Not any more

Full text of original apology by Camille Cacnio

In Canada on June 23, 2011 at 10:22

Dear City of Vancouver and all its residents,

Yes, this is me in the picture above.

Yes, this is me in the 1:30-1:33 mark of this youtube video.

I am not proud of my actions and have made a visit to the Vancouver Police Department, over the weekend to turn myself in. This blog will serve as a public apology to those that I have offended with my actions, to clarify certain issues, and to address a few peripheral issues that I take as a concern.

My Apologies

I apologize to the City of Vancouver for participating in this riot.

I apologize to the residents of Vancouver for having to deal with the consequences of the event.

I apologize to my friends and family that have been affected by my actions.

I apologize to the Canucks for reacting in a way that is unsportsmanlike.

I apologize to Black & Lee, its employees, and all the customers who have been affected by my actions.

I apologize to Burrard Acura, my managers, my coworkers and its customers. In no way, shape or form does Burrard Acura condone this type of violence or misconduct. It is not necessary to associate my actions with the good reputation of Burrard Acura.

I apologize to Enspire Foundation, its’ volunteers, sponsors and supporters. Enspire Foundation is a reputable non-profit organization that does not condone violence or misconduct behaviour in any way, shape or form. To additionally make things clear, I have not been active with Enspire for quite some time now, so there is no need to associate my actions with the integrity of Enspire Foundation.

I apologize to UBC Athletics and Recreation and to the UBC Rowing Team, the coaches, the athletes, my coworkers and manager, its other employees, its participants and its clients. In no way, shape or form does UBC Athletics or the UBC Rowing team condone violence or misconduct, and should thus not be associated with my actions. To additionally clarify, I have not been a part of the UBC Rowing Team at all during the last term.

Lastly, I apologize to the Faculty of Science. The faculty of science in no way, shape or form condones violence or misconduct. My actions should not be reflective of the good research and work that they have performed.

My Story

I know a lot of you don’t believe me, but the truth is that I take full responsibility for my actions and am sincerely apologetic for what I did. What I did was completely out of character for me, but I did it because I was influenced by mob mentality. I want to shed light onto the thought process that was in my head so that maybe you can all get a little bit of an understanding and sympathize for people like me, who made wrong decisions but have now become victims of this social media form of mob mentality.

Why don’t I think I deserve all this treatment?

Because for one, I’ve admitted to my mistakes, two, I am ready to deal with the consequences in a judicial manner, and three, because (may I remind you that) I am responsible for theft – a fairly minor action compared to vandalism and arson. Please remember and understand that I am not responsible for the riot.

I did not vandalize any buildings.

I did not set fire on anything.

I did not break any glass.

I did not instigate the riot.

I did not physically harm anybody.

I did not jump on any cop cars.

I did not even plan on being in the riot.

On any regular day I would not condone looting.

However, at the time of the riot everything just seemed so right.

At the time, being a part of the riot was simply to fulfill the adrenaline rush I was looking and hoping for – an adrenaline rush that I previously got from post-winning games: hugging randoms, dancing on the streets, honking car horns non-stop, and high-fiving just about everybody. In the same way that everybody enjoyed collectively showing pride in our team, it was enjoyable to express my disappointment in a collective manor.

I had no intentions of defiling the city. I love Vancouver as much as you do – I’ve lived here since I was 7 months old. But in my immature, intoxicated perspective all I saw was that the riot was happening, and would continue happening with or without me, so I might as well get my adrenaline fix.

And what was going on my head about the stealing?

As bad as it sounds, the stealing was purely fun for me. I had no intentions with the product. I just wanted to get a souvenir at the time. I took two sized 42 mens dress pants. I’m a woman’s size 6-8. I don’t have any brothers, cousins, boyfriends, fathers, grandfathers or anything else of the like that are size 42 in mens. I did not plan on selling them either.

*FYI: The pants will be returned, but are not yet returned because the cops want to schedule an appropriate time and date to do so.

I’m a UBC student, and an adult. Shouldn’t I know the difference between wrong and right?

Well yes, I should…but in certain circumstances our perspectives get seriously skewed. It was extremely hard to see the consequences in taking a couple pants, when around me people were lighting up cars, smashing windows and inflicting physical pain on one another. My train of thought at this point was that “the place is already broken into, most of the contents of the store have already been stolen, so what difference does it make if I take a couple things?” Not convinced? Maybe Christopher Schneider, assistant professor of sociology at UBC, can convince you. In his recent quote in the Vancouver Sun he states:

“When the riot started unfolding …you have a lot of law-abiding citizens hanging around downtown who otherwise would’ve got out of Dodge…When you have a mob or riot-like activity, individual accountability tends to go out the window. People see other people setting fires and they think, ‘I’m going to set a fire too, and I won’t get caught.’ These types of people typically wouldn’t set a fire on their own.”

But still, a lot of you don’t find credibility in the theory of mob mentality

I’ve heard people discredit the theory of mob mentality in the case of the 2011 Vancouver Riot. People say that it is clearly possible not to be influenced by others, because for one, majority of people left downtown right away and didn’t participate. And further, that many people who stayed didn’t do anything but watch/take pictures/film. Therefore anybody who tries to reason out by citing the theory of mob mentality is just finding a scape goat. Not true. I would know. John Tauer, physiology professor of the University of St. Thomas would probably also know. In a Minnesota newspaper he states that “many factors…create a mob mentality — though emotion and alcohol do top the list.”

And that’s really what it was for me. I was immature, intoxicated, full of adrenaline, disappointed in the loss, filled with young rage, and have a “go-out-and-do-it” kind of personality. It had nothing to do with anarchy because I am definitely not an anarchist. I am a law-abiding citizen that has had a clean slate criminal record before this night. I had no intentions on harming the law, the city, any businesses or any people. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I just got caught up in the chaos.

As soon as I left the riot I knew that what I did was wrong.

As soon as I left the riot I knew that what I did was wrong. My levels of alcohol and adrenaline in my blood had seriously died down, and I was no longer surrounded by the mob. It’s a little funny to me that that was so, because this is exactly what Schneider was explaining earlier: that people lose their individual accountability when in a mob.

If I knew that I was wrong, then why didn’t I do something about it sooner?

I knew that I was going to return the pants and tell the cops that I made a mistake, but why did I wait 2.5 days instead of .5-1 day? Well, that would be out of pure nervousness…nervous to tell my parents and my sister. I was raised in a good family and I was more nervous to tell them than the cops. I had to be okay with admitting it to them before I could go out to the cops.

The infamous smile

And still, a lot of people will never find remorse for me because I had a huge smile on my face. But like I said earlier, it was fun at the time. I thought it was pretty funny because this is the only time that I would ever do something like this. The smile on my face was an “I’m such a badass I can’t believe I’m doing this!” kind of look.

If you still don’t believe I’m a good person, here’s a little side story for you:

As many of you already know, I am majoring in Conservation Biology at UBC. I strongly belirve in ecological conservation and sustainability. That night, I saw a few people that were trying to knock trees down. So what did I do? I yelled at them, saying “Pleaaseee, not the treees!!!!” And what did they do? They stopped. And I felt like a hero.

The “21st Century Witch Hunt?”

In social media sites such as facebook and twitter, we have seen the following actions regarding the riot:

mass amounts of people acting in ways that they would not normally act

people thinking its okay to harm others because everybody else is doing it as well

ensuring that peoples’ lives are destroyed, by making sure everybody collectively e-mails, phones and spams their families, their jobs, their schools, and all others that they are associated with (do it for your country! no wrath! vengeance is ours! the lives of others are miniscule the actions that they have mistakenly done!)

trying to ruin the reputation of all organizations that they are associated with

threatening associations to ruin their reputation if they do not disassociate themselves with that person

exaggerating what that person did in order to make their actions seem completely unforgivable

Does this sound a little bit familiar? I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds like people are trying to retaliate by yet another form of mobbing – the thing about this form of mob mentality that astounds me is that this time they’re doing it sober. As Beer writes in a recent blog that I ran into, “Let’s hope the guilty are found and punished, but also try to make sure the online search for them doesn’t devolve into a 21st century witch hunt.”

Furthermore, the VPD does not support the negative behaviour that has been so prevalent online. In fact, many of you should even be careful of what you say online, because everything that you say online is basically written in stone. And anything that you say can and will likely be used against you in court. If not in the judicial court, then in this new-aged social media court that everybody seems so happy and willing to partake in.

The judicial court is designed to give accused individuals the punishment that they deserve based on the actions that they have made, and protect them from punishments that they do not deserve. It is made up of people that have received years of education and training. This new social-media court that we see is made up of people who likely know very little about rightful punishments. They make decisions based on emotions and try to incriminate individuals in harsh ways that are extremely unnecessary. We need to leave the decision making to the experts, who can separate themselves from emotional decisions provide just punishments.

The VPD defined harassment for me the other day: that it is multiple attempts of unwanted communication. They further advised me to file harassment on anybody who did not leave me alone.

A Peripheral Aside: Notes on Feminism & Racism

There are a few things that I have seen on social media sites that have come across to me as a major concern. First off, a little bit about racism:

Since I am a Canadian citizen, I am aware of my rights. Let me show you a little insert from the Canadian Charter of Rights:

Equality Rights


15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Racism is not accepted in my country, so to the following people, and all others of the like, if you are going to make racist remarks, then maybe you should leave our country.

@Mo Hill, I’m glad you own a colour TV. I suggest also owning a time machine. That way you can go back to the 1960′s, when colour TVs first started selling in large numbers…and when racist remarks like yours were much more appreciated. Also, Mr. I’m-so-Canadian, learn how to spell colour right. In Canada we spell colour with a ‘u‘. It’s because we are part of the British Commonwealth. Were you aware of that? If not, try reading up on it on Wikipedia. (PS, that is what people in the kom-pyu-ter-world call a hy-per-link – sound it out, it’s not too hard!) You can click on it and it will direct you to the Wikipedia page I was talking about. You can also find other important information on there, such as, articles on stupidity, imbeciles and mental retardation. Hope that helps, xox!!!).

Here’s another thing that bothers me: why is everybody so surprised that a female partook in the riot? What is with this attitude that females are incapable of doing what men can do? Maybe it takes an event like this to show you misogynists that woman are fully capable of anything you can do. And if my actions lead to that revelation in your obscure little heads, then maybe it’s a good thing that I partook in this event.

My Theory & Thoughts on the situation

What do I think of this whole situation?

I think it has been completely blown out of control.

I think that people are all over my case for several reasons:

1) I’ve lived here all my life so I am bound to have made a few enemies along the way.

It seems abnormal how passionate some people are at trying to ruin my life. Well you know what? I think it’s sad how much you all want to ruin my life and how I have become the centre of your worlds.

2) I’m a UBC student that works two jobs, volunteers and am athletic.

Well guess what folks? People who work hard make mistakes too. And to the guy who called me a “disrespectful spoiled little bitch,” you are completely wrong. I was raised by hardworking parents and was taught to work hard for myself. I work hard to pay for my own rent, my own groceries, my own bills, and my hobbies. I have additionally also been fully responsible for financing my own education. I have been working since I was 14 years old – as soon as I was legally able to do so. I have been responsible for obtaining my volunteer opportunities and my work opportunities. So please people, find it in your humane hearts to let the cops deal with the rest of this.

3) I have been dehumanized.

Nobody has sympathy for a picture. I have been painted out as a criminal, and not the person that I really am. Everybody associates me with all the bad things that have happened in the riot. I do not agree at all with how far the riot went. If you must know, I wasn’t even at the riot when it was at its peak. And to the girl that messaged my sister on Facebook, I sincerely apologize that your boyfriend got stabbed, but I had nothing to do with that. I wish him the best and I hope he gets better. But please separate me, and especially my family from these horrible things that have been done. Remember, the only thing that I did was take a couple things from a store. It’s fairly minor compared to the rest of the acts that were done.

4) People don’t know how else to vent their anger

I honestly think that the reason why people are so strongly targeting people like me is because people are upset. They are drunk off of emotions, and want to do everything they can to fix their city. I completely understand that and like I said, am not proud of myself! Collaborating to clean up the city? Excellent way to remediate the mess. IDing people? Very helpful for the VPD – saves time and money for the cops and in the end for our city. Harassing people, ruining their lives, and finding unlawful punishments? Not at all helpful. It gives the cops more things to deal with, and is in a way a form of anarchy. The laws were made for everybody to follow: criminals and spectators alike. So for you to disregard the laws makes it seem like you are an anarchist…starting a mob…based on social media…starting to get the picture yet?

Anyways, long story short, venting your anger on people does not make the situation better, so feel free to ID people and help in ways that you can, but don’t ruin our lives!

My Requests:

In the Canadian society that we all know and love, we are taught to be righteous individuals, to stand up for our rights, and to be loyal to society. Well great, props to everybody for being loyal to society by IDing people. They (we) will get what they (we) deserve. But you guys are completely forgetting that we have rights as well. It is completely unrighteous to be spending your entire day(s) contacting us, re-posting our pictures, and having everybody collaborate to ruin our lives. Not even the VPD spend that much time on us, so please simmer down a tad bit.

Not only that, but Canada prides itself in being a peaceful country. We Canadians are loved around the world because we know how to handle ourselves and we avoid war as much as possible. The actions that I have seen on social media sites are embarrassing to our country and our reputation. These actions do not reflect the kindness that us Canadians are all known and loved for.

So please, give me, my family, my friends, my school, my employers, and everybody else or everything that I am or was associated with a break. It’s called mistakes. I learned from my mistake, I am not proud of my mistake, and I will make sure not to be influenced by people as easily as I was. I will make sure to make proper judgements on all my decisions in life. I am prepared to do community work, pay fines, and if worst comes to worst, even a criminal record. The same goes for Nathan Kotylak, Sienna St. Laurent, Jason Li and all the others who deserve a break.

As angry as this blog is (a natural response after seeing people repeatedly trying to – successfully – ruin your life), I am again very sorry for my actions. I have reported to the VPD, will return the pants when they want me to, and am currently waiting to see what I will be punished with.

I want to save this last paragraph to my friends and family who have supported me through this difficult time. Without your help I may have lost my mind already. To those who know me and have turned their backs on me, please delete me from Facebook and disassociate yourself from me as much as possible because I don’t want to have anything to do with you.

Thank you ever so kindly for your time.


Camille Cacnio

AKA: “Looter”, “Flip”, “Anarchist”, “Criminal”, “disrespectful spoiled little b–ch”, “skank”, “lowlife”, “disgrace”, “POS”, “troglodyte”, “scum of the earth”, and much much more

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

… just make sure it doesn’t happen again. You’re forgiven

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