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City Narrowly Survives Attack By Lame Suburban Douchebags

David Seetoh Lang

by Andrew Morrison | Vancouverites are picking up the pieces tonight and likely struggling to compute the shameful visuals of yesterday’s debacle in the heart of their city that – for just a few hours – appeared to have momentarily lost its way. And who can blame them? June 15th, 2011 was a skull-numbing disaster, a day when idiots ruled.

The Canucks lost what I (and probably you) thought was ours, and rather spectacularly; shut-out 4 goals to nothing. I’ve been a fan for my entire life (having been born in this city two years after the franchise landed), so even though I’ve been down this same road twice before, it hurt hard.

In ’82, I wept like the 9 year old kid that I was on the edge of my mother’s bed. In ’94, I drank myself into such a stupor that I slept for 24 hours. My wife’s tolerance of this devotion was written into our vows ten years ago this month, but little did she know that I’d be 9 years old again for three hours on 82 nights every year.

With the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, circa 2002 (that's wee little James with me)

I watched this Game 7 with well over a hundred friends and neighbourhood compatriots at Pat’s Pub on the DTES and left – more devastated than in years past – with four minutes remaining in the 3rd period. I couldn’t bear to see Chara lift the Cup or watch my team take a collective knee while the bumblebee bastards skated around the arena. I just couldn’t.

Never had I felt more crestfallen than when I made the decision to quietly get up and leave. I won’t ever forget navigating through my friends. I lied to one of them, “I’ll be right back”, but told my brother the truth on my way out. “I can’t take this. I’ll see you later.”

Having a recently broken leg didn’t help my situation. Neither did the effects of Tylenol 3’s mixed with the few beers I’d managed to nurse. Outside in the inappropriate sunlight of East Hastings, I very nearly broke down, making what must have been quite the allegorical sight walking the few blocks home: a choked-up cripple unevenly hobbling the deserted, silent street on crutches with a full playoff beard while wearing a Kesler jersey and a frown as deep as the Laurentian Abyss.

I’d wanted it so badly.

And not just for me. I wanted it for my Mom (who used to send me VHS tapes of the games when I moved to Africa, usually two weeks after they’d been played) and for my grandmother, Doreen, with whom I watched the Canucks fall in Game 5. I wanted it for my kid sister and her husband Rob; for my cousin Christine – possibly the biggest Canucks fan ever – and for my amazing in-laws and friends (so sorry John, Jane, Spencer, Holly, Pablo, James, Mark, Sean, Sonya et al). I wanted it for my grandfather Jack and for my step-dad Ross, both hockey fans who passed on before they ever got the chance to see the Cup paraded down Georgia.

I wanted it especially for my kids, who are of the age when fandom usually strikes. The play-off run had finally gotten them into hockey. This year, they knew the names of the players. They wore their jerseys to school. They made funny signs (the one with the Sharks insignia flanked by golf clubs was my favourite). They were starting to make calls during the flow of play and sometimes even yelled at the refs.

I wanted it for my team. For the Sedins. For Burr. For Luongo. For Manny…

But most of all, I wanted it for my city. I wanted, if only for a year, to live in the home of The Stanley Cup Champions. I wanted to hear tens of thousands of people sing Queen’s “We Are The Champions”. I wanted to see a celebration the likes of which we’d never witnessed before.

Instead, I went home.

My wife and kids did their best to brighten me up, but their condolences did little to assuage my funk. I was irritable. In a fit of utter ridiculousness, I rose my voice to quell an argument about Lego. Not even Michelle’s hurriedly-baked-to-console coconut and chocolate chip cookies could soothe my seething. Not tonight. I was the very definition of inconsolable. If there were to be tears, they’d be coming soon.

But then the texts and photos starting coming in…

“Fighting on Georgia. Feels like a riot’s gonna start.”

“Dude, shit is going off down here. Not safe. Going home.”

“Riot 2011 is on !”

Oh, Jesus. Really? I put on CTV’s live stream and my sadness was quickly replaced by anger. It took me all of three minutes to understand what was happening: my city was under attack by douchebags enabled by even bigger douchebags cheering them on and snapping photos, taking video, tweeting and texting their stupidity to their Facebook “friends”, as if this was somehow the seminal moment of their otherwise vacuous, Nintendo lives (it probably was). People riot for food, for freedom, for myriad worthwhile reasons. But this? No. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I flipped around and found equally damning footage on ABC, NBC, CNN and so on…how embarrassing.

Such is suburbia unleashed. Perhaps I’m being a little naive when I think that no Vancouverite would actively participate in the destruction of their own city, but if I know my fellow citizens at all, I know them to be as house proud as nesting beavers.

But they were there. In the footage and photos from last night, you can see them trying to stop people looting. You can see them breaking up fights. You can tell by the looks on their faces that they’re shocked and ashamed.

And there were heroes among them. Take a look at this courageous fellow (arrives at 2:04)…

That took guts. Give that dude a medal. And then there’s this lady, trying to stop these goofs from smashing another window (she was assaulted for her trouble)…

David Seetoh Lang

But what of the rest? Take a closer look at them. Look at the age bracket, the haircuts, the shades at 10pm, the clothes, the shoes, the gold chains and the irrational steroid + Red Bull + cocaine rage. These aren’t kids from East Van, Kits or the West End, and that guy with the skateboard isn’t a skateboarder. I’ve been skating for 25 years and know poseurs when I see them, and those pants are a dead giveaway. Fucking loser.

No, dear friends, these are douchebags of the first order; malevolent, knuckle-dragging cave boys of the “fuck you, faggot!” breed. I reckon the overwhelming majority were Skytrain and souped-up Honda Civic bandwagon imports from the strip malls of Maple Ridge, Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam and other points beyond our city limits where culture among twenty-somethings and teens fears to tread.

David Seetoh Lang

Sure, we have some living among us (witness the recent ruin of Yaletown and the weekend wrecks of Gastown and Granville), but make no mistake: Vancouver was invaded last night. We were attacked and over-run by ignorant young men with assholes for fathers, shit for brains, and no experience of life beyond their Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, 7-11’s and highschool smoke pits. I mean, who attacks a bookstore, for fuck’s sake? Who smashes the windows of Charlie’s Music?

One of the most frustrating things about the whole gongshow was watching the cops stand by while these shitheads stained downtown. This after they’d bragged that they were ready for every contingency and had the Solicitor-General shut the liquor stores early. Their idleness at the start was beyond me…

David Seetoh Lang

Seeing their patrol cars and other vehicles go up in flames and store fronts looted while they “contained” and “organised” a response made me want to scream “Move your asses! Do something! Fight back!”

As much as I respect the VPD (and personally admire their chief), I wanted them to get into trouble last night. I wanted them to kick so much some spoiled brat ass that there would have to be a public outcry for an inquiry about excessive use of force. I wanted to see horse hooves stomping new tattoos on weekend would-be “anarchist” ankles. I wanted to see all the shit-grinning gawkers throwing up fake gang signs and yelling “wooooo!” getting their ribs properly tickled with truncheons. Though I understood the cops’ restraint (especially considering the success of “passivity” during the Olympics), I didn’t find it admirable in the least. Of course, when they did get the opportunity to smack some sense into a few people, I didn’t wince…

More frustrating was Mayor Gregor Robertson repeating that this was a “small group of troublemakers.” This was a doozy of a hope masquerading as a truth, and so very wrong. For every dozen jerks turning over cars or smashing windows, there were at least a hundred people encouraging them from the sidelines. These were the brave souls who would run up to the flames to pose for pictures before running away. The total number of the invasion force is unknown, but it certainly exceeded a “handful” or a “small group”. We’re talking thousands, all of them getting in the way of police and emergency responders simply by standing around and soaking up the atmosphere so one day they’d be able to say to their presumably illiterate grandchildren “Look how stupid I was!”

There were moments ancillary to last night that got in my craw, too, like Mike Killeen’s coverage on CTV. It was awfully Dad-like with all its grating, knee jerk pontificating and general “I can’t believe this is happening” tut-tutting (if you turned the volume down and just watched his face, you can almost hear him yelling, “Get offa my lawn!”). But it was his flippant assertion that “these aren’t hockey fans” that made my jaw drop the lowest. Vancouver Chief of Police Jim Chu said the same thing today, calling the rioters “young men and women disguised as Canucks fans who were actually criminals and anarchists.” Wow. Such denial is usually the province of third world dictators, as in “these people on the streets are criminals and foreign agents and we will crush them.” Newsflash: they were all hockey fans. You both forgot that it’s a game that principally appeals to yahoos. And therein lies the rub…

David Seetoh Lang

If you’re from BC, male and between the age of 5 and 100, chances are you’re a bit of a hockey fan. If you’re in the most unstable demo – say 15 to 30 –  and from the suburbs, it’s been my experience that you’re an asshole. Young people do really stupid things when they get drunk and are made angry by the stubbing of toes, missing American Idol and watching their team flail against a goalie that looks like Zach Galifiniakis. And when they have thousands of people letting them know that trusting their instincts in such an emotionally-heightened state is a spectacularly good idea, well…this sort of shit happens.

What’s more, putting a camera crew in the midst of such a crowd rioting and having your cops do nothing about it will serve only to further incite, accelerate and exacerbate the situation. And Mike, uttering inane generalisations like, “this city does not know how to behave” is almost as embarrassing as watching a guy jump through the flames of a burning BMW. That guy didn’t know how to behave. Me? I’m alright. I even have a sense of humour about these sorts of things. You definitely made me laugh last night (and Dan Rather cry).

David Seetoh Lang

Worse, though, was former rocker Matthew Good’s awful editorial in the UK’s Guardian, published early this morning. Granted, it was written from the hip when he was as hot under the collar as I, but his condemnation of the entire city as “far more a backwater fishing village that a world-class city” was as wrong as it was dumb. I’d burn his CD’s if I hadn’t first stolen them digitally and then deleted them because they weren’t any good.

But I digress…

If there’s any silver lining at all to last night’s embarrassment (aside from Hawksworth coming out unscathed), it’s that anger is a far more potent emotion than sadness. As I watched the riot unfold, I could no longer give a damn about the Canucks losing. That will sink in later, when the bruise is already half-healed. What I care about today is my city and ensuring that every one of the Ed Hardy-wearing fucktards that messed with it get five times more punishment than the law allows.

If you were one of the assholes down there shooting pictures and video of the rioting and looting for the sake of your own social media kicks, you have the chance to redeem yourself by sending your shots and footage in to the police. If you can help in identifying some of the idiots who were active participants in the riot, go here and help out. If you just want to make fun of people being outed for their stupidity, this is pure gold. Top marks.

And for those who feel like last night was somehow representative of Vancouver, I leave you with shots of the day after to remind you of…

how we really roll

  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Vancouver Riot | Cleaning up the day after

PS. Go Canucks Go!

PPS. Follow up post here.

There are 132 comments

  1. As a fellow Vancouverite (West End) I agree with your sentiment. I was absolutely furious last night as I watched these punks from the Lower Mainland destroy parts of our city. I deal with these people every year during the fireworks and know that the vast majority of people out there were NOT Vancouverites. Though the fireworks don’t have the destruction, we do have to deal with the drunks, public urinating – often on our lawns or directly on our buildings – & garbage everywhere and the basic disrespect of where we live. I’m sick of Vancouver having to deal with these people (and pay financially for it) when they don’t live here.

    I agree that the VPD could have used more force, but as I listened to the police scanner, I realize they were dealing with much more than what was reported. My major complaint is with the Mayor and City Council – there’s reports that the VPD came to them and asked for more $$ well before the game and they said no, it wouldn’t be needed. Though I’m sure no one knew just how much violence would erupt, I’m wondering just how naive our Mayor and Council are when they invite 100k + people downtown during a heated sporting match.

  2. I’m disappointed you’re also blaming “them” for the damage and the violence. I’m sure there were lots of rioters from Surrey, Langley, and Coquitlam, but I’m equally as sure there were plenty from Vancouver, as well. There were probably also a fair amount who were “real Canucks fans”, too. Idiocy and disrespect don’t follow municipality lines or team affiliations, there are d-bags everywhere. People from Surrey and Langley should have just as much civic pride of downtown Vancouver as someone from Kitsilano… afterall, it’s all Metro Vancouver. The idiots who caused this are simply just that: idiots. It doesn’t matter what street they live on, and it’s seriously weak to assume they all came off the skytrain straight from Whalley.

  3. Professional sports cater to the lowest common denominator. In this case, it is for the worst. Your commentary is spot on.

  4. With all due respect, V, I thought I was pretty clear in saying that there were douchebags among us here in the city. And for what it’s worth, I never mentioned Whalley or Langely, though I probably should have. Am I wrong in assuming that the majority of those people who enjoy pissing all over the West End during the fireworks and smashing windows at Chapter’s are from the suburbs? I don’t think so. Were there kids from Kits and West Van there, too? Probably, but I’d wager they were in the minority, by far. Thanks for commenting just the same. I suppose when the arrests are made, we’ll see who is right.

  5. Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing was a disgrace, but are you really saying that a riot IN Vancouver BECAUSE of a hockey game, had NO Vancouverites, and NO Hockey fans involved whatsoever? Hmm. Interesting.

  6. @ Meg. Agree with your thoughts re: police budget. I’m guessing the city was cuttting corners here after having to foot the bill for the previous nights. Mayor trying to walk the line btwn fallout from blowing the budget before an election and hoping everybody would play nice. He is after all from a peaceful gulf island.

    It’s just too much to believe that the police did not see this coming. I knew the moment I saw the early pre game shots from the news helicopters of the amount of people streaming into the downtown core that this was not going to end well. In any of my travels in the world whenever I see a crowd like that gathering I walk the other way because the odds are it could A) turn or B) be a target.

    Why no water cannons I wonder?

    Great piece Andrew thank you.

  7. I heard a few (granted very few) reports of people throwing stuff from apartment windows. Were those people from the suburbs?
    It may feel good to blame the riot on the “other,” but like it or not, you don’t just live in Vancouver, you live in Metro Vancouver.
    A lot of the people who volunteered to help clean up the mess today were from the suburbs, including some from as far away as Abbotsford. How would you feel if you saw a column on how Vancouver can’t clean up its own mess?
    It may well be that many of the rioters were from the suburbs, but I think that has more to do with the population distribution of the region than anything else. (More people in Metro Van live outside Vancouver than in.)

  8. It’s not about being right, this entire issue is about respect for people, property, and the city as a whole – and yet you’ve shown none to the outlying communities of Metro Vancouver by placing the blame on their shoulders. Irregardless of where these people came from, we can agree there are idiotic people in this region who sometimes demonstrate completely abhorrent behaviour. Placing the blame helps no one.

  9. @Sheila – Truly, there’s a substantial difference between throwing something you own out of your own home (presumably a tv set) in anger (kind of awesome) and burning a police car for fun (not so awesome). Yes, there were plenty from all over at the clean up today. Great to see and wholly predictable. I’m not condemning the suburbs, only the shithead roidfreaks they breed like rabbits.

  10. I don’t think anyone is naive enough to think that there were no Vancouverites involved – at least I definitely think there were. However, do I think that Vancouverites were the majority? Absolutely not. I have a hard time believe that the people who live downtown would do this to their own backyard. As for people throwing stuff from apartment windows, if they were throwing stuff at people trying to leave the scene, yes, that was douchey. However, there was a riot going on down below my window, you’d better believe I’d try and do my part to help stop it.

    I guess the larger point is that I don’t go out to Langley or Abbotsford to create a disturbance, leave my garbage everywhere or be violent, so why does it seem to happen to Vancouver? It comes down to respect – some people feel that it’s completely ok to come into someone else’s backyard (sometimes quite literally) and trash it. And I have to respectfully disagree that population distribution has nothing to do with it.

    And no one was saying that of the people who came out today to clean up weren’t from the suburbs. I’d be surprised however, if those who did come out to help felt it was a Vancouver problem – they recognized the part that all of Metro Vancouver played in it. It’s also been reported (on the Facebook wall of the group being used to help catch the criminals) that the VPD reported that the majority of the arrests last night were not residents of Vancouver. However, I haven’t been able to find a news link for that as of yet. So again, were Vancouverites involved? Most definitely.

  11. Your point that these are actually hockey fans is well made. It seems weird that you can effectively call out the idiocy of those claiming these weren’t hockey fans- and then go on to claim that they aren’t from Vancouver. It’s a technicality. Greater Vancouver, aka Metro Vancouver, is a city of 2.1 million people and that’s where all these morons come from. They cheer for the Canucks because they are from Vancouver and that’s their team. It seems elitist to say that these lower mainland “imports” “from strip malls” beyond the city limits who ride the skytrain into town are no less part of Vancouver. Even if somehow all rioters were actually from the suburbs- Maple Ridge, Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam and other points beyond the city limits ARE still Vancouver. Your argument is like if people from Manhattan claimed that people from Queens aren’t New Yorkers. Just because their parents potentially can’t afford to live in the centre of the city they possibly work in doesn’t mean these people aren’t part of that city. (also- there’s not a chance that people from Vancouver proper weren’t involved- there’s plenty of horrible Canucks fans there too, I’d bet the percentages involved matched up proportionately)

  12. Here’s our police chief on those arrested: “The vast majority of people were not from Vancouver. They were from the suburbs, they were from the Interior”

  13. Hi Zak. You make some fair points that I disagree with. Is someone from Surrey less of a Vancouverite than I am? I don’t know. Maybe. When people from Scarborough say there’re from Toronto, they usually get laughed at. Despite the “Metro Vancouver” moniker, there are some pretty big differences between Coquitlam and Chinatown, wouldn’t you say? To enter your rhetorical slipstream, if Queens destroyed Manhattan, I’m pretty sure Manhattan would lay a claim or two. Would that make them elitist?

    PS. Good luck in Ward 8. I’d vote for you!

  14. The first time since I’ve lived downtown(7 years) I’ve been scared to walk home. I work in Gastown, where i feel safer than on the Granville strip.

  15. The argument you make is the same logic of racists. Finding a way to blame some ‘other’. To feel its not a problem that people in Vancouver proper have anything to do with. Its those ‘others’.

    But its not an outside force of evildoers from the lower mainland making things the way they are. The next step in that logic is to put a fence around the city. Don’t let those others in, don’t sell them tickets, don’t connect public transit to them, don’t let them come into downtown to shop on Granville or walk around Gasstown. One could enter your logical slipstream and say it wasn’t the people on their block, it was all those a##holes from the other blocks.

    I’m not saying you are racist- I just can’t get behind blaming some group of outsiders for these problems. Then there’s no solution because it’s someone else who is the problem- you can define that by what specific neighbourhood they are from, or what country they are from, or their skin colour. It’s all the same logic. (I already ran for ward 8, and lost. …but might again some day)

  16. Well said. I live downtown and feel as though the people I see day to day in Westend, Kits, Gastown etc would not do this to our city. There is to much love! Clean up crews today is what this downtown core is about.

  17. Ouch, Zak. The “R” word, really? I’d prefer “duressed xenophobe”, if it’s all the same to you. Your logic is your own, as is the little scenario that you just played out for your own amusement. Me being upset at assholes from the suburbs is entirely justified considering the events of last night, as evidenced by the arrests made and, well…have you ever see an Affliction t-shirt on a 28 year old male in Strathcona? Do I hate everyone from the suburbs? Of course not. I hate assholes everywhere.

    PS. Sorry to hear you lost.

  18. No need to beat a dead horse here. I’m not trying to attack you- I just don’t support your reaction Although it is totally understandable (people from my part of town would never do such a thing, people from my high school would never do such a thing, etc) I think it’s unhealthy. And yes, I have seen affliction shirts all over Vancouver. But I love Vancouver even though D-bags live everywhere. If I wanted to point a finger mine goes toward the organization a little bit (I can’t stand Aquilini and am blown away he hasn’t said or done anything yet)- but also think there might be some underlying regional insecurity that could be looked at before just blaming the invading hordes.

  19. Fair enough, Zak.

    PS. The Canucks issued a statement condemning et cetera today.

  20. Meh. I thought Rob Brown’s composure was paid for and surrounded by security guards. And entering a situation like that with a camera crew and a uniformed entourage of heavies is a potentially inflammatory and therefore irresponsible act. It tends to incite further stupidity, as we saw repeatedly with the taunts, acts of mindless braggadocio for the camera, et cetera. A job is a job is a job, I get that, but he came very near to being the story rather than simply telling it. I was scared for him! Thought he was going to get cold-clocked at any moment, Cooper-style! Very glad he made it out of there safely.

    Agree completely on Andy Fang. Those pics are fantastic.

  21. I’m curious why I’m not hearing/read more about the small group that the police chief mentioned as being “regulars” at these sort of events and I suspect their involvment & their guilt. I refer to them as the “anti poverty” group (aka i have no self respect). I wonder how much blame lies with them? That then leads to why there was not more attention paid to these low lifes, local or otherwise prior.

  22. Wow. This article makes me so incredibly sad. I would love to think that you are not really so naive as to conclude that “Vancouverites’ would never do this but I see that you seem to be suffering from ‘Bridge and Tunnel Vision’ .

    Your comments remind me of people who say things like, “All rich people are assholes’ or ‘Let’s fix the poor, ignorant savages by inflicting our superior ways on them”. Gross generalizations don’t serve anyone. Nor does hiding our collective head in the sand about who’s capable of what.

  23. As a fellow Vancouverite (West End) I agree with your sentiment this was undeliverable.

    As a person born in West Africa the only words of explanation I gave to worried family and friends who called from West Africa was –

    A group of d-bags with “First World Problems” invaded the city.

  24. Gee Andrew you must have read my comment on the city is burning shot.

    Why does it matter which part of the city these douchebags are from? Does it make you feel better that you live in East Van? Are my sons more liable to riot because we live in Coquitlam?

    I think there are a lot of Canuck fans that are rabid supporters that have never actually been to a game. They relate hockey to sitting in a bar getting shitface or milling around on the street or driving their Canuckmobiles up and down Robson St or Scott Road.

    The idea of putting a 100,000 or so of these idiots together in front of some of the most expensive real estate in Canada, shows how out of touch our Mayor is. He is obviously living on his own Happy Planet.

    Why have we not seen the Premier, Mayor and Police Chief standing together promising to prosecute these guys to the full extent of the law? Better to sweep it under the rug lest we end up on CNN again.

  25. I only home the thousands of those who went to clean up is enough to overshadow the hundreds of assholes who caused the destruction. Thank you for your post, this has been the most enlightening one I have read so far.

  26. @Zak, V, and the other supporters of the poor martyred suburban types:

    the VPD are starting to catch up with some of these fucktards and are making arrests. here is a local blog featuring a small cross section of the perps apprehended thus far:


    the three listed here are from Richmond, Maple Ridge and Delta. mark my words, when we ultimately get everyone rounded up we will see that the vast majority (but certainly not ALL) will not be from Vancouver.

    please stop labeling us locals as elitist, racist, or otherwise simply because we don’t want people destroying our property, our way of life and our reputation.

    p.s. i understand that the looters broke windows to Chapters but were disinclined to steal a single book.

  27. I see Zak is making the same comments I will, but here goes anyway:

    I have to agree with the comment about hockey fans. Most commentators spout the line “they aren’t fans”. Well, they are. At least a big group of them will be. It might hurt, but it’s true. This is the first time I’ve heard anyone contradict that line and I support you for saying it.

    Unfortunately, I don’t like the part about the suburbs – as I notice other people don’t. It might be across an imaginary boundary, but the suburbs are as much Vancouver as the downtown core. Worse, the implication is that they rioted *because* they are from a suburb. You might be right that there is a type of person who is more likely to act this way, and that maybe they are more populous in other parts of the city, but it’s not *because* they live there – it’s because they are douchebags; and there are no geographical limits I know on douchebaggery!

  28. I agree pretty much with this article. I did a few years of highschool in Port Moody and lived the pretty standard teenage years out in the Lower Mainland and it is, and always has been, a hot bed of violence, anger and frustration.

    Im sure there were plenty of Vancouverites who participated but definitely the majority were from outside the city.

    The problem is we keep thinking Vancouver is a world class CITY, were not, were a bigger suburb with some cool stuff. Vancouver is a glorified Kelowna. There are lots of cool people and great neighborhoods to be in, most of us hide out there, while the run of the city is given over to losers from the ‘burbs. Its encouraged, why else create Granville Mall? 11:30 at night in Gastown on a Saturday will produce 20 somethings puking into their own shirts. Safe bet they dont live in the neighbourhood.

    Good call on the skateboard mention as well, I grew up skating and all these guys are not skaters. The skateboard has become an accessory like an iphone, these cats are fake and phony.

    Great article!

  29. Also, to quell the anarchist BS thats been floating around. I participated in the 2010 protests, not the window smashing stuff but I had my concerns and I voiced them. It is my right. I got to meet some Black Bloc participants and I can tell you, this was not them. Dont listen to the media on this one.

    The Black Bloc is an anonymous political agenda. It is not a group, most do not know each other, its built that way so people cant point fingers under police intimidation. During 2010, a few peeps smashed windows of the corporations who supported the games, it was not random, they did not loot, they did not fight the public. It is done with a political agenda. They voiced that even before they went out that day, it was billed as a “direct action”, they made no qualms about it, they were going to attack corporations and they got their asses kicked by the cops and most were arrested. A far cry from what happened riot night….

    The Black Bloc is made up of people in our neighbourhoods. our communities. Im not excusing people, Im just saying, lose the media mystic about it.

    Why would they protest the Olympics and then enjoy the Canucks playoff run? Political activists do not riot during sports games, they riot against them.

  30. Thank you for putting my feelings of extreme fury, sadness, and total disbelief into words. I’ve grown up here, and to see this happen to a place I feel so deeply connected to makes me sick to my stomach. Literally. These are my thoughts exactly. I know some are hesitant to blame those from the outside, but let’s be real. If you feel ownership of something, you don’t destroy it. You don’t piss in your own backyard so to speak. These people leave on the SkyTrain with their heads held high and feel pride for destroying something that they didn’t deserve in the first place. And who suffers? It is the residents who see the destruction when the sun rises on the empty, shattered streets, and who pitch in to clean up.

  31. @pablopicante
    You think Vancouver’s reputation is built solely on the backs of those whose home addresses are within the limits of the city of Vancouver itself? That’s incredibly naive. You way of life?? How many people who work in Vancouver live elsewhere in Metro Vancouver? How many people who keep the sidewalks clean, and the parks green, and construct the buildings and monuments, plan the infrastructure, and police the streets actually live in the city of Vancouver? How much of Vancouver’s reputation comes from the mountains and rainforest of the North Shore (*shudder* the suburbs…), or the beautiful scenery of the ocean and islands of Georgia Strait and beyond (not even suburbs, but Vancouver thrives on the tourism and other business that brings, and certainly doesn’t try to distance itself from it)? Like someone else said above, of the 2.1-plus million people who live in Vancouver, the vast majority of them don’t live within the limits of the city of Vancouver itself (population, what, 500,000 and change?), and they contribute as much to the reputation of Vancouver as those who do actually live west of Boundary. And they also contribute very much to your way of life. It’s saddening that you really make such a distinction between you and “them”, because I can safely say that I don’t know anyone from the suburbs who views Vancouver in the same light. I’m sure there are some people who are “Langley for life!”, or whatever, and views things as black and white, us vs. them, as you do… but I have yet to meet one.

    @Meg – of course you don’t go to Langley and Abbotsford and litter on people’s lawns. When was the last time you had a good reason to go to Abbostford? That’s a ridiculous comparison. You live in the West End, in the core of Vancouver, practically the heart and the hub of METRO Vancouver. Big, popular, public events are held in your neighbourhood. Events that draw a large crowd from Vancouver, the suburbs, and beyond. You really don’t understand why it happens more in Vancouver than elsewhere? It also happens more in the West End than Marpole. Is that surprising too? it was complaints like that that got the Indy cancelled. If you live downtown (or nearby) you have to expect a certain number of public events that will draw a crowd. With a crowd comes litter, noise, and often worse, like public drunkenness, fighting, etc… that’s not unique to the people from the suburbs of Vancouver, that’s just humanity.

    I can completely understand why those living in Vancouver are blaming suburbanites for the trouble, because it’s so hard to fathom how someone could so easy destroy Vancouver like that, and so it must have been someone who doesn’t live nearby. I just don’t agree with it, and think it’s tragically misguided. Everyone I know living in Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Burnaby, West Van, Richmond, AND Vancouver all felt the exact same heartbreak-cum-embarrassment-cum-anger, all tried to help in the cleanup if they could, and are all desperate to see justice come to those who perpetrated. The logic to point fingers at those from the suburbs is the same as the logic behind claiming they couldn’t have been true hockey/Canucks fans, or that it was just a small group, or (my favourite) just a small group of anarchists. It’s all about placing the blame and pointing the finger at a group you can say is *different* than you. Not surprising the chief of police has made a statement that most arrested were not “from Vancouver”. It may be that it’s true, but he was going to say it anyway. This comes after the claims from him and Mayor Robertson that it was all due to a “small group of anarchists.” It’s all about PR, and shifting blame. It’s just so sad to see people who live in Vancouver so quickly make such a distinction, because they’re not willing to accept that Vancouver could do this to itself.

  32. I think that regardless of who did the rioting, or who started it, it is trivial. Why do we have to play the blame game? I personally am from Surrey myself, and yeah I agree there are a LOT of people that would do such a thing, and are stupid enough to post it on their FB or Twitter, for sure, but I can think of many people who are from other small cities all over BC that would do the same! I am not a person who would riot at all and I know a lot of people who are the same, so to have people going around saying ‘oh they were probably from Surrey’ both pisses me off, and is hurtful that people like me are being dragged into the group of losers who can’t deal with losing a game, and have poor sportsmanship. I know a bunch of people that went down to DT and helped clean up the mess that was made, and that, IMO is what we as Surrey locals, should be represented by, as should Vancouver, not for the select few that decided whether or not we lose they’re going to tear down our beautiful city that we all work so hard and pay a lot to maintain.

  33. What a totally typical East Van Hipster point of view. I love how some people who live in Van think of themselves as these open minded, worldly individuals, but clearly this article shows a different, more holier than thou depiction of the events that took place. The only real common denominator that I could see was the age and sex of the offenders. What their address might be doesn’t really matter, does it? Do you like it when people put you in a little East Van Hipster Box of a Stereotype? I live in the “burbs” with my husband and kids, but we are Vancouverites, and many of the photos of individuals cleaning up OUR city are from those of us who live all over Vancouver and it’s sub areas. Stereotyping individuals based on their postal code is such a small minded way to think, I hope your perspective doesn’t rub off on your kids.

  34. @V
    I think it depends on how you draw your boundary lines. When I lived in Langley, I didn’t tell people I lived in Vancouver; I was from Langley. I didn’t live in Vancouver, I lived in Langley. There’s always been a distinction for me. Coquitlam is Coquitlam, Burnaby is Burnaby, Vancouver is Vancouver. Yes, there is a Metro Vancouver in terms of administration, but I don’t understand why people say they’re from Vancouver when they’re from the ‘burbs (I never have, even when I lived there). There’s a different feeling when you live in Vancouver versus the outlying areas. That’s not elitist – I’m NOT saying that Vancouver is better than any other area – it’s just a different feeling and a different community. When I lived in Langley, I was proud to be from Langley, just as now, I’m proud to be from Vancouver. On a side note, if there was large event outside of Vancouver and there was a riot and the majority of people went to the event were from Vancouver, you’d better believe you’d feel the same way as some of us do right now.

    No one is arguing that Vancouver is self-sufficient and doesn’t need the people from the suburbs. What we’re saying is that it’s not okay for people to come into our backyards and act like idiots and destroy stuff. I understand why events happen here in Vancouver, but at the same time, why does Vancouver always have to host these large scale events? Why not have other municipalities host large events as well? In fact, it would probably be much more central for most of the attendees if events were held in Burnaby or Richmond as well. I’m not saying Vancouver never should host events, I’m just saying that if people truly view Metro Vancouver as Metro Vancouver, shouldn’t we spread the wealth a bit? And as for these events having public drunkenness, litter, etc., I’m wondering why with the Olympics we didn’t have nearly the amount of problems that we’ve had with other events. Why were the Olympics so different?

    As for going out to Langley and Abbotsford, I actually do that quite a bit, but that’s beside the point. When I’m out there I’m respectful that I’m in someone else’s backyard – I just think that there should be the same respect. (Disclaimer – I’m NOT saying ALL suburbanites are not respectful – there’s only a small percentage that are not. And do I think that Vancouverites are always respectful when they leave downtown? Absolutely not.)

  35. Regardless of who it was, it was a travesty, and can’t happen again.

    The issue isn’t geography, but the geography contributes. The ignorant, sheltered, and dim witted from the burbs aspire to the bright lights, culture, and glamour of the big city.

    Unfortunately, the only solution (we have a natural moat..just need to blow up the bridges and drop the portcullis) isn’t very viable. This is the part where we take the good with the bad, and recognize we all can’t be half way evolved and that we have to accept that social retardation is part of living in a city.

    I propose we start building ‘natural habitats’ for the modern suburban hairless (and shirtless) ape. Sponsored by Affliction, Monster, and Alize. Lowered, shiny cars with spinny wheels can have bass booming sound offs, there can be a big MMA pit where hundreds of shirtless dudes wrestle, and a dedicated ‘high five’ zone. If you pay extra you can get a chest bump and fist pump, and complimentary spritz (or 3)of cologne.

    It’s important for you ‘elitists’ to recognize the sensitivity of the modern douchebag’s ecosystem and how it’s shrinking everyday. Threatened on all sides by ‘laws’, ‘style’, ‘logic’, and ‘class’, the breeding opportunities for the modern douchebag are becoming almost extinct.

    Lets push suburban municipalities to start supporting their local douchebag populations so that we don’t have to.

  36. Something has been eating away at me since the riots. The same words keep coming up in the videos and online postings of these rioters, “kill the faggot”, “beat that faggot”, “get that faggot”. Suburban Douchebag Loser is about the kindest thing that can be said about this group. I feel nothing but shame and disgust for this city, and genuinely hated as a person. I guess living in my East Van oasis has been like living in a bubble, I had somehow convinced myself we had come farther as a society.

  37. East Van Hipster point of view? That’s an exceptionally lazy take to explain away the sense of what I wrote. The age and sex of the perps do matter, yes, but their addresses (ie. the suburbs), to me at least, explains their common indifference to the havoc they wrought. I believed it to be the most salient point, and penned accordingly. Was No. 5 in Surrey lit on fire? I think not. And the evidence proving my suspicion continues to mount. Every kid that has so far been identified on the “shaming” pages had come in from the suburbs. I didn’t just pull my thoughts from my ass.

    “Meanwhile, RCMP in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, B.C., said a 17 year-old was brought into a detachment by family members who saw images of him looting on the Internet.”

    Expect more stories like that, Ali et al, and learn to deal with it.

  38. Regarding blaming it on Suburban douchebags:
    In six months or so, I’d love to see some enterprising journalists with plenty of resources at their disposal (I’m looking at you, Vancouver Sun team responsible for the “Fatabase” and dog name database) to import all the records of charges laid and come-up with a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood douchebag-density map.

    Of course, that would only show up the actual violent/looting douchebags, not the posing-in-front-of-a-burned-out-car-making-devil-horn-signs douchebags, which alas is not a crime.

    I suspect Andrew will be right, that there will be some perpetrators with Vancouver addresses, but more from the outskirts. However, that is not a condemnation of the millions of suburban decent citizens who live throughout Metro Van. It’s more a reflection, I suspect, of the fact that people who don’t have any civic pride and don’t give a damn about a sense of neighbourhood are unlikely to pay the premium it takes to live in the city.

    (P.S., for the record, I live in Van, but have family in Burnaby / New West who would be offended at the suggestion they are not true Vancouverites and don’t take pride in the city just because they live east of Boundary Road.)

  39. I think this divisive ‘us and them’ dynamic is a part of what caused this, frankly. Each person who participated in the destruction, or encouraged it in any way, is culpable. They were grown men, and they should be punished. But, I don’t think it’s helpful to continue to stigmatize those who live in the suburbs in this way. I have a feeling that it’s this very lack of belonging and welcome in a place that can spark an impulse to destroy it. So, this “fuck off back to Surrey” attitude has to stop.

    How about making the city more accessible to those in suburbs by improving easy public transit? How about more municipal partnerships beyond sending extra police when things get ugly? How about thinking of ways to connect men in their early 20s (a large percentage of those involved in criminal activity on the night) with the idea that this city belongs to *everyone* in the lower mainland, not just those who happen to live within its limits? That sense of ownership, and welcoming, is vital to the future of an expanding population, a huge percentage of which is blooming in the suburbs.

    World class cities are world class because they integrate and empower the populations that surround them. They are planned, and re-planned, to suit evolving communities that define the whole. They connect isolated communities via robust public transit,and thereby blur the lines between one municipality and another. They reinforce that sense of “home” and ownership over a large region, instead of encouraging stigma, tribalism, and (quite frankly) *snobbery*.

    To me, this is the stuff we should be thinking about; connecting our communities. This ‘we’ve been invaded by the great unwashed’ stuff isn’t helpful. It’s understandable to feel that way when things happen in your backyard. But, it ignores the fact that there are many, many people like me who live in the suburbs, who still treasure Vancouver as our home, and care about its present, and future.

    Thanks for the post, and for the chance to participate in the discussion.

  40. Thank you, Andrew, for an excellently written, well thought-out article. You are absolutely right about the poseur imports opportunistically destroying our downtown. Just look on Craigslist for where many of the recently stolen goods are being sold from: Surrey, MR, PoCo

  41. Perhaps we should also look at the demographics of this province versus the average age of the offenders. I would assume the majority of those causing havoc were between the ages of 16-20 and statistically speaking there are fewer “kids” of this age or any age for this matter living in Vancouver versus other areas of BC or the “burbs”. “East Van Hipster” was simply my way of boxing or “sterotyping” a group of people based on their geography. I like to think of myself as much more open minded then to make judgements on people or publish statements like “Suburban Douchebag” about any group of people regardless or age, sex, race or geographical location. I am happy to see arrests finally being made but let’s not forget about all of the “looky loos” who didn’t have the sense to go home when the police told them to. We’ll never know where they live and really it doesn’t matter. This event was a disgrace to human beings not vancouverites. I can only take these events and use them as a learning tool for my kids and make sure that they know that this behavior as well as yours is not acceptable in our household, regardless of where we live!

  42. @Meg: I too have lived in both the suburbs of Vancouver and Vancouver itself. I have always considered myself a ‘Vancouverite’, and nothing else. Maybe living overseas for a number of years made that connection even stronger, since no one’s heard of Surrey or Coquitlam or Burnaby, etc., and the distinction doesn’t matter to them. At times, you’re lucky if the person you’re talking to even knows where Vancouver is. I haven’t lived in Vancouver (or Metro Vancouver, if you want to get specific) for a few years now (though I manage to get back for a few months of the year), and for reasons largely beyond my control it will be a few more years yet before I have the luxury (truly, a luxury) to return permanently. Despite all that, I still consider myself a Vancouverite (it’s a hard city to separate yourself from), and am desperate to return and live there once again. Hell, I even read Scout Magazine religiously even though I live thousands of km away. If there was a large scale riot in a suburb of Vancouver would I blame it on the people from the city of Vancouver itself? I really doubt it. Because I don’t care, I don’t draw those lines… and find it disheartening that a lot of people still do.

  43. Just watched the video of the guy trying to stop the punks smash the car.

    He kept saying, “hey, what are you doing? This is our City. ”

    Did you see the one guy had a crowbar. Who goes to a hockey game event with a crowbar?? A skateboard is something that you might have that could be turned into a weapon but a crowbar??

    There was a group of people intent on starting something that night. The Canucks loss was just an excuse. The wine would have been the same excuse. They were there to cause trouble no matter what.

    Sad……….no, pathetic.

    PS Nice tweet outing Dustin Anderson.

  44. Id pretty much had enough of this article when the bleeding heart started two sentences in. Yet I soldiered through the sweeping generealizations concerning suburbian blame and lack of police action. Mr. Morrison you refute facts from the police and criticize without any factual backup to your emotional self righteous indignation. What do you know about civic policing or civil disobedience? Please continue to use your considerable vocabulary to document the evolution of food in our city, because your op eds aint doin it for me.

  45. Thanks for soldiering on, Ira. My “sweeping generalisations” written from the hip in the heat of the moment appear to be increasingly backed up by facts. It looks to me like the people getting outed and arrested are more often than not from the suburbs. If you’d care to get specific about my refutations of police “facts” (or whatever it was that you were trying to say), it would be a lot easier to respond to your comment. Cheers and thanks.

  46. As a resident of the West End I was as horrified as everyone else in my neighbourhood at the events on Wednesday and I as well harbour feelings of being “invaded” by suburban residents, but it I think it’s important to remember this fact before casting judgement: Residents of Vancouver (especially the denser parts) tend to be older, financially stable people who chose to live there whereas most young adults, like it or not, live with their parents in the suburbs, especially with the economic crisis over the past few years and Vancouver’s prohibitive housing costs. Most of my friends (I’m 22) still live in the suburbs with their parents but would move to the city proper in a heartbeat once they are financially stable enough to afford it. I only can because I share a studio apartment with my boyfriend. It’s easy to blame the events on residents of Surrey et al because yes, there is a higher concentration of thugs and less educated people in those areas, but it’s not nearly as self-selecting a crowd.

  47. Probably shouldn’t comment as i don’t live in Metro Vancouver, or even in BC for that matter, but here goes. Maybe this elitist attitude of Vancouverites vis a vie those in Metro Vancouver contributes to this whole thing. I remember the riots of 1994 and the blame then was on “Surrey rednecks”; guess not much has changed. I think Rob Jones nailed – these young men and women (’cause they weren’t all male) are disenfranchised have no reason to care about downtown Vancouver. Instead of pointing fingers and continuing the “us vs them” attitude, connect your communities. I live in a city that does not separate those who live in the core with those who live in the ‘burbs — it’s all one city. Perhaps that is why, in 2004, when there were tens of thousands of people on the street after a game 7 loss there wasn’t anything near this sort of thing.

  48. I live in the west end and I went and watched the game. Many of the people were from Vancouver. There were also girls. Most seemed to be high school and college kids and many of the thousands of people in the crowds were egging the vandals and rioters on. Crowds cheered every time destruction went on. As I walked home, the long way, I saw girls taking clothes from H &M. These were well dressed, respectable looking females. It was sad to see people not able to stop themselves. Blaming this on criminals and out of towners doesn’t work. I witnessed otherwise.

  49. Thank you, Rob Jones, for your comment. You said exactly what I was thinking in a more eloquent and coherent way than I could have. Like Rob said, I don’t think it’s helpful to stigmatize and stereotype everyone who lives in the suburbs.

    The majority of the rioters were very young, especially a lot of young men and teenage boys. As parents, and as a society, we need to do a better job raising our kids. I used to live in downtown Vancouver for several years, but now I’m a mom living in Langley. I have a 2-year-old son. I’ll do everything in my power, I’ll devote my life to raising him into a good citizen with the right morals and values. I passionately love Vancouver – ALL of Metro Vancouver, and I will teach him the same. But the way this article was written, it makes me feel like no matter my good intentions, I’m doomed somehow to raise my son as a rioting “douchebag” because we live in the suburbs where, as Andrew believes and wrote, “culture among twenty-somethings and teens fears to tread.” Will moving into downtown Vancouver (can’t afford it) and making sure my son never watches or participates in hockey (would break my heart) ensure he doesn’t riot in the street when he becomes a young man? No. I need to raise him right. Doesn’t matter where you live, as a society we need to raise our kids better.

    Andrew, I’m disappointed and quite shocked that you so brazenly admit to stealing music. You wrote: “I’d burn his CD’s if I hadn’t first stolen them digitally and then deleted them..” When your kids are old enough to sit at the computer, are you going to instruct them on how to steal and download music for free? Or are you going to teach your kids how to respect the intellectual PROPERTY of musicians and artists? I fully realize illegally downloading music and rioting and looting are nowhere near the same in terms of severity. But it’s still stealing someone else’s property, and therefore not right.

    I share your anger and disgust at the rioting. I applaud the public shaming of the rioters, they need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. Yes, it appears that those who have been identified come from outside of the downtown core, but they still reside in Metro Vancouver. Instead of responding with a divisive ‘GTFO you foreign interloper and go back from where you came from’-type of attitude and stigmatizing everyone who lives in the outlying areas of Metro Vancouver, we need to strengthen the bonds between all communities to help prevent this from ever happening again.

    Again, I share your anger, disgust, and sadness at the rioting. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to comment.

  50. i lived in vancouver and know this is absolutely not what vancouver and its people represent ! so sad to see this insecure, frustrated with a looser life kind of people give vancouver a bad name ! to all of you cool respectfull and nice vancouverites big hug and support from Mexico

  51. I am not sure, but the fellow that you seem to think is so virtuous in the defense of that car seems to appear in one of the later videos posing in front of a burning vehicle, dancing around and making obscene motions towards the car. I am wondering if his earlier action might have just been an act of provocation. What do you think?

  52. Yeah i’m angry and sad that this happened, but don’t ever deny that this city has an enormous douche bag population and unless some culture fairy drops out of the sky..it’s not going to change. We have a rampant drug culture, we sell out country music concerts and there are big ass monster trucks everywhere! Face it vancouver is hick, like it or not.

  53. Excellent post Andrew. You show a true love of you city. I started to read the comments and gave up, realizing that it’s probably an argument no one is going to win. I live in Coquitlam by choice, not even a nice part of it ( by Burquitlam if I have to be honest). It’s close to my work and very affordable! I consider Vancouver to be my city also, even though I’ve never lived there, but have spent the majority of my social life in the city. Starting in my late teens, taking the bus downtown from Maple Ridge to hit up the record stores. Going out drinking at clubs and pubs throughout my 20s. Luv A Fair, Graceland, The World…etc. Going for a pint at the Rose and Thorn, YBC , Steamworks.

    My point is you seem to pretty hard on anyone that doesn’t live in the city. I don’t but I call Vancouver my home. I’ve spent the majority of my days off over the last almost 20 years( I’m 38, I believe your age too) in the city, enjoying the clubs, pubs and restaurants.
    The day after the riot, at work, none of us are from Van, were from Coq, Surrey, Burnaby… , are all disgusted that this happened in “our” city. Although we don’t live in the city, we still consider it ours because of the love and respect we have for downtown.

  54. @V – the Indy didn’t get cancelled because of too many people – it was a bloody eyesore, costly, and noisy – anyone from the westend to the eastside was held captive by the utter noise and nonsense from this seemingly “public” event that would often charge $$ for tickets that no locals could pay.

    @JenFoo – I think there was no issue in Calgary with the 2004 Cup because there was a noticeable and strong police effort, and (and) that space of the red mile is going to be a LOT easier to police than a 40 block radius in DT vancouver. Plus numbers of 150K+ in DT vancouver versus – how many on the red mile? A few thousand? Not the same issue – apples and oranges. We also don’t really have a public transport that hooks up with 17th Ave, so you aren’t going to have the same mobility (or whoops I’m stuck b/c the skytrain isn’t running) issues. YYC has its issues, too, I will give kudos to the police dept and the city for ensuring proper police presence.

    When I lived in Vancouver, we always had issues with the “This is Why Vancouver can’t have nice things” discussion re Public Events. First it was the Symphony of Fire, then they cancelled Canada Day celebrations because someone was stabbed in a crowd, then it was cracking down on picnickers in Stanley Park etc etc. There has always been a concern re: large crowds, and if I remember correctly, for similarly populated outdoor events in the UK or NYC, the police/ security force that was on hand would have been 10 to 20X the number that Vancouver employed. Cost? Maybe? Folks refer to the Olympics as an example and are baffled that the Vancouver Riot turned out as it did – I put the blame squarely – on the VPD and the city’s lack of planning. You have a space for people to do something in a large group, you have to have security in place assuming the worst BUT ALSO ensure you have transport to get the ppl the eff out of there immediately after the game is over (or starting a bit before). That is where Van falls short too – I’ve been to the symphony in English Bay, Folk Fest, etc and there are no provisions made to get people to where they need to go …so even the calmest of people are maddened because they just want to get home. Throw in someone who thinks “I’ll wait it out for a few hours, it will be easier to get home then” and add a bit of booze, and PRESTO, riot soup.

    Another suggestion is to make it a dry celebration. No alcohol at all – and anyone carrying glass bottles, etc are made to pour it out. If ya can’t handle yer booze, then no booze. Make it friendly for families, and to hell with the stupid DBags that want to go for a riot.

  55. Has anyone thought about the fact that Ed Hardy-Affliction wearing suburbanites had an event the previous Saturday evening without incident. It is so easy to blame people whom we classify as d-bags as the culprit. In this whole debacle, I did see much affliction, I saw Canuck jerseys. Stop blaming and start looking inward as to why this happens repeatedly in both Vancouver and the rest of Canada. How are we raising our kids and why are they so angry?

  56. Ps: I meant didn’t see Affliction shirts I saw Canuck jerseys. @zac completely understand your sentiment.

    Most reasonable people will not piss on their own home. How do we get people to realize that fact and to be more committed to the place they live in or frequent, irregardless of geography.

  57. An overly simplified problem needs an overly simplified solution: I say we build a wall around Vancouver starting at Boundary Rd to keep out the Mongols.

  58. I realize that this is a blog and perhaps you see yourself taking off your journalist hat when writing personal pieces including photos of yourself touching the Stanley Cup with your child in a carrier, or maybe you don’t see yourself as a journalist at all, but it is completely irresponsible reporting to say that people from the suburbs raise bad kids, that nobody in the neighbourhood that you choose to inhabit wears a certain brand of clothing and that those who DO choose to wear that brand of clothing are somehow less entitled to breathe the air there than you are. I can’t believe that you won’t admit that this was written as a kneejerk reaction to what happened.

    This piece of writing, and your comments following it, wave the flag of your intellectual superiority and I know that you’ll use some big words to explain away what I’m trying to present to you here but I thought I’d leave my thoughts anyway.

    These were stupid young people, Andrew. From all over the lower mainland. Those “house proud nesting beavers” you’re speaking of, those are people older than 20. Go to any high school within the city limits and count the brands of t-shirts and you’ll find quite a few of those ones you personally hate in there, guaranteed. But it has nothing to do with the t-shirts. What this piece says to me is that you’re closed-minded, that you have no sense of people under 30 OR people who choose to live in a place that you don’t, and your refusal to admit that this was a kneejerk reactionary piece that maybe shouldn’t have been published at all really saddens me.

    If I might go back to the part about the “poser” you mentioned, and remind you of when a lot of the “real” skateboarders you know were teenagers back in the 90’s, a whole lot of them were notorious for blatant vandalism and hijinks within the city of Vancouver. They were teenagers. Young, angry, stupid, privileged teenagers, and I imagine if they were in the mix during this they would be doing the same, regardless of the brand of clothing they were wearing or where their parents chose to raise them.

    Yes, you are right that a greater portion of the people rioting and doing stupid shit don’t live in your super hip neighbourhood or in the City Of Vancouver proper. Most of them don’t live in the super hip neighbourhood that I live in either, with my progressive views and ego and my hyper intellectual prowess, and you can continue to defend your position on that by posting links to newspaper articles where they’re confirming your statement. But you still lost all of my respect by publishing this piece of hate-filled garbage, and then continuing to defend it.

  59. @fmed how is that helping? That will only incite people. Thanks for your overly simple, racist viewpoint. Maybe we should put a wall around your Internet usage.

  60. W,

    I had my tongue in my cheek when I wrote that post. Maybe I should have used an emoticon. Now reread what I wrote in that context. And in case anyone else thinks that I was being serious: I was commenting on Andrew’s oversimplified analysis.

  61. Dumb statement:
    “…it’s a game that principally appeals to yahoos”

    Also? Don’t pretend that you’re “qualifying” yourself by calling out Vancouverites as well, when the bloody headline specifically refers to “SUBURBAN douchebags”

    Lost a bit of respect for the site today.

  62. Fmed, thanks for the clarification. The Internet does not always convey sarcasm well. I agree with the over simplification of this issue, by Andrew and would also go on to say that this is an emotional baby rant from a ‘journalist’. There is a great article at the straight online that delves into social and larger scale contributors of this incident.

  63. Andrew, I admire your honesty and intelligent observations in your well written article. So many things have been said but I identify most with your opinion.

    That is likely in part because I do live in Vancouver and I do make a distinction between Vancouver and the suburbs. I agree that those cities are in close proximity, we do share transit and they are a part of our reality but to say that there is no difference is ridiculous. My mother lived in Richmond and when I recommended her to my doctor, she couldn’t be his patient because she didn’t live in Vancouver.

    Huge issue involving a mob mentality that is well documented that states that many of us (most of us?) are capable of atrocious behaviour in those kind of circumstances. I wasn’t there, have never considered trashing, stealing and certainly not hurting someone but even I can imagine an excitement building and feeling in a moment that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to let loose, experience a drama that is usually reserved for soldiers and movie plots.

    I believe those people who were heroes and tried to stop windows from being smashed and cars from being burned were moved by the same kind of mob mentality. Their way of participating in the drama was to risk their own safety and be the good guy. Far better than to break windows and steal handbags but I would assume that this behaviour did even more to whip up the angry portion of the crowd and they would have done better to simply go home.

    Glad to participate in a discussion worth having.


  64. To the guy who felt compelled to drag mma into this, man really? If this happened at a ufc event the sport would be banned, but because it was hockey people think the participants weren’t.even fans. As a professional fighter I can say that I have never seen a fight at the hundreds of mma events I’ve attended. So please, let’s stick to the matter at hand. Every physical sport tends to attract a following of testosterone driven young men, at least at our events people don’t tend to start trouble.

  65. Hi Bob. Your lecturing histrionics would be a lot more compelling if they didn’t drip so unfetchingly with the same holier-than-thou attitude that you’re accusing me of (and rather unkindly, too).

    I will readily admit that I wrote this piece while in a rare fury. Was it a knee jerk response? Absolutely. That much should have been obvious enough to not require a mea culpa (but there it is). Clearly, this was not a measured response, and nor was it well thought out. It was a tirade, straight-up and shot, inexpertly aimed, from the hip. If, while in such a menacing frame of mind, I came across as someone waving their “flag of intellectual superiority”, I’m most probably guilty as charged.

    Do I stand by it all? Not entirely. I was furious, and I lashed out at those I considered to be largely responsible. But I didn’t lash out blindly. After all, these were young men aged 15-30 from the suburbs. Pretty much every individual that has so far been identified or arrested in the wake of the riots has fit that bill to the letter. Nevertheless, it was wrong of me to generalise so offensively, and I regret some – but not all – of what I wrote.

    But more to your point. Was I wrong to suggest – in my piece of “hate-filled garbage” – that they were almost entirely to blame? Yes. It was stupid of me to infer as much. Obviously, there are fantastic parents everywhere with fantastic kids, so I wholeheartedly apologise to those who took offense.

    I also hope that if they and you can forgive me for that transgression, that you and they might also take a moment to understand my frustration and anger as something other than what you – in all your “hyper intellectual prowess” – deemed worthy of a loss of “all your respect”.

    Vancouver in not always awesome, Bob, and neither am I.

  66. This blog thinks its so cool and its so not cool more like pretentious and self-righteous. I thought this was a food blog, stick to writing about food. Please stop the snobbery that none of the rioters were from Kits.

  67. I think everyone that lives in the Suburbs should boycott all the restaurants that are advertising on this blog. Judas Goat etc. etc. All the friends of the rioters that have been outed, snitched on vigilante DateLine NBC style should boycott the restaurants advertising on this self-righteous blog.

  68. Hi Jimmy. Sorry to disappoint you with the website. If you were under the impression that we only covered food and restaurants, I’m afraid that’s never been the case. I do write for print exclusively on those subjects and plenty of our coverage here runs along similar lines, but Scout was started so I did not have to be so one-dimensional online. As for the pretentiousness and self-righeousness you describe, I don’t have any excuse. I’m sorry if the site comes off that way.

  69. Democracy and Freedom is never perfection!! Perfection lies in a Totalitarian State. Sure the rioters made huge mistakes and need to face the consequences of their actions and face criminal convictions. But I would say most of them deep down are good people and deserve some mercy! Most of them were just teenagers. Report the matter to the police but I don’t support the online vigilante outing of these young people. It shows disrespect for our institutions and rule of law and particularly inappropriate on a food blog.

  70. I truly feel that demonstration such as that should be reserved only for genuinely justifiable circumstances. ie: G20, Greece,Libya, Egypt, etc.. What a waste of a demonstration, and a dis-service to all who stand for freedom and responsibility.
    My respect to those in Vancouver who had the courage to stand up against such reckless irresponsibility.

  71. Andrew, I see you edited the beginning of your comment in response to mine to no longer include the “Give it a rest, Bob” intro that I got e-mailed, but I wanted to let you know I am indeed going to give it a rest. I’m not being sarcastic this time, like I was when I said I had “hyper intellectual prowess” (and which I thought for sure would be read as sarcasm).

    My aim was to call you out, have you think “What a fucking asshole this guy is!” while also presenting an angle that might get you to realize and admit that you were a bit of one yourself so that the people reading this, some of whom fall into the demographic you broad-stroked, know you’re not the person your original commentary (and my comment on it) made you out to be. I admire you for admitting fault (and like I said, I also agree with part of what you said as it is based on fact) and I also forgive the transgression. As a person who loves this city just as much as you do I fully understand the frustration and anger that followed one supremely shitty night in Vancouver’s history. I’m pretty sure everybody can.

    But let’s not teach our kids to look down on people just because they don’t live in the city, and let’s not publish stuff that takes a broad brush and paints a shitty picture of an entire group of folks just because they’re not living the same lifestyle that we are, no matter how hurt or upset we may get about something. In the end more people get hurt, people argue, act like internet trolls (hi, that’s the role I played here) and we waste our time being upset when we could be out skateboarding, fishing… or maybe even playing a game of street hockey with our kids.

    Happy Father’s Day, Andrew, and to everybody reading this. Let’s put this thread to rest and get back to making Vancouver an even better place than it was before.

  72. If the other municipalities outside of Vancouver are considered a part of Vancouver then shouldn’t they also help pay for policing events hosted by Vancouver? Maybe each municipality should cover a portion of the damages proportionate to the number of those arrested from their city. It shouldn’t just come out of Vancouver taxpayers’ pockets.


  73. anyone who denies most of the people involved in the riots were from slurrey is most certainly from slurrey. we don’t breed that kind of douchebro here. I say we build a wall and let them live in their own dystopia.

  74. skier,

    I don’t think anyone is denying that most of the rioters will turn out to be from the suburbs. It is a statistical eventuality – most of the Lower Mainland are from the suburbs and I wager that most Canuck fans are from the suburbs, and most of the mostly peaceful TV spectators on Georgia St were from the burbs – etc.

    What I am particularly offended by are the assertions like: the suburbs are “points beyond our city limits where culture among twenty-somethings and teens fears to tread” or that Vancouver doesn’t “breed that kind of douchebro.” This type of violence isn’t the sole provenance of the burbs. That anger/douchebaggery is simmering right beneath the surface within city limits. To blame Surrey is to be in a convenient and reassuring denial.

  75. I tried to make my point with my earlier comment but it seems to have failed. People who think that the people who live in the outlying suburbs are somehow more prone to rioting is maybe bigoted and certainly chauvinistic.

    A lot of the comments I’ve read about the young man from McRoberts Secondary are very racial. I’m not the world’s most PC person but even I’m offended and almost feel sorry for him.

    The kid Kotylack who gave the tearful apology on BCTV last night is truly sorry. Sorry he got caught. Sorry that his Dr dad made him apologise and sorry that he pretty much sealed his fate by giving that ill advised statement.

    I’m also not sure any of the various online outings will help convict these morons. They seem to be assumed guilty before they are given a fair trial.

  76. i have to agree with bob. his comment summed up my feelings exactly. this rant should have never been published. i grew up in your hometown and i know first hand that the ‘real’ skateboarders you speak of were, as bob points out angry youth, responsible for MANY hi jinks and vandalism. don’t get me wrong, they should should be held accountable for their actions, but we all need to step back and remember being a young teen, black out drunk and hell bent on riling against authority.

  77. ps georgia street demo party is a perfect example of a recent vancouver event involving these ‘real’ skateboarders. are you going to out your friends as douchebags?

  78. A douchebag is a douchebag is a douchebag, Lindsay, and I’ll be the first to admit from a near lifetime of experience among them that plenty of skateboarders are total douchebags. If you actually read what I wrote instead of just Bob’s comment, you’ll see that I was only talking about the guy threatening the woman who was protecting the store. Thanks for commenting and letting your feelings known just the same.

  79. Very shortsighted and slightly bigoted to suggest that those rioting were mostly suburbanites. It’s about as ludicrous as police suggesting this was the work of anarchists. Keep your head in the sand,Vancouver – and you’ll keep being surprised every time there is a riot.

  80. What is more ludicrous is your shock and disbelief at my “suggestion” in the face of evidence that does nothing but back it up. From deep in the sand, yours, et cetera…

  81. believe me i hear your frustration. my initial reaction was similar to yours, an ‘invasion of suburbanites’. then i got called on my shit and realized i was being a classist asshole. we spend so much time as vancouverites trying to separate ourselves from ‘the (supposed trash in) burbs’…even within our city ie east van is more legit than, well you fill in the blank. i see your links, and ya, the proof is in the pudding and all that, but its not actually a helpful stance. mob mentality is a unique thing. it causes people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. these people, most of whom are seemingly minors, saw an opportunity to be a part of something that was huge. this whole thing was an ego trip for them, and we provided the stage and the momentum to do so. i am not making an excuse for anyone’s behavior here, i am just saying it deserves to be examined in a logical, rational light. the internet lynch mob and vigilante justice seekers are exhibiting close to the same behavior as the mob. like the picture you posted, this is a bizarre first world phenomenon, but its ours and we need to own it and figure out a positive way to teach our kids that violence and civil disobedience is not to be used for personal gain or for entertainment purposes.

  82. It might help your argument if you posted such evidence… I’m sure you’ve broken down all the numbers and can pinpoint where all these people came from.

  83. It might help your argument if you posted such evidence.
    I’m sure you’ve broken down all the numbers and can pinpoint where all these people came from – would love to the see the evidence.

  84. @Lindsay – The shock and anger have subsided, and so I brood. 😉

    @scott – I don’t mean to be dismissive, but I suspect you might be more satisfied if I told you I was just making things up. So just go with that.

  85. I think you are being intentionally dismissive.
    I’d actually be satisfied if you backed up your statements.

  86. @scott – Sorry. I’ll give you my favourite, but then I’m going to stop. I have some work to do, and wasting more words on these douchebags or going ten rounds with insistent strangers is not what I had in mind when I wrote this post. Cheers.

    Click on the image file first for the full flavour. Look at the amazing fellow, second from the left…


    His name is Dustin Anderson and his nickname is “Gorilla”

    ^ That’s him hitting a cop and calling him a bitch and a faggot at 1:50.

    ^ And that’s him slapping a firefighter and calling him a bitch and a faggot.

    It looks like he’s being arraigned in Surrey Court on the 23rd. See you there.

  87. You got me. Dustin Anderson and the water polo kid did all the rioting, while kids from Kerrisdale, Kits, Shaughnessy and East Van were at home in bed.

  88. I was going to post that to prove whatever point I was making
    I found it wild that should wrote her apology letter as if it was a research paper.

  89. I feel no need to elaborate, the rest of the posters have illustrated my thoughts on your sanctimonious windbaggery andrew. People read scout for food info which you write somewhat lucidly about, stay away from your “hip fire” articles if you wish to retain your current readership.

  90. Wow, really? I’ll keep my own counsel on what I should write about, Ira. As a one-time writer/editor yourself, you should know that that sort of thing should be kept sacrosanct. Thanks very much for your very thoughtful guidance and backhanded compliment just the same.

  91. From the VPD today:

    A total of 117 people have been arrested for a variety of offences, including breach of the peace, public intoxication, breach of probation, assault, mischief, theft, possession of stolen property and obstructing a peace officer.

    Many charges are pending, however, formal charges have been recommended in the following cases:

    – Twenty year-old Edgar Ricardo Garcia of Burnaby is charged with aggravated assault stemming from an incident where two men were stabbed in the 700 block of Hornby Street on June 15.

    – Twenty-seven year-old Joshua Lyle Evans of Calgary is charged with possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace. This stems from the same incident in the 700 block of Hornby Street.

    – A 21 year old man from Ladner with no previous criminal convictions is facing charges of mischief and participation in a riot. He is alleged to have broken a rear tail light and rear window of a green pick-up truck parked in the 300 block of West Georgia Street.

    – A 19 year old man from Surrey, with no previous criminal convictions, is facing charges of break and enter, theft and participation in a riot, stemming from an incident in the 700 block of West Georgia Street. It is alleged that he entered the Hudson’s Bay Company and stole a Coach purse.

    – A 17 year old youth from Maple Ridge with no previous criminal convictions is facing charges of participation in a riot and of arson for allegedly lighting a police car on fire in the 100 block of West Georgia.

    – An 18 year old man from Delta with no previous criminal convictions is facing a charge of mischief and participating in a riot for allegedly kicking a hole through the window of the Budget Rental Car office located in the 400 block of West Georgia.

    – A 20 year old man from Maple Ridge with no previous criminal convictions is facing charges of mischief and participating in a riot after allegedly breaking a window of the Bank of Montreal located at Homer and West Georgia.

    – A 22 year old man from Burnaby, with no previous criminal convictions is facing charges of assaulting a peace officer, break and enter, mischief and participation in a riot stemming from an incident at Library Square where he allegedly threw a water bottle at the police, broke a window and then entered a building.

    So yeah, not a single person yet charged from Vancouver.

  92. I’m kind of enjoying watching you irritate, annoy and insult your own readership. Keep it up. I’m sure it will server your advertisers well.

  93. I’ve been following this thread with great interest. And, although I’ve previously stated that some of the points made in this article aren’t helpful to connecting our communities (which is what we clearly need to do), I am disturbed by the sentiment expressed by some that the article shouldn’t have been written. Of course it should have. These events require honest and candid discussion. And that’s what Andrew’s piece delivers.

    Even if I don’t agree on all points, Andrew’s piece has been extremely effective in starting an important discussion of how we view each other. And discussion is what’s needed. Self-censorship, and really censorship of any kind, is even MORE unhelpful to this situation than a point of view expressed that happens to offend.

  94. for anyone frozen in the headlights of the gleaming fact that the cities within driving distance of van are actually not the ‘same place’ as vancouver and that the people are not interchangable…
    here is your medicine:

    the only reason why anyone can’t except that these criminal losers DIDN’T come from vancouver proper is because THEY DON’T LIVE HERE EITHER. If you’ve been living in Vancouver proper for at least 3 yrs YOU WOULD KNOW that the people who live here COULD NOT do this.

    suck it up:
    We pay a lot of money to live here (this isn’t a snobby comment, it is just THE FACT). money means high paying jobs, high paying jobs means education and personal motivation (there i said it). paying a high rent/mortgage means home and place proud (keep sucking!…). considering van is one of the MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE WORLD than that means a hell of a lot of home pride. we REALLY, REALLY…..REALLY WANT to live here. we love it here. we feel we live in paradise. you think we came down from our lovely condos and trashed our own streets and burned our neighbors cars? if you think that, than like i said, you are not from here. you have no idea what it’s like to live here. and NO i’m not saying money = better people. i am saying we live here and are extremely house proud. onward…

    as to the belief (or hope?) in the “map version of vancouver” get a life if you think your from van if you live in surrey or richmond or whatever. i grew up in richmond and MOVED away from THAT place to come to vancouver 15 yrs ago. why? because the people and culture of the suburban cities are VERY DIFFERENT from that of Vancouver. I left one city/culture to come to another city/culture. YES there IS a difference in culture.

    If you can’t afford to live here and you’d like too…work harder. you’ll get here and you’ll love it and you’d NEVER trash it, because you won’t believe the beauty you wake up to everyday (and pay for gladly). If you like living in the suburbs, that’s great. but don’t think for a moment that we’re the same city. you are from where you are from. be proud of YOUR city. Respect ours and we’ll respect yours.

    are all people from the burbs bad? of course not. i like a lot of people from the suburban cities. but the BIG POINT (that for some reason needs to be explained) is that they are from a different city. if that is not so (as a person growing up on the west coast) how can i pick a person from a crowd and tell you which burb they’re from simply by how they dress and talk? seriously, i ask them and i’m ALWAYS right.

    so the big question for those living in the suburbs and really want to think that “we’re all the same” and that “people from van are just as likely to trash their OWN streets as people who live miles and miles and miles and miles away in the burbs would”
    – when you wake up and walk out your front door to go to your car or go get groceries or go to a movie, where are you? my guess is your NOT DOWN TOWN! you are where ever your local strip mall or house is.

    POINT: if you don’t “pop” over to your corner store to pick up an emergency tomato and find your self in vancouver proper than YOU DON’T LIVE HERE – get it?!!

    and if you’re still not getting the point…..

    here it is…THE TRUTH:
    the less educated, un-intellectually stimulated life of the suburban teen, raised eating mall food which on average is also the only place they go for entertainment, or a walk (you know it’s true). who also, in the example of the douche-bag rioters, may receive little love from their suburban parents and have come to vancouver where they get to pee on someone’s front door and burn their car too, all because they DON’T LIVE IN VANCOUVER AND ARE NOT FROM VANCOUVER and feel no connection to the neighborhood or perhaps even realize it IS a neighborhood at all. as though it’s some big concrete block. face less and meaningless. unlike THEIR home (somewhere else away FAR away in their reality…in the suburbs…as in another city…..is anyone getting this?)

    So the point isn’t that people from vancouver are better. it’s that WE live here. this is OUR HOME. suburban people don’t live here. this isn’t their home. of course they are welcome here but WE do care more about these streets.

    why is it hard to understand? if it takes you an hour to come somewhere, do you think you live there? do you think you might care less about those streets than the ones outside YOUR front door? do you think bored degenerate teens might care even less about unknown nameless streets than you might? perhaps even less than vancouver teens who grew up playing on these streets, walking their dogs, walking to school, the streets where people know them, neighbors, teachers, community….
    1 + 1 people, does equal 2.

    OF COURSE all or almost every single one of these rioters came from the suburbs and this isn’t even an opinion. These are the real cards that the arrests, and the face book pages and the gucci bags suddenly for sale in surrey are laying on the table for all to see. look at it.

    Is this really so hard to understand?

    for the moronic comment about queens and manhattan – you MUST be from the burbs (travel ever?). NO ONE in manhattan would EVER consider queens to be apart of their city and people from queens are smart enough to know to never call it that either.

  95. Jen,

    I don’t think anyone is making the point that everywhere in the Lower Mainland is, or should be, counted as Vancouver. I think what some people (well, me specifically) are saying is that Vancouver is a cultural nexus for everyone living in its vicinity. That’s why people cheer for their Vancouver Canucks, right?

    And some of us who don’t happen to live in Vancouver certainly work here. We eat here. We get our haircuts here. We take our kids to the Aquarium, the Art Gallery, Stanley Park. The point is not that we’re connected, but is (vitally) that we’re NOT, and should be.

    I find your ‘pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps if you want to live here’ and ‘we’re educated and you’re not’ points to be, with respect, simplistic at best. I can’t afford a place in Vancouver, and I have a university degree. Am I not working hard enough? It’s a preposterous statement. I can only assume you wrote it hastily, because everyone knows that this issue is WAY more complex.

    Again, what we need is to create cultural cohesion among the municipalities in the Lower Mainland. This doesn’t mean killing the characters and identities of each. But, it means killing this strain of what I perceive to be incredibly destructive classist schism that I didn’t even see when I lived in *England*. You want to talk about an expensive city? Let’s talk about London. Yet, someone living in Stepney is considered just as much a Londoner as someone in Kensington, even if cultures in those two areas of the city are markedly different.

  96. Hi Jen, I prefer the writing style and intellect of the Jeans Looter. She was from Vancouver as well.

  97. Hi Jen,

    Until recently I lived on 4th and Commercial. I regularly heard people smashing bottles. Yelling at each other. Disrespecting the city. A morning walk to gasstown has graffiti, drug addicts, vomit on the sidewalk. This is daily life in East Vancouver. A homeless man was lit on fire last year a block away from my house. Maybe our houses aren’t quite expensive enough over here? As much as Vancouver is one of the richest cities in the world it is also one of the poorest. So if house price is directly related to criminal activity we’re in trouble. We have plenty of people who don’t even have houses in Vancouver. Or would your point be more related to median house price? That seems a little crazy Jen.

    I also remember the shootings that took place throughout the city a couple years ago when the drug war escalated. Wealth maybe had a different impact on these crimes. I feel like kids from Kits might sometimes disrespect their city too. After all- they aren’t paying to live there. Even if they were, I think it would be really strange to think that your house price would prevent you from committing a crime or disrespecting your city. Kind of a horrid take on the world really.

    You go on to say people can work harder to become the type of person who could afford a really expensive house- the type of house that would make it impossible to disrespect the city. I’m not sure I understand where this logic(?) is coming from. Maybe your Richmond roots… (well, no that wouldn’t make sense to think all people from Richmond are….)

    I see your BIG POINT (that you can visually pick out where people are from- which you seem to feel make your case that the suburbs are different, and at fault) and I’ll raise you one. If the Canucks had won and had hosted a big parade to thank all the Canucks fans- we’re all Canucks right?- they would have thanked people from all over the lower mainland who make up their fan base. Those people wearing clothes that let you always (amazing track record on this one Jen) know exactly where they are from- they would have been as much a part of the party as the people from the condos downtown. They buy jerseys, take transit into town to spend the money that helps prop up the expensive parts of the city. They watch the games, they love Bieksa. They can’t suddenly not be a part of it when people who live downtown get angry.

    Here’s my controversial take. If you don’t like the Canucks because their fans suck so much (this is my take on the organization- and the rest of much of Canada’s) don’t support them. Let it be known you don’t like the Canucks or their fans. Don’t jump on the bandwagon when they make a cup run. Brace yourself when they do well because you know that that fan base can’t handle it and they are terrible. Petition to have the Canucks moved to the suburbs, or to another city altogether. Maybe all hockey teams have some rot on the core- but the Canucks seem to be leading the charge. Rot all over. (But wait. How can I say all their fans are bad… that’d be just like blaming the suburbs… or something…)

    And to address you last question, yes, I travel a lot. Many people from Manhattan are very proud to be from New York City and would never be so narrow minded as to blame all the problems involved in a Manhattan event on the people who lived outside of Manhattan. People in New York seem a little more sophisticated about stuff like that.

  98. Rob, Best and Zak

    I realize that my entry was a long one and you are all no doubt very busy. perhaps you breezed over every point that i made. i really tried to make my points very clear. your arguments are attacking my method of explaining the point and not the points at all. it’s like arguing over the metaphor and not hearing the description. so here they are, the points (as in, what i actually wrote):


    – regardless of wether vancouver is a cultural nexus, where lots of people come (often from great distances) to hang out. the POINT i was making is that i personally care more about lets say Richards st that someone from surrey because i walk on it and know all the shops and cafes. these are my neighbors. the POINT is that this is MY FRONT DOOR. people come to van to hang out, i wake up in van and say hi to my local pan handler and buy him breakfast because he’s a part of MY PERSONAL HOME.

    – i never said you should pull your self up by your boot straps if you want to live here. i said if you REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to live here? you would make it happen and it would be WORTH IT to you to pay more on rent and have less spending cash. THE POINT is that people who live here, not only feel personally connected to the space around their front door just for living here but also because they work and pay hard to live here (pay TONS – by choice). so to make the POINT clearer, people who live down town are protective of their homes. are you not protective of your neighborhood streets too? imagine if you payed 70% – 80% (as recent estimates for van proper reveal) of your wage to live there because you really wanted to live in that neighborhood. you could pay less somewhere else but that is what you wanted. i’m sure you’re house proud anyway, but imagine if you wanted your house that bad?

    -i’ve lived in london, it’s close to 2000 yrs old, yah it’s big. vancouver is just over 100 yrs old. our history would hardly write the preface in the book of london. london is one of the biggest cities in the world. vancouver is very small. do you think we need to artificially extend our borders beyond where they really are to match a 2000 year old city which has a real and complex history that naturally explains and defines it’s borders.


    – i didn’t say that no one came from van, i said that of course almost none came from van. i even explained why. ps what part of “van” did she come from?


    – really? i’ve lived in gastown for a few years now. it’s a fantastic neighborhood. it’s lovely and very charming and VERY safe. the east hasting area has it’s problems and the drug addicts (good people, just lost) often come into gastown. we give them money and food. homeless people and drug addicts swarm to van from across canada because it’s warmer here in the winter. if you study this you’ll see that that is true. if you also actually studied this, you’d find that in the last 4 yrs the homless have been moved into shelters. this may not be what it looks like, but there are actually less than 200 people who actually have no home in vancouver. i won’t argue this fact with you, i don’t have the time. i urge you to do some research on your own before you make blanket stereo type statements about my home.

    – these people that burned the homeless person and the shootings….where are they from?

    – i never said that house price means you won’t commit crimes. i even wrote: money doesn’t = better people. should i repeat that? i even wrote: money doesn’t = better people. please read a persons comment before critiquing it. the POINT i made was that WE LIVE HERE. think about it. you wake up, leave your front door say hi to the people who live and work there as you do every day because they are there every day. these people and their cars and their businesses ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIARS. the POINT is that it is less likely that i would trash my friends and neighbors cars than someone who LIVES MILES AND MILES AND MILES AWAY WOULD. even if i wasn’t a descent person and thought it was ok to trash my streets and local businesses I WOULD STILL BE LESS LIKELY TO DO IT because i’d KNOW i would be recognized by my fellow neighbors.

    – i didn’t say people should work harder to become the kind of person who could afford and expensive house (again, you should actually read a post before critiquing!). i said that if you are the kind of person who is willing to work your ass off just so you can pay up to 80% of your wage to live in a place because you want to live there than, that means that (guess what?) you really like vancouver and again are less likely to trash your own, and your neighbors property. not because working hard and having more money = better person. but that work hard and paying ALOT of money = you value what your paying for alot. YES MORE than some punk kid who lives MILES AND MILES AND MILES AWAY.

    -i’m not really sure why i’m responding to this one zak as it baffles me. but here goes. yes people who live down town like hockey too. i do, i was wearing a jersey and watching the game at the georgia site. i saw the first car get flipped and burned (those guys have been identified and some arrested – all from surrey!). i was with several of my friends who live in van proper and we all wore jerseys. do you really think i said i didn’t want people to come down town because we (vancouverites) get mad?! what? we’re mad because our homes, cars, streets and friends shops got trashed. by people who do NOT live here (not an opinion, but a fact). if a group of people from kits came and trashed yours and your friends homes, cars and your neighborhood’s businesses and they got caught, wouldn’t you be mad that they came out to your town and did that?

    – zak, you’re imagining things again! let me bring you back………
    i love the canucks (nowhere did a make a comment to suggest i don’t). i’ve always been a fan and i love that fans from all over bc come to my neighborhood to celebrate. i love being on the canucks band wagaon. i loved the olympics and all of the 6 prior games to game 7 that were held here. it’s so much fun to have all these people celebrating in peace, high fiven’ stragners, all the joy, it was FANTASTIC.

    rob, best and zak, there really was only on point here folks and that is this:
    if you live somewhere where your neighbors know you and would recognize you and you pay a ton of money to live there because you are crazy in love with your neighborhood and are willing to pay 70 – 80% of your income to live there than you are LESS LIKELY to trash your own streets…even if you are a douchebag. if you are, however, a douche bag who happens to live miles and miles and miles and miles away and your come to vancouver, where nobody knows you, and you don’t know the shop owners of the windows you’re smashing and you don’t want to live in that neighborhood than you are MORE LIKLY to trash it and see it burn, that is IF you are a douchebag.

    WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. TRY TO CLEAR YOUR MINDS. THIS IS NOT AN OPINION BUT REALITY. almost ALL if not all of the people who did that are (i’ll grant you this…) not suburbanites, but ARE the DOUCHEBAG suburbanites who came to our town to unleash their sickness.

    as you have a track record of not reading my points. here’s that last one again. suburban people = good people but from another city. the unfortunate douchebaggers who live in suburbia = bad people who are more likely to trash my streets than their own miles and miles away where no one knows them.

    and again, this isn’t an opinion so get over it.

    if your still confused, just read it all again.

    ps people in manhattan WOULD NEVER CONSIDER QUEENS TO BE APART OF MANHATTAN. they are 100 x more serious about their postal code than we are.

  99. Jen- I want to keep this short. You live in what many people consider the worst neighbourhood in Canada. According to the UN 70 percent of the people in your ‘fantastic neighbourhood’ have Hep C and 30 percent have HIV. Roughly the same rates as Botswana (http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1996).

    You did say some things like money doesn’t = better people, but your main points were very contradictory to that idea. Like that when you spend money on a place you wouldn’t disrespect it. I think the point that Vancouver has a lot of extreme poverty does enough to counter your argument that the amount of money people have to have spent to live there means they would never hurt their city. I don’t agree with that point, and if I did it wouldn’t be valid anyway.

    But the main point really is that you feel Vancouver is one place with one type of person and the suburbs have a different type of person. Vancouver proper based Canucks fans are good, ones from the suburbs are bad ones. Maybe the organization could quit broadcasting outside of Vancouver to help stem this? And they could only sell tickets to people who have addresses in Vancouver proper?

  100. Jen, I think you’re making a very important point. That, if a place isn’t one’s home, then the impulse to defile it is arguably greater. So, to argue that point with me at least is to preach to the choir.

    But, we appear to be talking at cross purposes. The real POINT we should all be focusing on, in my opinion, is not who cares about Vancouver more (which is going to be tricky, and not very conclusive in the end), but how do we all convey how important it is to do so in any capacity, whether we live here or not. I feel that’s our mission now – and I do say *our*, as in Vancouverites and suburbanites all.

    To me, the first step in that mission is to make sure that people who work here, spend money here, and identify with this city isn’t made to feel like they are second class – emphasis on *class*. Let’s talk about how to do that, instead of demonizing whole populations who don’t share a postal code.

  101. Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond are not separate cities. They are all part of Vancouver. One needs a land separation and distinct town centre to make a claim to be a separate city! Maybe New West has a better case to make a claim, but its connected to Vancouver. Fact is you wouldn’t be in Chelsea and say its not in London because its not in the square mile of the financial district! Manhattan may not be Queens but its all New York.

    Hey Kim, What’s with the capitalizations everywhere? Are you posting this from an insane asylum or is that called Yaletown!

  102. @Jen
    If this is what spews out of “an intelligent” Vancouverite, then thanks anyways I’ll stay in my cozy little corner of Port Moody, ‘City of the Arts’ where culture and respect for others is high among our values. Although everyone on this forum can spew, I mean, have his/her own opinion, it’s sad to see those opinions that are so far from reality, “the less educated, un-intellectually stimulated life of the suburban teen, raised eating mall food which on average is also the only place they go for entertainment, or a walk (you know it’s true)”. The truth of the matter is, you probably don’t have kids, or ever will, as you’ll be too busy keeping up with the “Jones’”, I mean, the drug dealers and prostitutes you share your “lovely” condo with. So have a happy life, alone, Miss Jen, because in my opinion, anyone with your opinion is probably lonely and unloved at best.

  103. the only person who actually read my post is rob. thank you rob.

    rob i don’t think that the problem is that people from where ever need to learn to respect vancouver. i think that people from all over bc and the world do that already. the only issue that needs to be addressed is that the lost criminal types who think its ok to trash some else’s property (where ever they’re from) need. to be delt with. i think the only solution is to have a much larger police presence. if there are so many police that it scares that bad guys from trying anything than problem solved.

    it’s tempting to respond to you too sunny…
    just the fact that you don’t know how many amazing homes there are in gastown just exemplifies my point that you could care less and know nothing of what it’s like to live here. I assure you, though i’m sure you don’t care that my life is the exact opposite to what you described. i have a huge gorgeous condo, gastown is amazing, i am not apart of the % group that pays that much of my income to live here and i have an amazing husband, children and many families members who live down town. if you ever respond to me again i will delete your hostile comments. i won’t read them. frankly your insults make me wonder if you’re one of the rioting douche bags. good bye forever.

  104. ok suburban people who hate me. i re-read my first post and i realize that it sounds very harsh. i wrote it while i was very angry. seeing this article reminded me of my experience with the game where i tried to stop a group of guys from smashing a car owned by a friend.

    the whole experience was extremely hard and frightening to see people bashing up the property and businesses of friends. i volunteered the next day to help clean up and that, i felt, had healed the trauma of it all. obviously i’m still shook up about it.

    i appologize for the way i wrote my post. i do still believe in my points. which was that the people who did this came from the suburbs but that does not mean that people from the suburbs are lower class or whatever people are saying. remember most of the peaceful people who came down town that night are from the suburbs, less than 1% of the crowd became part of the riot.

    again i appologize for sounding so harsh. i do stand with my opinion that the less than 1% of the crowd that rioted came from the suburbs (at least the vast majority).

    according to the arrests, this appears to be true.
    i will not be commenting anymore.

  105. Lots of pride here.

    Whether it’s pride in your suburban ‘hood, or pride in your downtown ‘hood, it’s clear that one thing unites us.

    “if you shit on my hood, online or otherwise, I will unleash a thinly veiled attempt at witty, sarcastic banter whilst calling you out and frankly, telling you how you couldn’t possibly make it in my awesome ‘hood.”

    This seems to be the point that every one here is making, and it’s absolutely justified. Vancouver felt shat on, literally, and unleashed rage, anger, disappointment, a general ‘hey you kids get off my lawn’ishness that at the time made perfect sense.

    Deal with it, right or wrong, the massive influx of people into downtown, who had within them a portion hellbent on destruction, should not have been there. Win or Lose, there would have been a riot, that much is painfully obvious.

    Bottom line, while it’s abundantly clear that Andrew was spot on in his assessment of the demographics of the rioters, it should definitely not be construed as a criticism of the lifestyles, parenting skills or strip mall architecture of the burbs.

    It was said best by the poster calling for unity. Vancouver, at it’s greatest, is a combination of cultures, ideals, flavours and freaks, all in a fantastic setting on the water. At it’s worst, it’s a massive mishmash of contrarian ideas, failed policies, rampant drug culture and douchebags of every colour and currency.

    The only ones who can decide which way it goes is us, so pick up a shovel and chip in. I for one have dibs on a nice sunny spot i’ve picked out, and if any of you kids tosses a frisbee on my roof, i’m keeping it. Just to teach you a lesson.

    Now get off my damn lawn

  106. Get over it Vancouver. People riot and its got nothing to do with low class suburbanites, kids acting out from their virtual social media world. Bad Surrey parenting. Its called passion, emotion and alcohol. Apart from maybe the precursory role of the anarchists, the Vancouver riot was not planned or a foregone conclusion.

    They even riot in North Korea, Its called being human
    credit: LA Times

    Soccer Riot in Tightly Controlled North Korea Surprises Observers
    The World
    Rowdy fans encircle the stadium after a defeat by Iran. Japan calls for tighter security for its upcoming game.
    April 02, 2005|Barbara Demick | Times Staff Writer

    If the disturbance had happened anywhere else, it might have been dismissed as just another instance of soccer hooliganism. But the rowdiness that followed North Korea’s loss to Iran on Wednesday in a World Cup qualifying match in Pyongyang has raised questions about public order in what is reputed to be the world’s most controlled city.

    In the televised match in the North Korean capital at Kim Il Sung Stadium, named for the country’s late founder, fans threw rocks, seats and bottles at a Syrian referee who had made an unpopular call. Thousands of people surrounded the stadium afterward, preventing the Iranian players from getting on their bus. It reportedly took two hours for North Korean soldiers and police to disperse the crowd so the Iranians could leave.

  107. Some things never change!

    [edit]Riots by the Halbstarken

    The first Halbstarken riots happened after concerts or cinema screenings, which usually were preceded later uprisings as well. On December 30, 1956 about 4000 juveniles walked through Dortmund’s city, affronting passers-by, rampaging and having battles with the police, after a cinema show of Außer Rand und Band (Rock Around the Clock with Bill Haley) Big riots occurred especially from 1956 to 1958. Often, the furniture of cinemas and concert halls was totally destroyed. These riots started severe discussions in media and politics. The seeming sense- and directionlessness of the riots wasn’t comprehensible. Often, the American popular culture was considered guilty. Nowadays, the riots and all of the Halbstarken-phenomenon is seen as a protest against society and its authorities which seemed draconic and bleak. But the protest was neither organized nor politically motivated.

  108. So is the editor of this site also involved with vancouverriot.com and is Captain Vancouver?

  109. Nope. Just a guy who got really upset at the riot and shot his mouth off a little too much. Shit happens, clearly.

  110. My attention was drawn to this article only today, July 22nd, and I have to say it’s one of the most extreme and utterly revolting bits of “Vancouverism” rhetoric I have ever read. It’s a real testament to what some people’s need for status can do to their thinking.