Now, about the appalling riots.
The post-Stanley Cup Final looting and burning of Vancouver should come as a surprise to nobody. A disappointment? Yes. Surprise? No. Vancouver's populace, or at least a subsection or subculture thereof, has a history of looting and burning the downtown based upon any pretext whatsoever, and with joy they took full advantage of the situation again last night.
It's hard to believe the Vancouver police weren't better prepared and more strategically deployed, but perhaps - just perhaps - they thought this year things would be different and gave the locals the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, they were wrong and were obviously caught off guard.
To quote Brian Hutchison, "something is fundamentally wrong in the city and the surrounding region." That 'something' is two-pronged -- the inculcation and nurturing of a decadent and ignorant anti-globalist, anti-capitalist, anarchist "anti-establishment" subculture combined with a police force that is constrained by fear of public reproach and bad press for man-handling destructive rioters.
Canada is a country where the projection of police force is widely decried as unjust in the left-dominated major media, particularly where those doing the destroying are protesting against all things capitalist, even though at street level there is more support for the use of force to quell riots and arrest rioters. I am a strong proponent of constraining police powers, but when people start looting businesses and burning people's possessions, the gloves should quickly come off and the police reprisals should be swift and painful. It is the fear of negative public perception that causes police to hesitate, and it is the innocent public, bystanders, businesses and taxpayers who pay the price, not just in the pocketbook but more importantly in the loss of privacy and freedom to ever-increasing levels of police intrusion through big brother instruments, like CCTV. In coming days, watch for the police to ratchet up demands for investment in constant monitoring of everyone, or lobby to prohibit large street gatherings.
Incidents like last night's riot are precisely the junctures at which police need to intervene and project ample force to protect the city and its citizens and its interests. Those Vancouverites who exult in destroying business store fronts, stealing merchandise, burning vehicles, and other anti-social behaviours, need to pay a harsh price for their inherent hypocrisy and gross disrespect for their fellow working citizens. Cue the cavalry, water cannon and riot gear and smack down the morons, hard. I have no problem with police drawing their blood and dragging their idiotic asses to the paddy-wagon. Make it painful now and make the pain endure with fines and criminal sentences.
The city of Vancouver needs to authorize and publicly endorse and support the police to slam its degenerate anti-social elements so they come to understand that rioting will result in short- and long-term pain. Only then will the ongoing trashing of Vancouver end. Only then will Vancouver become a "world class city."
Update 1: Vancouver Police Chief, "... young men and women disguised as Canucks fans who were actually criminals and anarchists." Exactly. It didn't matter if the Canucks won or lost; the downtown was going to burn. Let's hope the police are ready next time to bring the pain.
Update 2: Morons, in full colour. Abominable.
Update 3: Of course some of the rioters were Canucks fans.
Update 4: Brian Hutchinson is killing it again.
There are problems with [the] assertion [that violence was caused by a "small group of troublemakers"]. First, it’s false. Eyewitnesses saw hundreds of men and women become involved in the destruction Wednesday night. We watched as they turned over port-a-potties, tore down fences, broke windows, looted from shops, set fire to vehicles, jumped through the fires, photographed themselves in action, egged on one another, called their friends and told them to come down to the party, and assaulted, verbally or physically, the few brave private citizens who called them out on their behaviour and tried to put and end to it. And thousands — thousands — more people remained in the downtown core to watch and cheer. Consenting, condoning, enabling adults. I’d call them participants, too. Their presence and their gleeful expressions seemed absolutely sinister.
The mass involvement Wednesday night is deeply troubling and there is no simple explanation for it.