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Vancouverites past, present denounce rioters wreaking post-Cup havoc

The Canadian Press
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A riot officer watches as two police cars burn during a riot in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, June 15, 2011 following the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup hockey final. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz Author: The Hockey News

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Vancouverites past, present denounce rioters wreaking post-Cup havoc

The Canadian Press
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Fans of the city of Vancouver weren't about to stew in silence Wednesday after the body blow from the Canucks' crushing Stanley Cup loss was worsened by explosive post-game riots.

Residents past and present took to social media to express their dismay at pockets of rampaging fans wreaking havoc on the city following their team's heart-wrenching 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Many fired out angry tweets saying it was hooligans, not hockey fans, who were setting fire to cars and garbage cans, hurling bottles and looting stores.

"That was not the majority tonight. It's a great city with great people," said one man.

"These hooligans, troublemakers, looters etc. do not deserve to wear a Vancouver Canucks jersey," tweeted another woman.

Others expressed embarrassment at the behaviour of those who threw garbage at police officers and smashed storefront windows in the hours after the game.

"Leave the city alone," one frustrated resident tweeted to any rioters who might have been listening. "YOU are why people think the Canucks have terrible fans."

Even some prominent B.C. personalities weighed in on the chaos.

Basketball star Steve Nash of Victoria, B.C., urged rioters to stop setting property on fire.

"World: as you can imagine Vancouver is being embarrassed by a relative few," he wrote. "We're a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon."

Also on Twitter, B.C. Premier Christy Clark called Wednesday a disappointing night and urged wayward fans to stop their violence.

"Let's not make things worse," she said. "Time to go home."

Former B.C. premier and past Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh joined many others in expressing sadness at the violence in the city.

"Shame!" he tweeted. "Not the Vancouver I know."

Musician Johnny Reid sent out a frantic tweet in the game's chaotic aftermath asking Vancouver to "stop the madness."

"Trying to figure out why a few idiots can leave an entire country with a black eye?" he said.

B.C. Lions kicker and Vancouver native Paul McCallum was dismayed to find out about the riots in his hometown after his team won a pre-season CFL game in Calgary.

"I’m actually disgusted," McCallum said in an interview.

"I’m really disappointed that we lost, but I’m actually more disappointed in some of the things that I hear are going on in the city."

He added that the people damaging property and attacking police officers in Vancouver weren't fans.

"They’re just out there just trying to make a mess and vandalize," he said. "There’s no place for it. The poor people that want to go down there and celebrate and enjoy the festivities and everything else, now they’re having to run and get out of the way when there’s people looting and burning cars.

Meanwhile, reactions from Vancouver residents ran the gamut of emotions as the night progressed, but in most cases, their frustration was all too clear.

"I should note that Vancouver is an incredible city with incredible people! It's just life how a few idiots ruin it for everyone," said one.

Still more urged eyewitnesses to help turn looters in to police.

One man said most of the city had gone from cheering from the Canucks to cheering for Vancouver police.

Some tongue-in-cheek comments even compared Wednesday night's action in Vancouver to protests in Greece and even the war in Iraq.

And then there were those who were just utterly depressed.

"I'm really sad to be Canadian right now watching these hooligans trash lovely Vancouver."

Still, once the action of the night started to peter out, there were already those looking forward to a new day.

A post-riot clean-up group was set up on Facebook within hours of Wednesday's rampage and aimed to help city officials deal with the fallout from the Stanley Cup chaos in coming days.

The more than 7,000 volunteers who had signed up to help were told to bring "smiles and Canucks spirit."

"Once the embarrassing rioting has ended in Vancouver let's all show the world what Vancouver is really about by helping rebuild and clean up," said an organizer.

"If any city can bounce back from an embarrassment like this it is Vancouver!"

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Vancouverites past, present denounce rioters wreaking post-Cup havoc