The Spectacle Blog

Vancouver Riots: Did “Left-Wing Loons” Cause Them?

By on 6.17.11 | 9:48AM

Last night, I saw Bill O'Reilly assert that "left-wing loons" were responsible for the riots which took place in Vancouver on Wednesday night after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. He also likened what occurred in Vancouver to violence in Greece which has been taking place on an ongoing basis over austerity measures introduced by their government.

Personally, I have no use for left-wing loons who engage in violence. They are certainly causing all kinds of problems in Greece. But I am not sure this is what is in play in Vancouver. Now I am aware that Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu has blamed the riots on "criminals and anarchists" who "had objectives." However, Chu did not elaborate further as to who these anarchists are and what exactly there objectives were.

I am skeptical of O'Reilly's analysis because I am not sure if he is aware of the violence which took place in Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the New York Rangers in 1994. There certainly wasn't a political dynamic in play at that time.

Of course, there was left-wing violence in Vancouver during the first couple of days during the 2010 Olympics which was organized by the Olympics Resistance Network. Their expressed purpose was "to confront the 2010 games." I am not aware of any kind of formal resistance being organized around "confronting the Stanley Cup." But if there was, in fact, a deliberate plan set in motion by anarchists to cause bedlam following Game 7 then why didn't the Vancouver Police take preventative security measures? This question is well worth asking precisely because of what occurred in Vancouver less than 18 months ago.

Left-wing loons who are committed to violence are a menace and must not be countenanced. Yet I cannot help but think that O'Reilly is jumping to conclusions here. If, as O'Reilly suggests, the violence in Vancouver was as a result of government taking away entitlements then who were these anarchists protesting against? The City of Vancouver? The province of British Columbia? Or the Harper government in Ottawa? Absent more definitive information, likening the events of Vancouver to Athens is but a classic case of comparing apples and oranges. I am not discounting the possibility that the violence could have been in part politically motivated. But that can only be definitively concluded through a thorough investigation and there hasn't been enough time for that just yet.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article