The Day After

Photo by Steffani Cameron.

Wow. What a difference 24 hours makes.

There’s something about hundreds, maybe thousands, of drunk-assed fuck-faces rampaging through your city, breaking glass, burning cars, and hurting innocent civilians that makes one go, “Hey, you know what? I love this place. And you just PISSED ME OFF.”

One of Vancouver’s finest somewhat-under-the-radar bloggers (bookmark that shit, yo) is Kimli. She has deliciously turned her snark on to these three asshatted rioters. Based on the strength & zeal of this piece, I think she should embrace her angst and do an entire series on these jerks (and out-of-towners!) who thought they’d try messing up Vancouver, and tarnishing our reputation worldwide.

I love my town, man.

I love my town with its disparity of lives, rich-versus-poor, plastic-ass districts like Yaletown, through to hard-ass hard-luck big-art cultural-love-in ‘hoods like Commercial Drive on the East Side.

I love my town with its ludicrous concrete jungle in the middle of a temperate rainforest at the bottom of big-ass mountains on the coast of the wide watery world of the Pacific.

I love my wickedly multicultural once-upon-a-world white-folk sushi-capital crazy-ass side-of-Little-India jumble of a town.

And these guys picked the wrong fucking day to toy with us.

We were gonna take it all, win the Cup finally, and instead of just losing The Cup, we lost our reputation and our self-respect.

A sick billion dollars will be pumped down the drain because of these asshats. Some will be getting in trouble with the law for stealing a Big Gulp or Pringles, and I hope the insignificance of their theft does not diminish the extent of punishment they receive.

Principles, baby. Gotta have ’em.

Because the world is hurting, because the economy has been gutted like a fish, because there are better things to do than coddle these spoiled drunk punks with incarceration, I would hope the City of Vancouver will solicit “alternative punishment” ideas from the public.

Whether it’s making rioters clean up inner-city elementary schools, ridding beaches of trash, doing clean-up after civic summer events, working for the employers whose businesses they damaged, being forced to talk to high schools about why they regret doing the criminal acts they did — I think there are two things we can’t really do; We can’t run up taxpayers’ tab with jail time for all these assholes, and we can’t cripple them too far into their future with huge reparations fines, thus escalating their angst.

But they need to pay with their time and their physical labour. The city and Mayor Gregor Robertson should let the public speak as to how that should happen.

Photo by Steffani Cameron.

Last night, I was embarrassed. I was hurt. I was angry. And I would have beat the living shit out of someone who was guilty of crimes against this city if I could have.

This morning, I got up, I did my social-media-woot thingie of informing the locals and world at large about Douchebaggery Central as the morning unfolded more and more. Then I decided that, back instability or not, I just had to get my ass downtown to experience the “Day After.” I couldn’t let the asshats win.

And I’m so very, very, very glad.

Tonight, fueled by the clearly mad-deep-true love most Vancouverites have for their city — because, after all, more than 18,000 people signed up on Facebook to do clean-up today and, as a result of those who honoured that commitment, the biggest riot in almost 4 decades was cleaned up before lunchtime.

During the clean-up, hundreds and perhaps thousands of people wrote on the boarded-up windows with markers left by every pane, messages of everything from apologies to the hockey team, testimonies of love for the city, through to rightful damnation of the rioters.

As the city was literally swept up in a wave of awesomeness, people’s angst turned to pride and love for their fellow citizens. Friendships formed, people shared and laughed. It was a really, really awesome experience to be there even for just an hour.

Photo by Steffani Cameron.

Now, people have turned their attention, like Kimli, toward trying to expose all these assholes for who they are. They need to pay with their friends, their schools, their jobs, everything.

We cannot abide this behaviour.

If the government cannot punish them, then we must socially ostracize them.

There is a code. You do not fuck with another man’s home.

This is our home. This is our town.

Whether local or not, that behaviour will never be tolerated in Vancouver at our public events.

You’re on notice, asshats. We have smartphones. You’re on video. And it ain’t the 15 minutes’ fame you’d hoped for.

Everyone else, we got your back. Get here, have fun with us. We’re good people. We’re not gonna let these chumps wreck our party.

We’ll see y’all same time next year, man. Without the losers.

See below for TIJANA MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY's link. Photo by Tijana Martin.

Visit http://tijanamartinphotography.wordpress.com/ for more heartwrenching riot (and pregame fan) photography.