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EDITORIAL: It’s payback time

It’s payback time and the perpetrators of last week’s post-Stanley Cup mob violence should be dealt with immediately and appropriately.

But neither is likely to happen if resolving the pain and hurt of Vancouver’s notorious Game 7 riot – and the millions in resulting damages – is left up to B.C.’s overburdened court system.

There has to be another way to deal with the hurt and damage caused by intoxicated and crowd-maddened knuckleheads last week. While naming and shaming may give victims and shocked witnesses a momentary feeling of empowerment, this online outpouring of grief and frustration will amount to nothing if the police and court systems don’t have the resources to deal with the aftermath.

What if, instead of just blogging their apologies, perpetrators actually sat down and faced their victims in a well-established process called restorative justice and were encouraged to make things right?

What if, instead of moaning about their loss of jobs, sponsorships, respect they started to think about someone else for a change and listened to the victims and their needs?

What if they had to pay insurance deductibles and act as taxi drivers for those inconvenienced when their cars were overturned and torched?

What if they had to organize, pay for and clean up a family-friendly pro-Vancouver event like the one they trashed?

What if the perpetrators had to work for free for one of the businesses they looted or were appointed to a city crew to clean up street litter and graffiti?

Publish the results? Why not? The public needs closure and its faith in the justice system restored, otherwise frustration will continue to mount, ratcheting up the anger and the hate, and further blackening the city’s tarnished reputation.

–  Black Press