Sorry to those who saw the title and expected a cute little story about toddler shenanigans, this one is a bit more serious. It does have some toddler doings but only in relation to the bigger picture.
I live in Vancouver. This is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been too. The world had a great view into it during the 2010 Olympics. They saw some of what I see every day, the majestic mountains, the accessible (and clean) beaches, the friendly and helpful people. It certainly helped tourism.
We have a NHL hockey team here called the Canucks. In the 13 years I’ve lived here, the Canucks have had good and bad seasons. This year they had a fabulous one. They not only made the playoffs but they continued to win each series. Then came the last one, the final series for the Stanley Cup. The entire city has been pumped up. It’s been a great rallying point. Total strangers are giving each other high fives for just wearing a Canucks Jersey. Friendly discussions among friends break out over who will win Vancouver or Boston. It was a great series, with it able to go either way before each game. They stretched it out to 7 games.
The Canucks played well, but we lost. The fans were great. In the stadium, even after the loss they gave their team a standing ovation cheering ‘Go Canucks go’ over and over again. It was wonderful to see. Outside, at the huge viewing areas, things were not going so well. All fans were disappointed. Most started to pack up to head home. But a select few had other plans. I suspect they had these plans no matter what the outcome of the game was. They were looking for violence and they were going to drag as many people in as they could.
A couple of them started to tip over a car. They got it upside down. Then they encouraged others to help. Footage shows many jumping up on the car and cheering. Then the car was set on fire. At this point people had choices. They could go home or they could stay. If they stayed, they could try to stop it, sit back and watch in horror or join in. I’m sad to say that many chose to join in.
Monkey see, monkey do. Many of these joiners are those who had no intention of violence when they left, people who wouldn’t do it who got caught up. While many are ‘young’ all are still old enough to know better. All are still responsible for their actions.
I have a pair of toddlers who have mastered monkey see, monkey do. If one throws his food on the floor, and laughs about it, his brother who may have never thought to do it will. If it’s funny with one, imagine how hilarious it is with two? They are slowly learning though. There is sometimes some hesitation and looks to me to see if I approve before copying a brother. Sometimes they even stop short of following through. They are learning that monkey see, monkey do is not the right way to behave. They are 2 - a mear 24 months - toddlers. They have an excuse. The morons who destroyed the downtown last night have no excuse, none.
I have coworkers who grew up in war torn countries. They were surrounded by rioting and devastation by people who were just trying to survive. They came to Canada to escape that. It’s a crime that they are now presented with the same level of violence over a simple sports game.
There are currently pleas by the police for people to send in footage that can help identify the criminals responsible. The response is overwhelming. There are people who showed up this morning with brooms to clear the glass off the sidewalks and help small businesses so they could open again. The normal, sane people are rallying to bring Vancouver back to what it was and what it should be.
I was going to include some links to footage but I’m not going to bother. You can find them easily by searching ‘Vancouver riot’. It’s all over the news and youtube videos. I live walking distance to where this all happened. I could hear the helicopters well into the night. I had to close my windows because a small change in the breeze would have sent the tear gas/pepper spray in my direction. The boys happily slept through it. I’m physically okay but still feeling sad and a little bit scared by the events.
On a light note, once I’m home tonite, I’ll post a video of what happens in my place if I dare to try to watch hockey on TV. Its toddler adorable.