Vancouver riot clean up brings city back together

Asmaa Noor photo by Jenny Uechi

What made Ted, a high school student, come to clean up after the riots from yesterday's Stanley Cup loss?

"Shame," he said, lowering his eyes.

"We want to show that not all Canucks fans are like that."

He was among hundreds of citizens who volunteered to clean up the downtown area, where broken glass and debris littered the streets. By 11 a.m., however, an estimated 90 per cent of the damage was cleared away.

A City worker estimated that over a thousand people had come to clean the city, while busily handing out brooms, tongs, garbage bags and gloves to groups of volunteers from his truck. 

Some of the volunteers had come from outside of Vancouver to help. Asmaa Noor, who came from Surrey, said she was watching the game with friends downtown. She left in the third period after her family called, fearing for her safety. 

"It was heartbreaking, we were so terrified," she said of the riots.

Noor, like others, were dressed in Canucks gear to show that not all Canucks fans were involved in the chaos of last night. 
"It was so stupid," said Meek, a high school student who had come to the clean up with his friend Markos. "I don't think it's the reaction of a fan, if you lose a game." 
Canucks fans Meek and Marko clean up in their Canucks jerseys
Fran├žoise Veron-Stamp, a volunteer, said she was surprised to see how young many of the people causing the riots were.
"I was watching YouTube videos of the riot, and many of the (rioters) were kids my age, you know -- 20 and younger," she said. 
Veron-Stamp, who is originally from France, said the Canucks drama was lost upon her, but that she wanted to pitch in to clean the city.
"I'm not even a hockey fan, but I feel responsible."

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