Here are my top 10 preliminary lessons learned after the 2011 Stanley Cup riot #CanucksRiot. As Canadians, we have to take charge and turn this heck of a mess (with nearly 100 arrest) into a teachable moment. Otherwise we are condemned to repeat the same mistaken again and again until we actually learn it.
Please feel free to add your own lessons learned.
My Top 10 #CanucksRiot Lessons in Our Social Media Age
10. There are so many cellphone photos & videos taken of the #CanucksRiot already posted on Facebook/Flickr/YouTube. There will be lots of evidences to hold the rioters/looters accountable under our laws. [Jun 17 update: "Olympic hopeful suspended over link to Vancouver riots"]
9. Think for a moment: People who took photos & videos of the rioters’ crazy acts were indirectly “giving” the rioters an interested audiences and cameras to perform to! Yes, this is paradoxical and contrary to #10.
8. Take public transportation. Do not park your vehicles near the general area where you expect a ton of people to gather in a public event (in this case, well over 100,000+ people). Plus public transportation is better for the environment anyway! :)
7. It only takes a few short hours to undo a positive international image that takes _years_ to build!
6. The “Kissing photo” at the Vancouver riot had generated lots of web interest. Is this our collective minds hoping/wishing to see something positive out of this mess?
See NPR story for the photo and the “story” of this may/may not be staged photo. (Last update I read was from June 16, 4:58pm ET)
June 17, 6:01am MST update: Various media are reporting the news (originally from Nine MSN) that the man in the photo is Australian Scott Jones and the woman is Canadian Alex Thomas. For more, see CBC News report (with video news report and Skype video interview of the father of Scott Jones), Guardian, and Vancouver Sun.
P.S. The mystery story behind the “Kissing photo” reminded me of the Oscar winning director Errol Morris‘s interesting three-part New York Times blog series on a puzzle involving two 1855 war photos.
Jun 17, 11:30am MST update: Scott’s mom said, “I knew it was him because he doesn’t have a lot of clothes with him and he always puts on the same thing. I’d have to have my house flooded to get on the news, but he just has to kiss a beautiful girl.” [HT Atlantic Wire & Kevin]
5. People who took photos of themselves with burning cars or rioting acts as the backdrop were actually “fuelling” the symbolical flames of the riots.
4. Rioters/looters’ self incriminating photos will _forever_ be archived on the internet. “Youthful” indiscretions now leave a _permanent_ and non-erasable trail.
3. Riots can happen in any major Canadian cities (Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, etc). We just can’t defend against organized criminal minds/mobs who are ready to take advantage of special events or occasions to loot/rob/steal. Essential items in a rioters/looters tool kit are simple things like newspaper boxes, portable chairs/tables, bandanas, hammers, gasoline in bottles to start fires or use as Molotov cocktails. How can you defend against a few committed criminals in a sea of thousands without harming the innocent people by accident?
2. Social media/online initiatives like @VancouverClean on Twitter and “Canucks fans against the 2011 Vancouver Riots” on Facebook can have meaningful & positive impact in our real world. Show the rioters/looters and the world that committed citizens _can_ and _do_ make a positive difference.
1. A picture worth a thousand words. So far, here are 37,000 words in “Post Riot Clean Up Pictures” under the Facebook group “Canucks fans against the 2011 Vancouver Riots“. OK, I cry easily. And yes, I cried when I looked at this, this, this, and this pictures.
In particular, I started crying when I looked at this picture because thoughtful and committed people are thoughtful and committed _individuals_ coming together to achieve a common goal!
Good luck to us all!
Here is one of the quotes I love.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead
17th Jun, 2:39 pm update: Reading this “Bruins fan spat on and beaten up during Canucks game” made me sick and very sad.