Azimyth's Top 5 Good Things That Came of 2011 Vancouver Riots
And in no particular order...
1. I think the Lower Mainland got a good look at the immaturity level of our young adults and teenagers. And as a direct result you had friends of the rioters turning their friends in to the police because they were upset or ashamed that they knew someone who had partaken in this heinous event. I think the city and the outer laying regions did a lot of growing up that day. Especially with the youth. I'm hoping that because of this, we're able to have more public events and more people being civil.
2. The police have been given a bad reputation in the last couple of years including some very bad press that was seen around the world (think the airport incident). Public opinion about the VPD was at an all time low. The day after the riots people came out in droves to write messages and send "thank you's" to our police force. I really feel that there is a new found respect amongst young and old towards the police and fire crews. I think the public got a taste as to what these men and woman have to tollerate on a daily level and how hard it must be to remain calm and cool. Not to mention that they put their lives at risk everyday to protect and help us and never ask for a "thank you" in return.
3. I could be wrong but I doubt that social media was ever used to that extent before to arrest and charge such a mass group of people. Even the Police have capitalized on the media by being more socially aware on Facebook. I think citizens are more likely to turn someone in via their iphone, or video via their cell phones and capturing a crime in real time. The benefits of this could potentially be a new wave of enforcement via Vancouver's and the lower mainlands public. Criminals now have to be extra careful as it would seem our "love" for this city has grown beyond just saying "I love Vancouver." To actually "I love Vancouver and I'm willing to protect it."
4. I think more and more people are now viewing Vancouver as their "own city." When people can do that, you create a community that's extremely tight knit. I think Vancouver is already one of these places that it's really like 6 degrees of separation. Everyone is acquainted with someone somehow. Now, that bond is stronger. We no longer think we have the best city in the world, we know it!
5. For me, the day after the riots touched me the most. The anger and frustration was still there for sure, but watching all those people young and old come out and help clean up the city showed the spirit of this city. When I wrote 'Vancouver Song' The chorus of that song talks about this subject exactly. "We're not going to let a few, destroy the worlds view" and it's true. Of course not one news crew outside of BC touched on the subject the next day but that's the nature of their business. For us, it was a pride thing. And that pride and resolve only got stronger. Having that spirit and passion hopefully will allow us to grow not just as a city. But a city the rest of the world should model after.
Azimyth is an up and coming Vancouver rock band who recorded their debut album with Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies) in Chicago. They put together a song to celebrate Vancouver shortly after the riots. Here is a link to the video for their ode to Vancity, 'Vancouver Song':
Azimyth will be performing free show at HMV (Robson & Burrard) this Friday, August 12th, at 7pm.