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<nettime> Riot as Performance Art
michael gurstein on Thu, 16 Jun 2011 23:17:00 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Riot as Performance Art


Datapoints re: the Hockey Riot in Vancouver observed after the game finished for about an hour.

1. The gender ratio was roughly 50-50.
2. Women seemed as aggressive as men.
3. At least half the folks had cameras of one sort or another and were
constantly taking pictures.
4. The crowd overall was cheerful.
5. Lots of alcohol and marijuana but not a lot of falling down drunk people.
6. Almost no one was covering their faces.

What does that sound like.  To me it seems rather more like a concert
audience than the makeup of a serious riot.

I think the key things though was the gender equality, the cameras, the
general good cheer and the uncovered faces. 

What made this different from a rock concert was the presence of the police.
They were costumed differently from normal rock concert security-kitted up
in riot gear complete with black uniforms, shields, weapons etc.etc.

But nor was this Seattle, the G20 Toronto or Tahir Square.  These folks
weren't afraid of being seen and recognized, they were going out of their
way to be recognized and they wanted that recognition, captured and
presumably re-presented to the world via SMS, Facebook or Youtube and the tv
news.

This wasn't a riot. It was a performance with much of the violence as far as
I could see it being done for photo capture and transmission rather than out
of deviltry, rage or simple youthful destructiveness.  On one of the news
shows a reporter passed along a story that the original truck which was
burned near the hockey rink had been deliberately brought to the site and
left exposed there so that it could be torched should the Canucks lose.

What is televised will not be the revolution.


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