While Greeks need to be pushed to the brink of economic collapse to start throwing rocks, Montrealers just need to win, lose, or tie a sports game, or have some old crusty punk or metal band cancel a show, to start setting things on fire, dancing on freshly overturned cars, and doing that creepy “olé-olé-olé-olé” chant. Sure last night’s playoff riot was no big whup (a few liquor stores and a Footlocker were raided and some empty bottles were thrown at police), but if you think about it, this is only the second round of the playoffs, and it wasn’t even a home game. In honor of the impending looting and hooliganism that is sure to follow the next round, win or lose, here’s a round up of some of our more notable lawless berserk get-togethers from over the years:
The Exploited Riot
When: October 14th 2003
Cause: After lying to a border guard The Exploited were refused entry into Canada resulting in the cancellation of their gig in Montreal and a two year ban from the country. This left 500 angry punk rockers turned away at the door with nothing to do.
Damage: 8 cop cars on fire, 42 regular cars destroyed, and 11 store windows smashed. Check out the video for some other stuff happening like the wild ripping of a phone booth from the ground, which looks hella fun.
Rating: 4 burning cop cars. This gets extra points for creativity and looking totally badass. You can tell these are guys who have wanted to destroy cops cars for most of their lives, and now finally have a chance to live their dream. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit their ass on the roof of a car and and just energetically bash the windshield with the heel of their doc martens?
When: August 1992
Cause: This was the G’N’R/Metallica show where James Heitfield was standing on the wrong side of the stage and got hit with a whack load of pyro causing them to cut the set short. Fans believed this to be a poor excuse for metal gods to show any signs of weakness. G’N’R then took the stage and after a few songs Axl decided the stage monitors were not good enough so they also walked off.
Damage: Rioters from the 53,000+ audience smashed Olympic stadium windows with a torn out street lamp, picked a souvenir stand clean, burned a sports car and a pile of Guns 'n' Roses T-shirts, and set a dozen smaller fires. At this point 300 club-wielding police officers chased rioters through the streets and fired tear gas to regain control.
Rating: 3.5 burning cop cars.
The Stony Monday Riot
When: April 25, 1849
Cause: Honestly, most of us failed Canadian history in high school but from what we can piece together, this all began because a controversial bill was being passed as a law. It has something to do with lower Canadians getting compensation for land that was taken during the rebellions of 1837, but excluded anyone who was accused of supporting the rebellion, or something.
Damages: The people of Montreal pelted Lord Elgin's horse drawn carriage with stones and rotten eggs, this turned into a riot that lasted 2 whole days! A few thousand people took part and a few thousand dollars of damage were done. Which back then was probably a lot of money, and eggs.
Rating: 3 egged carriages
1986 Stanley Cup Riot
When: May 24, 1986
Cause: We won! The habs defeat the Calgary flames.
Damages: 5,000 people rampaged through downtown Montreal. The police were so poorly prepared that Quebec courts ruled the police criminally negligent. What’s badass about this riot is that it was a sunny daytime get together. In fact the video would make a great 80s soft drink commercial if there wasn’t so much blood on some of the windshields.
Rating: 3.5 burning cop cars.
1993 Stanley Cup Riot
When: June 9, 1993
Cause: We beat the L.A. kings (and captain Wayne Gretzky) for the Stanley Cup.
Damages: Given the clusterfuck that was the 1986 riots, the police decided to clamp down to make sure they had this under control. They figured 1,000 helmeted riot troopers should take care of it, right? Wrong. 15 city buses were destroyed, 47 police cars obliterated, 168 people had been injured, including 49 police officers, and 115 people ended up in jail. Damage totaled more than $10 million. This was huge.
Rating: 5 out of 5 burning cop cars!