A city in ruins

Last night we watched the Stanley Cup finals and then turned off the TV, mildly disappointed with the results. We then did our daily chores until I started noticing that the helicopters were still flying above us and that there was some screaming in the street. I checked the Internet. Oh my God! We then spent the next two hours watching live TV news feed. We couldn’t believe it. How can people riot over a hockey game? The answer, of course, if that they are not. It had nothing to do with hockey and everything to do with the presence of a big crowd of drunken people. We went to bed at 11:30, way too late, but I still couldn’t fall asleep. Only blocks from my house, people were burning cars and destroying and looting stores. I could hear helicopters, I could hear some shouting, I even heard some broken glass, which made me fear the worse, but luckily thugs didn’t make it here. Of course, my baby was then awake from 12:30 to 1:00 and my son woke me up at 2:30 before the baby was up for the day at 5:45, so I had a very short night.

In the morning, things had gotten better. We went for a walk in the downtown core, and it had actually been cleaned up pretty good. And that’s where my hope in humanity was partially restored. Thousands of volunteers spontaneously showed up as soon as the rioting ended with garbage bags and rubber gloves, and they cleaned up. By 10:00, when we were there, there was almost no broken glass left and people were scraping burnt plastic from the sidewalks. But there was still a lot to do inside the stores. So many broken windows! There were window repair and restoration trucks all over the place.

Then we arrived at The Bay, the scene of probably the worst looting. The windows were boarded up, and people were writing messages on the boards. Messages of hope: “Vancouver is better than this”, “We’re ashamed”, “We’re sorry”. I found it very emotional. It didn’t make up for last night, but people tried. I saw a photo of a lady in a wheelchair with her assistance dog, picking up garbage on the street. People tried to make things better. They showed their humanity. And that’s all we could do at this point.

I only wish people realized how easy we have it here and how useless it is to riot over nothing. Keep your energy for fighting the government. If the young people who did this used the same fervor to do something useful, the world would be a much, much better place.

One Response to “A city in ruins”

  1. Mireille Says:

    On a beaucoup pensé à vous lors de ces événements. Aux nouvelles ici, je n’ai pas entendu parler des tous ces bénévoles qui ont tout ramassé. Comme tu dis, ça redonne espoir en l’humanité – en tout cas en les Vancouverois, car à ma connaissance, ce n’est jamais arrivé à Mtl ou à Qc que des gens viennent faire le ménage le lendemain d’une émeute!

    Malheureusement, il y a une gang d’imbéciles qui courent les grands événements afin d’y faire de la casse et embarquer le reste du monde dans leurs conneries. Je n’ai jamais compris le but de la chose… Il y aurait tant d’autres choses plus gratifiantes à faire il me semble!