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Canucks fans riot at the corner of Hamilton Street and Georgia Street after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in Vancouver. (Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail/Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail)
Canucks fans riot at the corner of Hamilton Street and Georgia Street after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in Vancouver. (Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail/Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail)

Regional report

Thoughts on the Vancouver riot from around B.C. Add to ...

If the rioters are truly remorseful, why do they need lawyers?

That's the question asked by Christopher Foulds, managing editor and columnist in Kamloops This Week. He writes that 17-year-old Nathan Kotylak, who turned himself in to police, is the first of more to come.

"Would these rioters be walking into police stations while uttering mea culpas if their faces had not been plastered all over the Internet? There is only one way to find out," he says. "If Kotylak and others truly are remorseful, there would be no need to hire lawyers, whose sole job will be to make money while getting the best deal for their clients. If Kotylak and others are truly sorry for what they have done, they will plead guilty to charges they are facing; they will apologize in person and in public to the owners of the vehicle/business they destroyed; they will apologize in person and in public to those brave enough to try to stop the carnage, only to be pummelled by rioters; they will pay all costs required to replace and repair said vehicle/business; and they will accept without question whatever sentence is handed down in court."

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Mr. Foulds anticipates that not one rioter who has been charged will do so.

"My bet is all will hire lawyers and all will try their best to get the most lenient sentence possible, hoping time will help in sending their actions fading into the background of public discourse."



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The Nelson Star says the response to the riot has been just as hard to watch as the rampage.

"The aftermath on the streets of Vancouver last Wednesday night - though it should not have surprised anybody - was certainly a low point in this province's history. A night when morons took over the streets to cause mayhem. An insight into just how stupid humans can be," an editorial in the newspaper says.

"The after aftermath is almost as silly. The finger pointing, teary regrets and apologies, vigilantism and strong words from authorities has seemed to compound the foolishness. Many claim these were not hockey fans. Yet most of the ridiculous rabble rousers caught in the moment were decked out in full Canuck gear," the paper writes.

Yet the editorial ends on a positive note. the black eye will heal and British Columbians will soon move on. "What shouldn't linger is any permanent scar to the Vancouver Canucks or the game of hockey," the paper says.



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Editor Greg Knill of The Chilliwack Progress believes the riot will be remembered as the triumph of the stupid.

"Despite the insistence by police and politicians the riot was the work of 'anarchists' and others, much of it was done by idiots too easily swept along by the chaos. They were the ones who lacked the brains or the moral courage to go home when things turned ugly. They were the ones too stupid to appreciate the damage they inflicted went far beyond a store window, but to the reputation of a tourist-dependent city," he writes.

"They were the ones too stupid to consider the emotional damage their actions had on the innocent people trying to escape . . . the ones who cheered others as they rolled over cars, busted windows and looted stores. And they were the ones too stupid to realize that there is no anonymity in the digital age; that the photos they so willingly posed for inevitably find their way to their families, employers, and maybe one day their kids."



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Is it okay to still cheer for the Canucks?

Those watching the news reports of the riots must have decided that Canucks fans were not only poor losers but also a bunch of thugs, writes the Williams Lake Tribune in an editorial. Depressing, embarrassing and shameful, that's how they sum up their reaction. But they remain Canucks fans.

"Though there were quite a few bad apples after the game, it's important to let the rest of the world know that there were even more Canucks fans who took the loss with grace, even cheering for the Bruins as they reached for the cup after the final win. Those fans know there is always next year when we will have another chance to take home the Stanley Cup. In the meantime - Go Canucks Go!"



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