This is not another opinion piece on the riots that took place in Vancouver. This is an open statement from a Canadian. I refuse to allow the actions of some people disgrace being a Canadian. I am a proud Canadian. I have been following the situation closely since the Canucks lost to the Bruins on Wednesday. Even though I knew what happened in ‘94 in a similar situation, I had no idea how out of hand it would get.
I am not proud of the riots that happened or of the hatred following. Creating facebook groups to verbally abuse those involved does not help. People are posting pictures of anyone in the area stating that they are all involved. Some were just trying to get home, made difficult by barricades and tear gas. Those involved will be held accountable, however it is not up to us to decide their punishment. Stating that you hope someone gets raped in jail is never appropriate, therefore why does this situation make it any more appropriate to say?! Hate plus hate does not help a situation. These people are not inbred, retarded, mentally challenged or any other comment you can throw at them. They are people who made a poor decision. They are still people. I am not trying to justify what they did, but I can never figure out why we are always so quick to hate. I’m disappointed in what they did to Vancouver, but I do not hate them.
I am proud of the people who banded together to help clean up the city. I am proud of people who understand it is not the entire nation to blame for this, nor the city of Vancouver. I am proud of the people who let the police know they appreciated their work. I am proud of those people who stood up to the looters, the rioters and took a beating to try to change what was happening. I am proud of those who have been writing messages of hope and love on the boarded up windows in downtown Vancouver.
It is not the Mayor’s fault, it is not the Canucks’ fault and it is not the Police Department’s fault. It is the fault of the rioters.
I will never understand why people riot over certain things. A friend said, “It’d be awesome if 100,000 people could unite and riot or stand against something like canadian kids living in poverty, lack of quality health care in northern communities, the quiet deterioration of our personal privacy and basic human rights in different countries. But over a fucking hockey game? Wake the fuck up people, there’s something bigger.” Other countries fight for things that matter. Hockey is important to us, but it is not worth all of this destruction.