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Riots epilogue

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 25, 2011

Having read this over my recent blog “Who’s to blame when a riot breaks out?”, I see I did not make some of my own opinions clear. First, I think the riot was a bad and sad thing (even if to some degree understanding).

Second, the reasons for the riot were inexcusable. IF this was a riot to make some socio-economic or political point, I still may not excuse it but at least I could see that those ‘acting’ had some purpose. Seriously, what were people thinking; that if they only burnt enough cars the NHL would say “oh, i see this meant a lot to you, okay we will take back the cup from Boston and give it to the Cunucks”.

The last thing and perhaps the most egregious of the injuries done is that because of this riot, the RCMP have gained unprecedented access to personal identification information (i.e. access to ICBC database). We all (or most) may think that in THIS case, a strong crackdown is warranted but having given the green light (for this and other methods of social censorship and police surveillance) for the law enforcement establishment to use this at will in the future for events we may not feel as supportive or comfortable with…remember what happened at G20. For this last one, I think the most harm has been done by both the original riot and the justifiable backlash(or rebound-riot).


2 Responses to “Riots epilogue”

  1. Funkydebunker said

    Re: “I think the most harm has been done by both the original riot and the justifiable backlash(or rebound-riot).”
    At the risk of stirring up a bee’s nest, I must tell you that I have come to the complete opposite conclusion. I feel that this “unprecedented access to personal identification information” is a good and necessary thing. Should our right to privacy extend past our front door? I think the answer to that is no. If you are out in public, you have no right to privacy by definition. Similarly, if you are not doing anything wrong what do you have to hide? I was raised to respect the law of the land, regardles of whether anyone was watching. Imagine the outrage and injustice that would have resulted had there been no way at all of discovering who the bad guys in the riot were. In my travels I have yet to see another city who’s young citizen’s display such an outrageous sense of entitlement. There has to be a way to enforce society’s standards of behaviour. If there is a better way to do that than catching them on camera while commiting a crime I would like to hear it. There is another side to the “big brother is watching you coin”, and that is that he is also watching out for you. Just as good fences make good neighbours, public surveilance cameras and good police work make for good citizens.
    I also feel that while a good job has been done explaining the psychology of the rioters, little has been said about those who left before it started. I doubt that there was any real difference in the brains of those who left and those who participated. Explaining behaviour is not a justification: the ones who left did so by choice, and the ones who chose to become intoxicated and commit crimes also chose to do that. If we can demand transparency and accountablity from our leaders, should we expect any less from ourselves and our neighbours? The rioters may have been young, but they were old enough to purchase alcohol, old enough to risk their lives in the military, and old enough to vote. In short, they were old enough to know better.
    In my opiniion, the events of that night have done incalculable good for our city: I now feel just a little bit safer knowing that it is harder for criminals to remain anonymous.

  2. ebrandonx said

    I may disagree with something more than the comment by “Funkydebunker” but I doubt it. How can one put forward that one segment albeit those responsible for law enforcement have such all encompassing control over another segment of society…that same law enforcers that so blatantly stomped on human rights in the G20 fiasco. If I am doing nothing wrong why should I be adverse to the surveillance of the always present “watcher” to that I say “Who is to interpret that I am doing something wrong?” When does one make up the rules as they go along as in the G20 roundup. When we become so comfortable with being observed that we lose our right to live as we wish. When do I become afraid to scratch my arse in pubic for fear I will be charged with public indecency. As with everything there must be controls for an orderly society but that point can and must be stressed for all members of society regardless of the role they play.

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