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After riots, Facebook commentators weigh in on Brand Vancouver

Luv Vancouver, Photo courtesy of unartisan

"Will Vancouver come out stronger than ever after the hockey riots, or is it going down?" VO asked on the 102,853 members of Vancouver Riot Pics: Post your Picture Facebook page. The same question was posed on Linda Solomon's Facebook page and The Vancouver Observer Facebook page.  

Vancouver WILL come out stronger than ever
There has been a lot of hyperbole about Vancouver's image being ruined, billions of dollars of future tourist revenue lost. But not everybody buys this.

 "There are many positives outcomes that can arise from this event. Civic pride seems to be at an all time high. People are taking a keener interest in how the justice system works. People are standing up and speaking out for what's right and wrong in a civil society. People are turning corners and demonstrating forgiveness when days ago it seemed impossible," said Rod Solar.

"Vancouver will come out stronger than ever! Why? Because Vancouverites love their city and will make more of an effort in making a difference. It is not just up to the Mayor and the Council, as citizens we do have a responsibility to step up and make a difference in our community," said Lillian R. Howard, who claims she'll always be with the Canucks.


"Of course it (Vancouver) will come out stronger. I think there's a HUGE overreaction going on right now," wrote El Bergljund. "There may be some short-term effects, but I have a feeling that Van will be one god-damned well-behaved city after the dust settles on this." 

"Anybody who doesn't travel to a Vancouver because of the rioters isn't too bright anyways. There are plenty of reasons not to visit any city. A few kids having temper tantrums is not one of them," said John Smith.

"I believe the positive response by citizens far outweighs the negative impacts of a few hooligans. Every city has idiots that lose control. Not every city would band together to clean up and prosecute the offenders," wrote Dan Mick.

"It's certain Vancouver has a black eye, but it's also certain the bruise will heal with time. Watching the riot unfold left me hollow - it's so hard seeing what people are capable of at their worst. Demoralizing. The next day is what made the difference to me. It literally brought me to tears seeing all those people coming together to take back their city," said Sandra Lynn.

"I think it will depend on which narrative prevails. Are we a slightly more hardened but still committed to open, fun, engaged city, or do we go back to a risk-intolerant, controlled, no-fun city that values security over liberty," said Jason Mogus, of Communicopia.

"I think it's far too early to tell.  It's been less than a week, but the cyberbullying we've seen has really changed the meaning of what happened last Wednesday," said Joe Planta, of

"We're seeing in some areas the people outraged by the rioting and looting now vilified for wanting justice or wishing to shame the rioters.  It's too early to tell. The news cycle or whatever you want to call it moves too fast, that I think next week we'll have a new take on what happened."

"What people don't realize is how an opinion does not fix a problem. I find it sad that so much destruction has been done. Then, there are people trying to figure out who to blame, and to top it off, people are stooping down lower then the rioters and sending threats to those identified," said Sarah Vatnsdal.

"We need to look around and thank those that have done right, and stop attacking those who have done wrong."

"It will depend on which narrative prevails. Are we a slightly more hardened but still committed to open, fun, engaged city, or do we go back to a risk-intolerant, controlled, no-fun city that values security over liberty," wrote Jason Mogus.

Commentator recommends banning public gatherings
 "Tarnished for years to come. Olympic memories are all but wiped away," expressed Alan Stevenson.

"'Bout as strong as after the 1994 riots. Perhaps they should ban public gatherings in Van," commented Taras Pater.

Goodbye, Vancouver?

"We will become like all the other cities that had riots after sports events: Boston, L.A., Montreal. All barren wastelands–streets of rolling tumbleweeds–buildings crumbling–roving bands of cannibals–utter devastation... Goodbye Vancouver. Thanks for being there," said Joseph P Roxtar.

"It's a good reality check for Vancouverites. It shows us that people here aren't under some curtain of immunity to plagues and problems faced in other, less fortunate, cities than our own. We are human and flawed just like everyone else and we should exist with this knowledge," commented Jacob Barker.

Life goes on

Yes, Vancouver had a rough night, but who hasn't?

"Yes we will come out," said Jerry Sparrow. I'm not sure how many people caught any of the Car Free festivals that happened this past weekend but this is the real Vancouver energy. Jazzfest and Folkfest are just around the corner as well."

Lindsay Brown: Build a better Vancouver through the arts 

"If hockey fans want to apologize and help Vancouver grow (and grow up), a great idea might be for them to go and support local arts and culture, as we see in other Canadian cities," said Lindsay Brown, who led the Vancouver Not Vegas community action group that formed against a proposed casino at BC Place.

"Canucks hockey obsession has disastrously cut attendance and arts involvement this year and prior years. The post-riot plywood messages are nice and everything, but let's build something truly creative and solid. If we want tourism and a city that has a true centre, that's how we achieve that." 

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