What the hell was that all about? Last week The Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup series. They were well on their way to losing it when I went to bed after the second period. Imagine my shock to learn the next morning that not only did they lose the game but their fans went nuts in the streets of Vancouver.
Some said it wasn't so much hockey fans as anarchists who seized the opportunity to turn the crowd to their agenda of violence and destruction of property.
The televised images seemed to be from a far off middle eastern land. But wait, no, the backdrop was downtown Vancouver. There were bonfires, cars overturned and let on fire, fighting, looting, riot police. It was as if a nation's citizens had gathered to demonstrate against an undemocratic regime. But this was Canada. And the demonstration was about losing a hockey game.
I was dumbfounded. And as the images of the riot were broadcast worldwide, it was a deeply sad moment to be a Canadian.
But later, on the day after, those images were replaced by those of other people from Vancouver who had descended on downtown Vancouver not to continue the riot but to roll up their sleeves and clean up the mess left behind by the miscreants. These images were heart-warming. And in taking back their city, they condemned the violence.
A curious image, captured in the midst of the post-game violence was one of a kissing couple. As the image went globally viral interpretations of what the image meant varied. But in truth, the girl had been accidentally knocked down by a policeman's shield. Her boyfriend was trying to comfort her.
This and the "clean-up" images went a long way towards redeeming Canada's image world-wide. But time will only tell if the images of the violent melee in downtown Vancouver will ever be erased from the minds of Canadians.