As the tightly packed bars spewed into the streets, tensions raised - Canuck against Canuck in an all-out soar-loser-war. In the early minutes after the loss, fans climbed any surface they could. People were yelling chants from the tops of bus stops, stairways, light posts, anything they could climb, egging the bystanders on. A circle grew larger as the first signs of a riot started – a truck was rolled right over, belly up like a scared puppy. As we entered the scene, gas fumes chased us to a safe distance and in no time, the truck was ablaze. We watched and waited for an explosion, but this fire was somewhat anti-climactic. Crowds roared and cheered as the enormous black smoke cloud rose in the air.
We continued on through the sea of dejected fans towards the south side of the Public Library. Riot patrol loomed in the near distance as looters half-heartedly attacked the liquor store.
“We want booze!” they shouted. They had been cut off since four pm after all.
Young people threw what little they could find in feeble attempts to break the glass. Once patrol came within half a block’s reach however, people moved on, leaving all the booze and a mere broken window.
We continued onwards towards Richards street where numerous trash cans had been set on fire. There were very few activists, mostly iphone bystanders such as myself, catching the ridiculousness that large numbers can produce. At this point, large plumes of dumpster and car fires could be seen from various points throughout the city. Some businesses managed to stay open, for what reason? I’m still unclear. Large thuds and reverberations could be felt from tear gas being deployed somewhere not so far away. At this point, we decided we need not report any more since my only means of digital capture had ran out of battery. We headed towards Yaletown in hopes that something civil would still persist.
And just like that, we were out of the muck. Patios were still lively with yuppies, small dogs were still taking their nightly pees, and the air no longer smelled of burnt material. Besides the occasional roar of a helicopter overhead, it almost seemed as though no riot had even taken place. By 4am, the streets were nearly empty. Garbage collection had happened. Fires were put out. Although windows had been broken, very little was stolen from what we gathered. Although utterly ridiculous, this is an experience I’m
sure to never forget.