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CBC News community reacts to Vancouver riots

Categories: Canada, Community, Sports

By CBC News

The streets of Vancouver erupted in riots Wednesday night following the Canucks' loss to Boston in the Stanley Cup Final. Rioters flipped cars, started fires and smashed windows.  Riot police used tear gas, pepper spray and flash bombs to control the crowd.

CBC News community members reacted with surprise and even anger about the riots. Some readers couldn't believe a hockey game sparked Canadian rioting - again. In 1994, after the Canucks lost in New York to the Rangers in game seven, a riot erupted in downtown Vancouver.

  • "There is no need for people to act like this when their team loses," wrote Terri Longmire, a former B.C. resident. "I am just as upset as the next guy because of the loss of the Stanley Cup, but there is no need to act like animals."
  • "Along with the vast majority of Canadians I am appalled, disgusted and revolted by the news of the misfortune that has befallen Vancouver," emailed Don Cavin.
  • "I am so ashamed to be Canadian right now. It's only a game you stupid people! all you did was make Canada look bad! Shame on you!" wrote Norah Wallachy.
  • "Why can you not handle a loss in a hockey game?" asked Scurvy Dog.
  • "People in other countries riot in order to gain their freedom form dictatorial regimes," wrote TheGrumpyScot. "People in rich fat Canada riot because of a hockey game - pathetic."
At first, Jessica Hamilton confused the Vancouver footage for a Libyan riot. "I never thought people would act so unbelievable over a hockey game," she wrote.

The anger spread far beyond Vancouver's city limits, to Ontario and further east.

  • "Way to go Vancouver... you make me ashamed to call myself a Canadian," wrote G. Wallis, in an email. "You gave Canada a 'black eye' across the world. Good thing you didn't win the cup... perhaps then, you might have burnt down the whole city...and what a beautiful city...but alas, it obvious you don't care."
  • "Perhaps Vancouver shouldn't have an NHL team if this is the way some of its citizens are going to react after a loss," Denise Vokey wrote from Newfoundland. "I'm very thankful that Canada won the gold medal game at the Olympics or we may be remembering the games differently."
  • "As a Canadian and a proud New Brunswicker I feel ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted by those that felt that they had the right to carry out the destruction and chaos ... in the streets of Vancouver," wrote Brian Green.
  • "Riots after losing a hockey game, what is the matter with you people?" demanded GayleMarie. "Canadians should be ashamed at the behaviour of the fans in Vancouver. They made our great country look bad and that is just wrong."
In one night, it appeared as if the Canucks had lost not just the Stanley Cup but followers, too, as some fans, so disgusted by the riots, were quick to change allegiances.

"I will never support Vancouver again," wrote Christine Sudsbury, "as history has proved they cannot handle loss with dignity and grace, which is the Canadian way."

Pen@winn had always been a proud Canucks fan, "but no more! I am so happy we now have the NHL in Winnipeg."

Many community stressed the difference between true hockey fans and violent hockey hooligans.

"I am a proud hockey fan and I'm disgusted with the mentality of these idiots that have no respect for the city or its image," texted one community member.

"I hope that the Vancouver Canucks come out today and also express their shame and humiliation they should also feel against a relative small group of hooligans," wrote Craig Utian.

Many community members were happy that the rioters were captured on video and in photos. They hoped this would help the police catch the hooligans.

  • "Hopefully they will be arrested, charged, convicted," wrote Dayton, "and hopefully the punishment is public service time."
  • "I hope that each and every person responsible for this disaster is caught and held responsible!" agreed Laughing1.
  • "I sincerely hope that the police charge these hooligans to the full extent of the law!" commented Rockland. "Also post photos of those guilty on television, internet, newspapers and any other media that will embarrass them as much as they have the rest of Canada. Shameful!"
  • "Shame has been brought upon us. Paradise lost..." emailed Steven Channing.

Perhaps, the best solution to stop future Vancouver hockey riots is to hope the Canucks don't land a playoff spot, suggests Johnie'sreply.

"Lets hope Vancouver does not make it to the playoffs again for another 20 years! Canada does not need the embarrassment."
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