” says Carangi, an NPA candidate for Council in this November’s election. “Last nights riot was a black mark on Vancouver’s well deserved reputation as a tolerant, liveable city.The City, merchants, and property and vehicle owners suffered millions of dollars in direct damage, millions more in lost productivity for all the people who will lose work while their workplaces are being repaired, and uncountable millions in lost tourist dollars.” 
Carangi had praise for the restraint of the police when faced with the hostile, and violent crowds that had gathered downtown during and after the Canucks loss to Boston in game seven of the Stanley Cup. “As I watched the bravery of those few dozen officers, most of them on foot and protected only by helmets and shields, I could not help but be proud,” says Carangi. “They were the true heroes of the Stanley Cup. It was no game; there were no referees, no rules, and they faced a bigger challenge than 23 opponents on an NHL roster.” 
Joe Carangi, is a lawyer who provides low-cost legal help to more than 4,500 British Columbians. 

Categories: Uncategorized