The downtown riot had nothing to do with the game itself but was simply a bunch of hotheads with a lot of built-up anger inside looking for a reason to let go of their rage.
The lost game was just their excuse to do it, and a poor one at that.
The damage they caused, both mentally and financially, is inexcusable, and they should be held highly accountable for their actions or history will just repeat itself.
Most of the pictures I have seen clearly depict the people involved, so there should be no problem in prosecuting them. But one still has to wonder what their parents have been teaching them for them to become so angry and destructive.
It certainly was not do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Cheryl Berti, White Rock
Name of the game
Why were we all so surprised at the inevitable lawlessness in Vancouver last week?
The hockey culture demands we glorify lawlessness in this so-called sport. Many refuse to come out of their denial over the fact blatant legalized violence and rage portrayed by professional hockey players desensitizes a culture to brute violence.
It’s not a family sport and parents should be wary of hockey club owners like the Canucks and what they instill in our kids. It’s an embarrassing sport that has gripped our culture and it was a shameful night for Canada, but let us never forget the Canuck club owners, coaches and their players are directly to blame for inspiring the lawlessness and violence that night.
If a man punches someone in the face in the street, they can be arrested, jailed and have a criminal record for life. But, before millions of adoring Canuck fans, players assault the opposing team and vice versa, and they are worshipped? Bizarre!
As we continue to desensitize our kids and promote a spirit of lawlessness and violence through hockey, B.C. will reap what it sows, and last week’s spectacle will become more and more common. We should expect this and not be surprised.
My question and message to the wealthy Canuck hockey club owners, coaches and players is this – are you man enough to outlaw and penalize acts of brutality and violence for the sake of the next generation from now on?
My guess is the answer is: ‘no, we have no conscience and enjoy the violence and now so do our fans, who make us rich.’
Andrew King, Surrey
Lance Peverley’s column (Riot moves us one step closer to police state, June 17) is right on the mark.
How is it possible that so many people stayed around and gawked? With this, they have given those brain-dead hoodlums the audience they craved.
It is hope that justice will prevail. Although this seems unlikely, given our justice system. Already the water polo player thinks he can get away with his lame apology. The club suspends him – for how long?
All the upstanding people of Greater Vancouver need to stand together and see that these perpetrators get severely punished.
The worst insult is that these thugs committed their crimes wearing Canucks jerseys, thus sullying the name of the organization as well.
As for the Canucks – well done boys, you had a wonderful season and all fans enjoyed it.
Gerda Barwieck, Surrey
Seeing over and over the images left behind from the riots, now we read about the cost from the courts and the defence lawyers the public will have to pay for.
Not only that, we face time for court cases and excuses for defence lawyers to limit punishment.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the legal profession’s religion bowing to the east each day thanking Pierre Trudeau for his financial support. It will be endless as the courts will read tarot cards to lay the charges, to be kind and not to offend – driving up the cost by claiming the limited availability of judges, sheriffs and lawyers, caused by them dragging their feet.
Suan.H. Booiman, White Rock
Lack of punishment
The Vancouver rioters should know the BC Civil Liberties Association will be looking after their interests. Even now, they are no doubt searching through the photos and films looking for evidence of “police brutality.”
Trying to tell rioting riffraff to stop their shenanigans would seem pretty pointless when everybody is shouting and nobody listening.
To protect their clients, these self-styled civil libertarians would probably like to disarm the police and have them reissued with feather dusters. They would, however, not be allowed to raise them above shoulder height as that would be classified as an “aggressive posture.”
The problem here is not the police but the lack of appropriate sentencing. A page should be taken from Singapore. On arrival at their airport, a notice board states: “Mandatory death sentence for drug smugglers.” Who cared, unless you were a drug smuggler.
If the riffraff here knew how severe the consequences would be when caught, they might stay off the streets and crawl back into the woodwork along with these civil libertarians.
G. Reid, Surrey
Sunshine in the storm
Upon hearing of the Canucks’ unfortunate loss following the winner-take-all Stanley Cup final, I was disgusted – but not entirely surprised – to see the ensuing riots that ravaged the city and blackened Vancouver’s reputation
I could go on to condemn the actions of those few irresponsible, drunken troublemakers; admonish those who encouraged such vile behaviour; slam the VPD for their apparent lack of preparedness in dealing with excessive crowds, etc.
But I’m not going to do that. Enough censuring has been done by local and international communities, shared by social and news media, ad infinitum and ad nauseum, to the point where the message is clear. I paraphrase the words of an acquaintance when I say that last Wednesday, Vancouver lost not only the Stanley Cup but also its dignity.
Instead, I’m going to use what few and precious words I can to honour those who acted, and continue to act, against the damage done to both the city and its reputation. I wholeheartedly commend those Vancouverites who – many at the risk of their own safety – rose against the rioters to defend their fair city.
I admire those who took advantage of technology to capture video proof of the perpetrators, that those responsible may be identified and rightly brought to justice. I applaud the volunteers and sanitation staff who gave their efforts to restore normalcy to an abhorrent situation. You have all renewed my faith in humanity’s capacity to retain its best, even while behaving at its worst.
Only in the middle of a thunderstorm can you truly appreciate that little bit of sunshine that brings out the rainbow.
Jillian Yuen, Surrey