Tag: riots

Riot Breaks Out After Game In Vancouver

Vancouver city council rips NHL over Stanley Cup riots; Do they have a point?


The riots that erupted in Vancouver after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins were one of the most embarrassing things to happen in recent memory. After seeing all the crime and vandalism break out in one of North America’s most beautiful cities all thanks to losing a championship game made everyone feel disgusted that such a thing could happen.

While the Vancouver Police Department report said that their police force was overrun by the sheer number of people, intoxicated and otherwise, another Vancouver government group feels that there’s another group to blame for what happened.

The Vancouver city council filed their report on what happened and pointed the finger squarely not at their own citizens for acting like hooligans but at the NHL for allowing it to happen.


Rod Mickelburgh of The Globe And Mail has the baffling story out of a city that finds a new way to make an ugly situation look worse.

“In spite of four Stanley Cup riots in the last five years, [the NHL] has no approach, no policy and no apparent strategy to work with host franchises and municipalities on this issue,” says the lengthy internal report to be debated at a special council meeting on Tuesday.

“[This] clearly … threatens the value and perception of their brand.”

The city’s criticism of the NHL follows similar barbs tossed at the league by the provincially appointment independent review of the riot, headed by co-chairs Douglas Keefe and John Furlong.

In their report released last week, they said it was “unfortunate and regrettable” that the NHL has no specific programs to help teams “with the kind of challenge [Vancouver] faced that night.”

Concluding that the sport of professional hockey, itself, cannot be separated from the riot, they urged the NHL to work with teams and communities to promote “peaceful, happy hockey celebrations.”

Pardon us but… What?

Let’s get this straight, the NHL is supposed to help the city with how to protect themselves and deal with a massive crowd that at another time in their history showed that they weren’t able to handle losing in the Stanley Cup finals well at all? Shenanigans have been declared.

This the City of Vancouver’s way of passing the buck and shuffling the blame for the insane and foolish violence that broke out to help make themselves look good and the NHL like the big, bad corporate entity that’s forcing hockey and excitement upon them. The NHL is in the business of playing and hosting hockey events. Protecting the people and maintaining civil peace is the sort of job we’re pretty sure the police department would be insulted at being told what to do by the league.

As it is, the Canucks are already going to start working with the city closer to help better manage these events in the future, but the city coming out and ripping the NHL for this comes off as petty and gutless.

Given that the city erupted in violence in 1994 when the Canucks lost to the Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals, this was something the current police department and those involved had to at least be prepared on how to handle. After all, they were going to have a civil disturbance (albeit a joyous one) if the Canucks had won the Stanley Cup this year. With the team being humbled at home in Game 7 after a raucous and mutually agitating Cup finals series, the possibility that there’d be troublemakers looking to use losing as an excuse to raise hell had to be in the back of their minds and there had to be a contingency plan in case things got out of hand.

In other words, the city and the police force not being properly prepared isn’t the NHL’s problem. The NHL doesn’t control the fans and they certainly don’t run the City of Vancouver or any other cities around North America where hockey is played. If the NHL gets in the business of hiring their own private security firms to handle event security then that’s fine, put it on them. For this, however, Vancouver had to know what they were getting into and they had to know based on their own recent history what might happen.

Cup Final riot investigation conclusion: “there were too many people and they were too drunk”

Riot Breaks Out After Game In Vancouver

Remember the aftermath of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? No, not Zdeno Chara’s primal scream; nor Mark Recchi’s last game as an NHLer. We’re talking about the night that a segment of Vancouverites decided to loot and light their city on fire (insert Montreal joke here). In the wake of the disaster, the powers that be thought it would be a good idea to order an independent review of the night’s events. Everyone knew it was a horrible incident that was an embarrassment for one of the most beautiful cities in North America—but why? What caused the night to go horribly wrong? Aside from the Canucks winning the Cup, what could have been changed on June15th to avoid the humiliating riot that filled the streets of Vancouver?

NHL.com is reporting that the independent review’s findings have been released today in the form of a 396-page report. The findings are predictable to say the least:

“Keefe and Furlong offered two major problems from that day — there were too many people and they were too drunk — while offering 53 recommendations for future preparation and prevention with similar events.

According to the report, there were 155,000 people in downtown Vancouver when the Boston Bruins defeated the Canucks in Game 7. There were 446 police officers on duty in the area early in the day, and that number swelled to 928 by the end of the night — more than four times the number on duty when there was a riot during the 1994 Stanley Cup Final and two-and-a-half times the number for the gold-medal game at Rogers Arena during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Keefe said part of the problem was deployment of the police officers was slow in the afternoon and the transition to tactical gear took as long as 40 minutes for some units after the order to do was given. He also noted, however, that a smoother deployment would not have prevented a riot from happening.”

Let’s make sure we have this straight: too many drunken people in too close of a proximity to each other, in an emotionally charged environment, without enough police supervision will lead to problems. Glad to hear it only took two months to come up with that kind of hard hitting analysis.

One of the authors of “The Night The City Became A Stadium,” Douglas Keefe and John Furlong, went onto say that the crowd of 155,000 people was “unpredictable.” To say that the crowds were unpredictable is naïve at best—but more likely disingenuous. Everyone around the hockey world knew there was going to be a huge crowd in the streets that night—common sense told us the crowd would be bigger for Game 7 than they were for Game 5 and Game 6. People knew that if the Canucks lost, there was a high likelihood for civic misconduct. None of this is second guessing: people were talking about the consequences before the game even started.

The report states that the city and police learned valuable lessons from the 1994 riot that followed the New York Rangers Stanley Cup victory over the Canucks. Unfortunately, even though the city was equipped with the lessons of the past, the independent review still had 53 recommendations for the city in the event of a similar circumstance in the future.

Good to know that if the Canucks lose in the Finals again, rioters will have to be more creative than getting drunk and looting with 1,000 of their closest friends.

Vancouver riot reactions: Thousands volunteer to clean up mess, Henrik Sedin voices disgust

APTOPIX Stanley Cup Vancouver Scene Hockey

While it still remains unclear how much precise damage and the exact number of people who were injured in some way during last night’s riots in Vancouver, the latest numbers indicate that 130 to 140 people were admitted to local hospitals. Many of those injuries were reportedly related to the tear gas and pepper spray used at the scenes, although three people were treated for stab wounds with one person in critical condition. There haven’t been any fatalities reported at this time, though.

Whatever the final, official numbers end up being, it’s a huge black eye for the city of Vancouver (even if the spin dictates that it was a relatively small piece of the populace). The city also rioted in 1994 following the team’s Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers, leaving about 200 people injured in that incident.

While this event probably cost the city millions in damage – not to mention terrible public relations that might impact their tourism? – there have been some moments that remind us that there are good people in that well-liked city. Lesley Ciarula Taylor of the Star reports that 11,300 people volunteered to help clean up the mess that looters made in the city, although it isn’t known if that many people actually followed up on the encouraging drive.

(The Facebook group is located here while the Twitter group is @VancouverClean.)

Taylor’s story provided some reactions by local athletes and celebrities.

“World: as you can imagine Vancouver is being embarrassed by a relative few,” wrote basketball star Steve Nash of Victoria, B.C., according to The Canadian Press.

“We’re a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon.”

Also on Twitter, B.C. Premier Christy Clark begged rioters: “Let’s not make things worse,” she said. “Time to go home.”

Former B.C. premier and past Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh tweeted: “Shame! “Not the Vancouver I know.”

Musician Johnny Reid urged the vandals to “stop the madness.”

“Trying to figure out why a few idiots can leave an entire country with a black eye?”

Henrik Sedin also expressed his disappointment about the situation.

“It’s terrible,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said, shaking his head. “This city and province has a lot to be proud of, the team we have and the guys we have in here. It’s too bad.”

This ugly incident makes it tough to argue that the city has progressed much since 1994. If the team makes it to a big stage like this – a likely scenario since elite players, for the most part, remain in place – let’s hope that officials are more prepared and fans are less unruly. If that takes limiting alcohol sales and gatherings around big screens altogether, then so be it.

Photo gallery: Stunning sights from the Vancouver riot

Riot Breaks Out After Game In Vancouver

While the hockey world should have focused on the brilliant work by the Boston Bruins as they claimed their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, many couldn’t peel their eyes away from the carnage in Vancouver.

It’s unclear if Wednesday night’s stomach-churning riots were less severe than, at the same level or even more problematic than the ones that broke out after the team lost in 1994. What isn’t particularly debatable is how expansive the coverage was this time around compared to 17 years ago. The night of June 15 put a black eye on the city of Vancouver, but it was a profound display of the immediate news available on the Internet and the power that comes with Twitter and other social media Web sites.

Simply put, there were a lot of outlets that were on top of the proceedings. CTV probably gathered the most captivating coverage, providing onlookers with a captivating (if disturbing) live feed of looters and violent people doing terrible – and terribly stupid – things. It’s worth noting that there are some disturbing images and accounts laid out by The Vancouver Province (so be warned before clicking through it), but their live feed of photos and Twitter updates is fascinating nonetheless.

You can read our earlier story about the event here, but for those who might be interested, here is a gallery of some of the photos from an awful moment of fan rebellion. You can also view a slideshow of photos from the riots, as well. Again: these images might be disturbing, so use caution. You can enlarge the images by clicking on them. Some photos will have captions.


Photo credit: Jonathan Hayward of The Associated Press.


Photo credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images.


Fans bash down the doors of a local Sears outlet.

Photo credit: Geoff Howe of The Associated Press.


That woman is lighting her cigarette with flames from the riot. Yup.

Photo credit: Geoff Howe of The Associated Press.


The Vancouver tourism board probably won’t use this picture in any brochures.

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images.


No, those aren’t the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (We hope.)

Photo credit: Ryan Remiorz of The Associated Press.


It must have been a long night for Vancouver authorities and will be a long morning for whoever has to clean that mess up.

Photo credit: Darryl Dyck of The Associated Press.


Few things say “disturbing signs of a riot” quite like widespread car flipping.

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images.


The photo known around the Internet as “rioters in love.” Nothing says “steamy summer romance” quite like glass on the ground, teargas in the air and chaos in the streets, right? It’s just like prom night!

Photo credit: Rich Lam of Getty Images.

Vancouver Canucks fans riot after Game 7 loss; Mayor calls it ‘extremely disappointing’

Stanley Cup Fans

Unfortunately, the parallels between today’s Vancouver Canucks and the 1994 edition extend beyond a Game 7 defeat all the way toward a violent reaction.

Vancouver authorities were optimistic that Canucks fans wouldn’t riot whether the team won or lost in Game 7 tonight, but it doesn’t look like they got their wish. While it’s unclear how severe the rioting was at this time, it seems like some Canucks fans reacted to their team’s 4-0 loss in a way that continues a sad pattern from 1994. Seventeen years later, they expressed their anger regarding tonight’s defeat by rioting.

The Associated Press captured a scene in which “parked cars were set on fire, others were tipped over and people threw beer bottles at giant television screens.” (You can view some “raw video” of the scene in this YouTube clip. CTV also has a dispiriting feed of the violence.)

Again, it’s unclear at this time how bad the damage was and how many people were injured. The New York Times archives reveals that 200 people were injured during the 1994 riots, but hopefully that situation was more severe than tonight’s ugly incidents. Hopefully no one was seriously hurt during this extremely negative reaction, but it’s a sad moment whenever such a thing happens.

We’ll keep an eye out for updates regarding these regrettable riot-like acts with the hope that we’ve already seen the worst. Perhaps some day fans can find a better way to release their (likely alcohol-fueled) emotions, whether their teams win or lose.

Update: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson released this statement.

“It is extremely disappointing to see the situation in downtown Vancouver turn violent after tonight’s Stanley Cup game. Vancouver is a world-class city and it is embarrassing and shameful to see the type of violence and disorder we’ve seen tonight.

The vast majority of people who were in the downtown tonight were there to enjoy the game in a peaceful and respectful manner. It is unfortunate that a small number of people intent on criminal activity have turned pockets of the downtown into areas involving destruction of property and confrontations with police.

The Vancouver Police and Vancouver Fire Department are doing an exceptional job under challenging circumstances to maintain control of the situation and keep people safe, and emergency crews are working tirelessly to assist those who were injured.

The priority is public safety and ensuring that people can leave the downtown area to make their way home without further incident. Transit is operating at full capacity.

I urge the public to remain calm and to stay away from central downtown in order to assist police in restoring safety to our streets.”