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Hockey Victory Riot
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Montreal has an odd little tradition of rioting after major victories during the NHL playoffs. Usually it is after winning the Stanley Cup, but this time, the riots began after the first round of playoffs.
Thousands of jubilant fans poured out of the Bell Centre and began celebrating in the streets after the Montreal Canadiens defeated their arch-rivals the Boston Bruins 5-0 in game 7 of the conference quarter-finals.
A little after midnight, I became aware of the riots finishing up downtown. Naturally, I went down to have a look-see, and here are the results.
Well, it was one hell of a freaky night. It makes me wonder what the heck will happen if the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup?
GO HABS, GO!
This article has been viewed 45381 times in the last 7 years
Peter: 22nd Apr 2008 - 13:11 GMT
wow, crazy! i always knew montrealers loved their hockey, but seriously... nice shots of the cop car, too...
EvilGentleman: 22nd Apr 2008 - 14:47 GMT
These pictures show 3 of the 5 or 6 police cruisers to be burned. I started photographing around 1:10 this morning.
Unfortunately, my lithium batteries chose this day to die, and I had forgotten to bring spares, so I did not bother continuing further east towards Crescent Street, since I would have become very frustrated seeing a bunch of amazing sights that I could not photograph.
The CBC news article: www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/04/22/mtl-habs.html
A footnote: Montreal's infamous crazy drivers seemed a lot calmer this morning. Most people were close to obeying the speed limits. I think they realize that any cops they encounter today will be exhausted and grumpy.
A Fan: 22nd Apr 2008 - 15:42 GMT
Les Canadiens! Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge! La Sainte-Flanelle! Le Tricolore! Les Glorieux! Les Habitants! Le Grand Club!
GO HABS GO!
Frankie: 22nd Apr 2008 - 15:57 GMT
I was rooting for the Bruins. You don't see mob mentality go unchecked like this in Boston!
Peter: 22nd Apr 2008 - 16:05 GMT
to make a fairly obvious observation... if this is what things looked like when they won, imagine what it would have looked like if they had lost, heh... i suppose the outcome of the stanley cup will tell...
EvilGentleman: 22nd Apr 2008 - 16:07 GMT
Some of the Youtube videos are something else... WOW!
EvilGentleman: 22nd Apr 2008 - 16:29 GMT
Actually Peter, logic would tell you that a loss would have been catastrophic, I agree. But that is not the case in Montreal. Had the Canadiens lost, the crowds would have been grumpy and sullen, but their spirits would have been dampened, and no riot would have occurred.
It is when you get thousands of people with their spirits flying high, and feeling invincible due to the effects of alcohol, that problems start happening. They all want to party, but a few have a different idea of how to go about it, and this draws the attention of the police. When the police try to stop the troublemakers, things usually cool down.
But when everyone is too full of adrenaline, things can spiral out of control, and the people can turn on the police. I think that is what happened here. And of course, a few criminals may have taken the confusion as an opportunity to start looting.
Montreal.com: 22nd Apr 2008 - 17:19 GMT
EvilGentleman: 22nd Apr 2008 - 17:41 GMT
Thanks for the referral. There are so many other good pictures out there, I am surprised that you like these ones.
Oldfart: 22nd Apr 2008 - 18:21 GMT
This isn't a hockey tradition. Montreal loves its riots ever since the Quebec legislature passed the Rebellion Losses Bill in 1849 and an English mob torched the parliament buildings, which used to be here.
CE: 22nd Apr 2008 - 19:48 GMT
I was there during the celebrations but left before the riots began. I was going to bike back up at about 1:30am but unfortunately got a flat tire when I was leaving (and my camera is broken).
Montreal does indeed have a long history of rioting. One of the best (or worst, depending on your view of riots) was the Exploited riots when the Punk band The Exploited weren't allowed across the border for their Montreal show due to a "history of starting riots" The show was cancelled and you can guess what happened. Here's a good video of it: ca.youtube.com/watch?v=TsXQ8-iAGC0&feature=related
I would be inclined to blame a great deal of the rioting on the police themselves. Within 20 minutes of the game ending, riot cops were everywhere, especially blocking off Ste-Catherine at Peel. They were armed with batons, shields, and tear gas guns. The presence of riot cops is inevitably going to raise the likelihood of violence. The police were looking for violence and violence is what they got.
Here's a good comment I found in the comments section of the CBC story of the riot:
This has nothing to do with hockey. And the game is definitely just an excuse to riot. Which begs a more important question: why are people rioting against the police? Could it be the increased pressure imposed by the police in recent months? The record-breaking increase in revenues generated by the police in issuing fines and citations this year? The 50% increase in revenue from parking metres since 2007? The overall increase in authoritative abuse exhibited by our own government and corrupt officials? Riots and revolutions are no surprise to me when I see how excessively our elected leaders are abusing their authority. Frustration and violence will naturally ensue. Remember Detroit back in the 70's? Maybe it takes riots like these to wake Montrealers up and start realizing there are some serious threats to our social order right now.
Rioteer: 22nd Apr 2008 - 20:12 GMT
When the Police come dressed for battle, a battle they're always going to get. You heard of 'Positive Visualisation'? It's like that, but not positive. A sport event is no reason to battle, and that goes for the cops as well as the people. It is scary, really. And the cops are TERRIBLE here in Montreal.
Sabres Fan: 22nd Apr 2008 - 20:16 GMT
So they defeated the 8th seeded team in 7 games in the Conference Quarterfinals.
Rioteer: 22nd Apr 2008 - 20:20 GMT
Yes, exactly. Which makes one know that it was probably started by drunks, bad apples, or people just ready to unleash some aggression under the pretense of a Hockey Game victory as the game itself wasn't really anything worth a riot. It wasn't even that great of a game last night. People just wanted to go crazy. And the Police there just escalated things even more until the breaking point. They're lucky that a few burned cars are their only major losses!
Go Habs! I can not wait to see what happens when they win the Stanley Cup!
Wally Murumets : 23rd Apr 2008 - 01:27 GMT
I hope the Habs loose so that the city can enjoy some peace....or does it really matter to these morons????
Wally Murumets : 23rd Apr 2008 - 01:28 GMT
I hope the Habs loose so that the city can enjoy some peace....or does it really matter to these morons????
chiamattt: 23rd Apr 2008 - 02:37 GMT
Great pictures dude!!!!!!!!! I listened to the game on the net in the office yesterday and was caught a few times cheering out loud. I can't say I am a crazy hockey fan, but I do enjoy the cup finals. It's so nice the HABS made it through. I enjoy pestering my brother. Though we're from Toronto, I have always been a HABS fan. It's so great the Leafs suck so bad. haha
Ken: 24th Apr 2008 - 14:50 GMT
My girlfriend and I witnessed the horror Monday night, we were in Montreal to see the game, in fact we drove 9 1/2 hours from Rothesay,NB to have a great time in your city.
A Proud Montrealer : 24th Apr 2008 - 15:00 GMT
Thanks Assholes for giving our city another kick in the crotch.
Lol: 24th Apr 2008 - 16:02 GMT
At least they didn't engage in the animal-cruelty of tossing a live squid onto the ice!
EvilGentleman: 24th Apr 2008 - 16:32 GMT
A few suggestions in order to reduce damage in future disturbances:
1 - Do not leave portable metal street signs with plate metal bases lying around on the streets when large events are taking place. Most of the store and police cruiser windows were broken by using the heavy bases of these signs.
2 - Do not leave police cars lying around in the open. The police station is just a few blocks from the Bell Centre. Why not use the police station's underground parking? If need be, rent a nearby commercial underground lot for additional parking.
3 - Put up large public video cameras on rooftops on game nights, and make sure people know about it. While Canadians may resent the intrusion of privacy related to British-style public surveillance cameras, if they are put in place and used only for NHL playoff games, and always in a highly visible manner, they may be effective dampers.
4 - Stop selling alcohol at playoff hockey games. The fever pitch of the playoffs creates its own buzz, so who needs alcohol? I understand that in the middle of the regular season, you might need to be a little drunk in order to enjoy things, but the playoffs are different. Besides, if the fans are thirsty for booze when they get out, they will head straight for the bars, instead of milling about on the streets.
5 - Make sure all the cops have decent manners, and a positive attitude. Most already do, but there are a few asshole cops out there, and those are the cops that people notice and react badly to, not the decent ones. If the cops are supposed to extinguish the hot spots, and the fans are the fuel, then it is wise to make sure that the cops are not playing with matches.
A Proud Montrealer: 24th Apr 2008 - 22:31 GMT
After tonights game Don't even think about it, the SPVM,SQ & the RCMP will be watching even with helicopters.
Julz: 25th Apr 2008 - 14:59 GMT
what a crazy night....but heyy nice one with the police cars..:P....u guys did a good job..hehe...anyways those people who were doing that shitt...they went in my house and stole my telephone&food..lol...who would wanna steal telephone n food...eeee maybe they were hungry ehh..hehe...but who cares i was celebrating too..:).....after that we partied more....:P Anyways
~GO HABS GO~ ....;)
EvilGentleman: 25th Apr 2008 - 15:31 GMT
What's a telephone? Ohhhh, wait... Is that one of things that is like a cellphone, but plugs into a wall, and has wires coming out of it?
Hehe, seems like yesterday, when my VCR remote had a wire coming out of it. At least it was a lot harder to lose. The 1979 RCA VET650, what an amazing thing it was in its day. I wish modern DVD players had slide switches to control the speed, like that old VCR did.
Oh crap, now I'm lamenting about old geek tech. Time to boot up my old Commodore 64 again. I wonder if I can still remember all the Commodore BASIC abbreviations and shortcuts? Let's see... L shift O, that should be "LOAD", and if I have it configured like I used to, then the C-1541 5-1/4" floppy drive should be device 8, and the C-1581 3-1/2" floppy drive should be device 9. Now the tape drive, was that device 0, or was it the default if I did not specify a device? Ok, so LOAD"bardstale",8,1 should do it... loading... still loading... still loading... wait, nope, still loading... Ah, here we go! Uhh, that does not seem right... hmmm, which side of the disk is facing up? Oops, the dungeon disk. Lemme flip it over to the character disk side... takes so long to load... still loading... still loading...
Screw this! Lemme Google Commodore 64 emulators and ROMS.
Montrealbunny: 28th Apr 2008 - 02:38 GMT
Upon hearing shouts of Huah! Huah! outside the window this afternoon, I found the Station 15 cops prepping for the next big win (or loss?) utilizing a variety of riot gear, and going through a number of self-defence exercises.
I don`t recall them doing this last year so I can only assume that their activities were as a result of the riot.
Meena: 6th May 2008 - 20:27 GMT
I hope nobody got hurt. Don't do anything that you wouldn't want anything done happening to you. RESPECT! Smiles are free,,, DON'T SAVE THEM
Adam Enright: 1st Jun 2008 - 05:32 GMT
There is No Game like the Good Ol' Montreal Hockey Riot!
A city whose hockey passions create a constant hunger for battling peace and the status quo.
by Adam Enright
I was thrilled to read about the recent hockey riots in Montreal, and sad to have missed being among the passionate rioters! Hockey riots are one of the best things about Montreal . . . Montrealers love great restaurants, quality microbrewed beer, explosive styles of lovemaking, lively parties, huge events . . . and they go all-out when they have a hockey riot! These traffic- halting displays of spontaneous celebration and unabashed public drunkenness are proof of the un-squelched, lively spirit that still burns in the hearts and minds of Quebecers!
Riots are an amazing and rare thrill, like a social form of extreme skiing, where drunken hordes crush down a street set aflame with fervor and sometimes aflame because things are burning. You get an awesome sense of the power rippling through a throng of adrenalized people hopping up and down with derangement and fear on the realization that rule of law has been suspended temporarily. It makes your heart race! It is what all the great revolutions in history were made of, when the world's great injustices were finally rolled back, righted, and brought to bear upon the unlucky bodies of the moneyed perpetrators. Most importantly, the experience goes a long way to counter the fashionable modern concept that we the people have been relegated to the roll of pleasure-seeking drones powerless against the evil mechanisms of the world. The reality is, we the people are as mighty now as we ever have been in history, but choose to capitulate or whore off that power. We are, and always have been, only one liquor store full's worth of booze close to a revolution! The infectious popular climate of self-pity, skepticism and navel gazing shatters when a life-affirming riot begins to break out. And, Oh, the particular thrill of hitting a riot cop on the helmet and shield with snowball after snowball cannot be had in any other of life's experiences, purchased or free!
It really is too bad riots are so rare, if you have not had the experience, you really have to try one! Consider it riot tourism, an important sociological experience, a study plumbing the dreaming monkeys nethermost urges! There is no excitement on earth like courageously standing with a frisky mob against a dark looming battalion of riot cops, especially for good causes like anti-globalization or the pure love of hockey! The possible outcomes are virtually endless, the resolution to the evening a total mystery, and unless you and your fellow rioters are greatly outnumbered, a battalion of riot cops can be held at an even stale-mate against a significantly larger and drunker mob for quite some time. Stay on your toes, never turn your back to the formations of cops, and enjoy the awful pageant of chaos! You owe it to yourself and to society. Ten minutes of rioting equates ten years worth of any other therapy devised in terms of the rejuvenating effects for the mind, body and soul.
A Montrealer's lust for public disturbance seems in strong contrast to folks in Canada's other major cities. They never seem to have real riots in Toronto or Vancouver. Could it be because these cities are too highly concentrated with stuck-up yuppie scum bag types who wouldn't want to have their designer slacks torn and who have long been castrated by the materials and comforts of globalization to be able to muster any sense of mass social outrage? The urge to riot always burns bright in the hearts of the underprivileged and working classes everywhere . . . and while poor folks live in these cities, they seem strangely reluctant to run amok for social change, go berserk for global warming, and run riotous for that beautiful game of hockey. Really, when was the last time five cop cars got torched in one night of rioting in Toronto or Vancouver? 1922? It happens a dozen times a year in Montreal!
Most notably of these events is the riot held yearly on the night of St. Jean Baptiste when the great ceremonial bonfire is lit on the forested top of Mount Royal Park not far from the city's famous neon cross. Circle this day on your calendar and make your riot tourism plans! When the cops try to put out the giant bonfire of burning branches and beer cans right in the middle of a drunken mob of 10,000 happy people celebrating Fete Nationale, revelry turns to anger. When those 10,000 people see their sacred fire doused out, they become like an uncontrollable swarm of drunken hornets who then march out of the park and lay waste to Avenue du Parc and any police cars, public or private property in between, every damn year. And who can blame them? Of course the shit block drops when the cops go do dat, and for no good reason! Bully MUC cops ruining a great spontaneous and unofficial display of Quebecois patriotism, every year without fail.
The MUC cops, like cops everywhere, always incite the worst of the violence during a Montreal riot. If the cops would just come dressed in their regular uniforms and just sit back and let the looting and mayhem wind down naturally, there would be no problems. Instead, they go charging in with visored helmets, gas masks, shields and swinging batons . . . grouped into formations akin to a Napoleonic battlefield painting. It is no coincidence Montreal parties become riots ten or fifteen minutes after the riot cops arrive. Something about an infantry charge of five hundred leather-clad storm troopers into a 10,000-strong party brings out the riot in people.
Yes, it warms the hearts of all Montrealers to hockey riot! The comeraderie, the sheer romance of it, it brings joy and pride to restoke that spirit of rebelion. Some Montrealers save their TV shopping for riot days. The store owners along St. Catherenes get slick, brand-new store fronts for blocks in the wake of a successful riot . . . that is what their investment in riot insurance is for! The cops get a month's worth of frustration out and also get to dispense their months quota of pepper spray and tazer batteries all in one night. The street kids, anarchists and punks get to harmonize their politics and put their theories to practice with happy new hordes of converts in business suits and clerk uniforms.
Montrealers are not squeamish to drink three forties of discount high-alcohol beer only to discover, with their spirits rejuvenated and excitement building, they have become overtaken and posessed about saving the world, gender politics, or love of sport. They immediately take to the streets en masse, screaming, yelling, hugging, kissing, dancing, arguing, making friends, finding similarities, creating new understandings, discovering shared outrages, kicking over stuff, pulling signage off of storefronts, smashing windshields, kicking down doors, burning dumpsters, utilizing chunks of asphalt as projectiles, toppling street lights, uprooting trees, vandalizing utilities, rolling and torching police cars and demolishing stuff you'd never imagine could get destroyed by means of human hands alone. A turning point is reached when the mob begins breaking into liquor stores, or, if they are open, literally emptying liquor stores by a surge of athletic, quick-moving shoplifters in five minutes . . . at which point our jubilant band of rioters are whole-heartedly ready to step into one grande final melee with pumped-up bully MUC cops. The scene dramatically unfolds like vivid recreations of the works of Francisco Goya. And good for them! Montrealer's shared passions create a constant hunger to battle and overcome the status quo. The consumer capitalist cotton candy haze has not snipped the balls of Montrealers yet!
Jordan: 27th Oct 2008 - 19:05 GMT
I wish people in the states would do such wonderful damage to cop cars. No particular reason other than to cause some well deserved havoc on those to implement upon us on a daily basis.
Mryuppers: 27th Mar 2009 - 02:06 GMT
Bunch of losers. Win a facking hockey game and they lose there minds, yeah real winners. I think we should let quebec seperate from the rest of canada so they go broke in 5 years. There whole culture is pathetic. This is why Toronto took the title of the most powerful city in canada, cause all the retards that wanna seperate. Then again, hockey is the only professional sport left in montreal that gives them news coverage lol. Grow up francophones!
EvilGentleman: 29th Mar 2009 - 21:11 GMT
Mryuppers, you confuse me. You insult the francophones so much, yet you show yourself just as incapable of producing proper English.
And I should point out, Montreal is multicultural. We English also happen to love a good riot hehe.
EvilGentleman: 21st Apr 2009 - 19:08 GMT
Looks like we're about to have a repeat. We're one loss away from a first-round elimination by the Bruins... again.
EvilGentleman: 23rd Apr 2009 - 01:38 GMT
sigh... We're out again. Four straight losses. Guess I better head downtown to get some pictures of the riots...
Juanita: 13th Apr 2010 - 16:58 GMT
Hopefully this year people will not riot in Montreal after a win or a lost, thursday evening, Canadian's VS Caps.
Dazed97213: 15th Apr 2010 - 13:25 GMT
Oh Juanita, hopefully you're not a Habs fan because you are in for a rude awakening! Nobody is better than Ovie and that includes the great Gretzky. Caps in 5!!!
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