"We have a small number of hooligans on the streets of Vancouver causing problems. It's absolutely disgraceful and shameful and by no means represents the city of Vancouver."
- Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson speaking to reporters last night
|Car burns in front of Canada Post office|
In 1994, the Vancouver Canucks for the second time in their history - the first being in 1982 - reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Again the underdog and facing a New York team (this time the Rangers rather than the Islanders), the Canucks managed to recover from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series and force a final decisive game. There was a tremendous feeling of anticipation in the city that June but the final game was lost 3-2. The Cup had seemingly fallen from the grasp of the city. Thousands of people had already gathered downtown that night for the game and a series of events led to a standoff between unruly youths and riot police (see video footage here). The Whitelaw report conducted on behalf of the BC Police Commission and Attorney General had found that there was poor police planning and crowd control and that there had been a premeditated action on the part of some individuals to trigger looting and anarchist violence.
This year, however, was supposed to be different. 17 years later, the 1994 riots were viewed as an aberration and black mark on what is a peaceful, tolerant and beautiful city. Two weeks ago, Vancouver Police Constable Lindsey Houghton remarked:
"That was 17 years ago. The positive atmosphere here in the city that's been increasing in the last few years culminated with the Olympics. We've seen nothing but a fun, family-orientated celebration this year."
|Police try to recapture the streets|