Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What happened in Montreal

Okay, the emails are all coming out about last night. And that's even when I didn't offer hardly any comment on the incident.

Here's one of the less profane ones:
I'm a big fan and a regular reader of your blogs but I grimaced when I saw that you were joining the pile-on of negative editorial responses to last night's events on Ste-Catherine. I still have yet to see your comments about the game.

There's another layer to this story that you touch on at the end of your entry but it is not being properly addressed by you and other non-local media: there has been a series of attacks against the Montreal police, specifically their cruisers, dating back to the fall and peaking in March with the destruction of 6 cars much in the same manner as last night's fire bombs. Local police officials are targeting so-called 'anarchist' groups as the likely culprits.
All of that's true (except for me joining the pile-on). There's a criminal element at work here that used the massive celebrating crowds to mask looting and violence, but I don't think that means we should ignore the story.

It says something about Montreal that violence erupts after games, even in the first round, and it is worthwhile talking about, regardless of who's causing the "riots." This is a story that affects fans trying to go to games and celebrate wins peacefully, and it adds an element of fear for people — especially those who have children.

Imagine being a Bostonian at the game last night?

The emailer above said this incident isn't something that's being widely talked about in Montreal, and maybe so. I imagine the city's embarrassed to take centre stage over something as ugly as this.

UPDATE More great photos from this Gazette staffer.



At 4:00 p.m., April 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a pile on when stupid people do stupid things and the media notices. It is sad that a great city like Montreal has to deal with these "anarchist" that have been plaguing the city. If even the police aren't safe, then how are the average fans going to feel.

The reality is that even though it is a short walk from the Bell Centre to Peel, if it were the fans in attendance that started the rioting it would have been much closer to the stadium not a few blocks uphill. The vandals targeted the downtown "tourist" core for maximum affect.

At 4:18 p.m., April 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, this site, other media, and anonycommenters need to stop loosely using "anarchist" - which is a legitimate political movement - to describe criminals.

They might be criminals who walk around with logos borrowed from their hippie parents' backpacks, but that doesn't make them anarchists anymore than some doofus wearing a Che T-shirt is a freedom fighter/mass murderer.

Now, in the media's defence, they did not create this story. They reported it. Sure they may have conflated looting into a "riot," but they didn't imagine the damage or the photos. It's real. And Montrealers with their craniums jammed up their posteriors should take a look at themselves in the mirror before they blame a hockey blog for their problems.

At 6:52 p.m., April 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After seeing footage of looters and assorted asses on the teevee news here in Montreal, I think the letter writer is grasping at straws. Yes, maybe it really is related to the cruiser incidents of recent months. But what I just saw looks a whole lot more like young, idiotic fans out of control.

The police may not have done everything they could have done to prevent it, but in the end we are most likely talking about some liquored up jerks running wild.

Shameful. May they rot in jail for the balance of the playoffs plus a few months.

At 7:56 p.m., April 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plenty of anarchists clad in Habs jerseys, I see. It's almost as if Guns 'n Roses had come back to town.

The reality is that when you get a lot of riled-up drunk people together on the street this kind of thing usually happens; it only takes one person to get the ball rolling. It's as true in Montreal as it is anywhere else.

What's sad and unusual is the local Montreal media apparently trying to bury the story.

At 8:05 p.m., April 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey the dimwits even harrass their own players..
Check out this one of Sergei Kostitsyn being surrounded by losers.


At 11:12 a.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In defense of criminals they do less damage than the so-called politically motivated thugs that are "anarchists".

At 1:18 a.m., April 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retire Roy's number and get over it.


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