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Apparently these are UBC students Sarah McCusker and Luke Basso.
COMMENTARY · 19th June 2011
Merv Ritchie
The Vancouver Riot, which took place after the Stanley Cup Final last week, has provoked much outrage as well as introspection. The Premier of the Province is encouraging public shaming as are many others. This is causing some serious issues for families on the upper shelf of the social strata. From the famous Olympic Polo hopeful (really, what class would you have to be from to play Water Polo) to UBC students and now even a Terrace Basketball star from Caledonia.

Four years ago, during the 2007 flood clean up, we posted a picture of an accident in Terrace near to the top of Lanfear hill at the corner of McConnell Avenue. The participants in this accident were outraged that these pictures were taken and posted online.

Two days ago, June 17, we encountered another accident while driving through Terrace. Same thing, outrage from the parents and friends.

While rioting in Vancouver isn’t comparable to joy riding in a car in Terrace, the results could have been much the same. No one died in Vancouver and no one died in either of these accidents but death was a clear possibility in all of these. Irresponsible behaviour of children does reflect on the parents. This could be why so many parents are venting about their kids being exposed after the Vancouver riots and, even when no one was identified in the car accidents, the venom is just as intense.

In the Vancouver Riots, almost all those identified are apparently upper class. Is this where the root cause of societies failure is to be found? Spoiled rich kids of parents who defend them by attacking their exposers?

What follows is selected text copied from the Vancouver Expose’ Blog;

In response to this comment and more;
“Pretty sure having your face pictured and identified committing an indictable offence is enough evidence needed to convict these goofs”

This was written

Well, this depends on the quality of the identification, and it could always be mistaken identity. And then there are exceptions. I have not gotten into it, but the “court of competent jurisdiction” is very important, as there may be exceptions that accrue to people due to the person of the judge, the power of the judge, the person of the prosecutor, &c &c. It takes a lot more than what the public thinks it requires to secure a conviction—is a photograph with a positive identification a good start? Maybe.

On this post specifically, only one of the photographs shows any facial features, and it is grainy and unfocused at best. Who is the eye witness to say “I took that photo, and those individuals accused are the ones I saw taking those things out of the store”? And then it is not really the photo that is the better evidence, but the testimony of the one who took the photo.

Putting up these photos is prejudicial, and it does not come, in my view, from a mature sense of the Rule of Law—indeed you have many posters here longing for the atavistic tribal custom of, more or less, starving people to death by social exclusion if ‘the community’ deems them unfit. Why not call them ‘useless eaters’ and be done with it? The fundamental problem with the Nazis wasn’t their philosophy or their methodology—they simply picked on the _wrong group_, at least that is the vibe I get from many of the posters here. Violate the “volk” and you should be punished with death or, basically, a life of privation. I don’t think that’s justice.

What do I want?
Ideally, this would be used to highlight the ineffectiveness of the VPD. Should there be criminal prosecutions? Well, I am not a prosecutor—I believe in forgiveness, and I am very thankful that there were no deaths. Property can be replaced. Life cannot. That’s the other problem here, people who damaged property being treated as though they’re worse than murderers and that they should have their lives destroyed—and not as an unhappy consequence, but because it satisfies the primate-rage-complex being displayed by many of the posters. Even Old Testament Justice wasn’t that insane: An eye for an eye? Fine, damage property, pay pecuniary restitution. I don’t see how imprisonment is equitable, given that there was no imprisonment by, for example, the two people allegedly depicted in the above photos.

Finally, I cannot under any circumstances condone chemical warfare against anyone. That’s what CS Gas is, chemical warfare, banned in international conflicts by a covenant that only five nations in the world (Canada not being one of them) have not acceded to/ratified. I find it repugnant that tactics thought unfit for international conflict are deployed against a largely peaceful crowd of civilians who were not given any direction as to where to proceed safely. It is all well and fine for people sitting at home to have epic lulz at the “idiots” who just milled about, but if you have not been subject to chemical warfare, or a riot atmosphere, you simply don’t know what it is like.

Armchair generals are great—for repeating things they’ve heard on TV. Not so good for providing actual constructive comments on how to improve order in future.

And in response to that, this was written

It’s illegal in warfare because it can cause an escalation to other chemicals which are actually deadly. I’ve been CS’d and there is no long-term effects to it. Would you rather the police have no non-lethal weapons at their disposal? Should they just start shooting into the crowd instead? A mob is the single most dangerous situation a police officer has to deal with. The use of these area denying non-lethal weapons save lives and help dissipate large retarded crowds.

And then this was written

Can I just say that I’m the person who took these photos and saw first hand what happened that night.

Not only did his girlfriend Sarah loot the H&M clothes, she first picked one shirt she wanted, then decided to hell with it… and took a bunch. Which you can clearly see in the pictures.

Her boyfriend stood by the entire time and just laughed as his girlfriend took the shirts. Instead of stopping her he just stood back and you could even say encouraged her actions.
Here’s another picture out of the set that i took, showing her climbing up onto the store ledge that I hadn’t uploaded before

And more comments from the site

This is by far the best discussion yet that I have seen not only about the riots, but the possibility of backlash against those who have wronged us. I am university educated, mid-thirties with 2 kids of my own, and was the ripe age of 19 when the 94 riots erupted. I was in Mexico at the time, but the majority of my friends were either down there or tried to go down to “experience” what was going on. I would have been there too. I would have been there this year if I could have.

I have been young, stupid, older and still stupid and when I was in university, I messed up big time. The very night we had our going away party after receiving our diplomas, someone spiked my drink with GHB (because that was funny) & I got obliterated. Not my fault nor my choice, and I tried to make it “not my fault” for what happened later, which was calling in a bomb threat (that I don’t recall, but it was read out to me painstakingly in court). That, ultimately, was my fault. No one took me seriously, no one was hurt. The 911 operator actually laughed because I was so incoherent. But I guess at the time, in the moment, it was “funny”. I still haven’t told my parents although I am pretty sure my dad knows, just because he is my Dad and has done his fair share of stupid things and parents always know, even when we think they don’t (at least for my generation) I had to plead guilty to some stupid 100 year old law to a judge who wanted to make an example out of me. Why? Because she thought it would prevent others from doing what I did.

Did I learn a lesson? Not until the process sunk in. There I was, college degree and a criminal record. I don’t know how many times I would later have that bite me in the ass. For something so stupid, something that I don’t even recall, for something that no one took seriously, I screwed my life up. But you know what? I am still here. I was able to convince a reputable employer that “in a moment where I was not in my right mind” it doesn’t, and did not, define me. But I did what I did, and what I did, was far less than what these or any of the rioters did. They knowingly got caught up in the moment, that kind of “having sex in public” sort of rush, but with devastating results. A poor choice. And poor choices have consequences that we cannot control. As a society, via our laws and our customs, we define what is acceptable and what is not. And what these faces of “The Riot” mean to us a society counts. It bears true significance. Are they why the riot happened? No. Are they the cause of the riot? No. Are they unfairly being singled out? No? Are they the symbolic representation of societies’ disgust in the acts that were thrown upon our collective identity…yes.

The reason we single out these people is because we can. They are the face of the disgust we all feel because of their actions; because we would not do that. Our society does not accept what they did. Period. As far as I am concerned, they were all read the Riot Act and should be held accountable for their own defiance of such, and of their personal choices to bring shame upon themselves, their families, their friends, their standing in society.

Their immediate surroundings are ruined: fair game. Their lives are not ruined. In that split moment of “should I?”; it will change our path irrevocably because it is life’s choices that defines our path, not who we are. I know this all too well.
To quote what the judge told me, and the lesson it took quite some time to understand: you made your own bed and now you have to sleep in it.


I appreciate what you’re saying, People Need, as I’m very glad my more stupid moments are not posted on blogs (that I’m aware of, at any rate). However, I’ve experienced shaming, and the pain of the humiliation was horrifying, certainly, but also redemptive.

I say shaming can be redemptive because if people who are guilty actually admit it, admit their wrong and ask forgiveness, I bet there will be a huge outpouring of grace. People judge, yes, but they also forgive. That’s the beauty of being truly human. And whoever has done wrong, was sorry and then had extended grace to him/her, learns a shit-ton and learns how to respect others better. That’s redemption.

I’m furious with these douchebags, and a lot of them are so self-righteous and entitled they’ll never feel the shame they SHOULD feel which would lead to being truly sorry which they SHOULD be.

But a lot of them are likely more good than bad and hopefully all this public outrage will help them realize how truly shitty their actions were, and the shame of it will propel them in a direction of realizing how much their behaviour has hurt others (our city, other people, our city’s reputation which affects our economy, I could go on and on) and being truly sorrowful for their actions.

What I agree with you is this: the danger with us being too vehement in our disgust with these people (it’s appropriate to be disgusted by their behaviour, but that’s different) could cause a lot of them to become more defiant rather than humble, which would really suck for them and for society, because they would no longer be reachable.

I would want them all to know that if they were truly sorrowful for their behaviour, they’d be forgiven. They’d still be held accountable and have to go to jail or pay a fine or whatever is appropriate, but in a perfect world we’d mete out the punishment in the way a good parent punishes a child: with love and respect.

I’m thrilled with the outrage and disgust with the riot. It’s a hopeful sign that we’re not sliding towards unruly anarchy. It shows we actually care about one another and will not allow people to rob, hurt or destroy others’ stuff. Those that earn back our good graces (simply by admitting their douchebaggery and accepting what’s their due) will be welcomed (I hope). Those that don’t will be shunned. (I realize it’s not that simple, some people need a lot of work etc etc) but the general principle I think is reasonable.

Sad and misguided. I can’t make meaning for myself out of this.

They knew what they were doing: based on the light level in the photo, this was hours after the chaos began. This was no momentary lapse in judgment. To be there so long after it turned to insanity is to be an active, willing, premeditated participant. Either they had been participating in the riot for hours or had entered the riot area knowing full well what the scene was.

It’s so easy to pass off the looters as uneducated ‘surrey’ people, but that’s clearly not the case. It’s easy to pass them off as ‘not real vancouverites’ but its not the case. I’d like to say that these two are true scum and that some boogie man is to blame for their idiocy, but it’s not the case either. That the rioters defy the stereotypes is why its so crushing for the rest of us.

One of Ms. McCusker’s favourite books is Heart of Darkness, which has as key themes the descent of humans to inhumanity and insanity. She has likely discussed these themes, the creation of civil society, the importance of positive social ties etc etc in her classes.

It’s the fact that these two are educated, privileged, smart kids that is so traumatizing to us who don’t see the point in this behaviour. We search for excuses: booze, drugs, “Surreyness” etc. But the disturbing fact is that I can’t explain it. I can’t understand it. That’s why making meaning of it is so impossible. We just have to latch on to the positive response of those who came to clean, the apologies as they come of those who realized they lost their way and the positively-driven actions of those whose intent is to create in our country a better society.

Hopefully Ms. McCusker and Mr. Basso will add their contrition to this dialogue and help us find the humanity in their actions past and present. Hopefully the experience of being called out in so public a forum will inspire them to give back to the society 10 times over the damage they have helped cause.

It’s not the mistakes that we make, it’s how we respond and learn from them that is important.

A note to “People Need to Step Back and Breathe”:

I’m 47 years old and the parent of an 8 and 3 year old. If anyone ever takes a picture of them robbing a store, I hope someone shames them like this.

Being drunk is no defence.

“Everyone was doing it” is no defence. This is basic preschool stuff: if Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge, etc.


An entire generation has grown up with a dangerous sense of entitlement, matched only by their inability to accept any personal responsibility for their actions. Why? Because their parents will defend them no matter how stupid, dangerous, and criminal their actions.
This man was attempting to stop the rioters.  In the end he was overwhelmed by the youth.
This man was attempting to stop the rioters. In the end he was overwhelmed by the youth.
Is this a young man from Terrace? Matt?
Is this a young man from Terrace? Matt?
Proud of his skateboard or of the window he just struck with it?
Proud of his skateboard or of the window he just struck with it?
Sarah hopping up into the store with Luke watching on.
Sarah hopping up into the store with Luke watching on.
THANK YOU, Heidi!!!
Comment by MaggieJo on 20th June 2011
Finally! A fresh perspective comment to allow us to shake our heads to bring us down out of our Sports egos!

How many people maxed out their credit cards to attend this game? How many people maxed out their wallets to host a game party? And people are reporting being "depressed" because of our BC loss? R U kidding me?!?!

And all because of the biggest sin of all. The sin of "pride".

And when people are suffering in the world and around us, we could care less cuz we max out our wallets for sports; rather than helping our fellow man? Okay...something is way off balance here.

Thank you, Heidi for the fresh enlightenment in your comment this date.

I love participating in the game of sport...but not to put it above the needs of those around me - I will NEVER do that!
Is this what to expect if there was ever a serious crisis?
Comment by A.Heidl on 20th June 2011
Thank you for this article. I was appalled when I found out what had occurred downtown Vancouver after the Stanley Cup hockey game. I personally do not follow this sport as I believe it shows poor sportsmanship and demonstrates to the younger generation who watches it that fighting and violence is accepted if you do not "win". I think it is extremely sad that throughout the play offs people continuously commented that they were "depressed" because the Canucks had lost the game. If people are depressed over a game I think they seriously need to re-evaluate their life and what is truly important. It is shameful that this violence and crime occurred due to a silly hockey game. I returned to Vancouver in May after being in the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. The nation was devastated by two natural disasters and one man made, yet the people did not break out into violence and crime. I would hate to be caught up in such tragedy in Canada as this event displays people's arrogance and ignorance.
I see your point, James
Comment by MaggieJo on 20th June 2011
Thx for your response to my comment, James. After pondering your notes, I agree with you in that even if a MVA was an accident...there most certainly was pre-MVA deliberate acts of breaking the law by hosting too many passengers, joy riding, speeding, etc. People know the law...and they choose to break it...and so, there are consequences, even if their choices to break the law cause an unintentional MVA.

However, we have to believe that there are humans among us (if only a few) who truly do feel remorseful of their crimes. Sure, at first they might "fake remorse" to get leniency from a judge, just because they got caught (that tends to be human nature - to resist responsibility)...but there are times when humans may afterwards experience epiphanies of true remorse - even if it's after they're sent to prison.

There are times a human actually accepts responsibility and changes their lives and others for the better.

Ever been at one of those High School seminars where a youth is sharing the consequences of his "sins" in order to warn other youth to refrain from activity that would harm others? They put themselves out in a public forum in High Schools to share their personal experiences/shortcomings to prevent others from making the same mistakes. They didn't have to do that. Why? Because they are living true "remorse".

When I was in high school I attended one of those Seminars. The offender was sincere in his remorse and was begging us not to pull the same "sins" as he did because he could not bring the life he killed back.

My children also had the opportunity to be involved in same-type seminar and came away quite educationally impacated by the testimony of the young criminal who was speaking.

Remorse that is not addressed can be very dangerous - anger issues, suicides, etc. Remorse that IS addressed and used productively can be a positive tool to Society.
Maggie Jo
Comment by James Ippel on 19th June 2011
You mentioned that the accident was not intentional, and with that I can agree. Having too many occupants in the vehicle was a deliberate act, and the consequences were serious. Luckily, no one was killed.
The rioters chose to break the law, but so also did the driver of this vehicle by allowing more passengers than was allowed by law. Further, evidence supports allegations of speed, and possible careless/reckless driving.
You say when a criminal sincerely "repents" we are called on to forgive. Criminals only sincerely "repent" and feel "remorse" when then think they can con a Judge into reducing jail time. "Remorse" is the most overused/abused word in the English language, used by defense lawyers in the hope of getting their clients off.
In conclusion: we can be thankful that these young people are still with us, hopefully have learned a lesson from their actions, will carry on with their lives, and make meaningful contribitions to soceity in the future.
Deliberate vs "non"
Comment by MaggieJo on 19th June 2011
Publishing photos of under-aged children involved in a MVA when the accident was most certainly not intentional is something I struggle with (but, the children in the June 17/11 MVA in Terrace did break the law by having too many passengers, so I suppose it is in the best interest of the public to remind us parents to guide our children in the laws of the MVA act by using that story as a lesson).

Publishing photos of offenders who deliberately choose to break the law is another thing, and they should be shamed into realizing the error of what they did. This is a world of "choice" and they "chose" to break the law.

Remarkably, there were a # of offenders in the riot who voluntarily turned themselves in; rather than wasting valuable police time/$ in tracking them down. These people realized the error of their ways and are taking responsibility for their actions.

That being said...when a criminal breaks the law and sincerely "repents"...we are called to forgive. The others who feel for some reason that they were entitled to their actions of committing crimes, while feeling no remorse? Well, publish away then.
Let the shaming begin!
Comment by S. Horner on 19th June 2011
We all cheer at hockey games when a fight breaks out, like this behavior is a normal thing. It's even a cliche "went to a fight and a hockey game broke out" So why are people surprised when some fans break out in riot after a hockey game? I wasn't. In fact, I would be shocked if there wasn't one honestly. That's what you get when we glorify violence then add alcohol.

We teach our kids the same thing about driving. That it's normal, even cool and fun to drive like a selfish, careless idiot. Then when they crash, make a hundred excuses and minimize it like it's no big deal.

I see parents every morning and afternoon teaching their kids, "it's no big deal" to go through stop signs and speed in a school zone (because they can't manage their time better and are late) all while talking on the phone or coffee in hand (and it's always an emergency call if you ask them) With no clue to the dangers they are putting the public and themselves in. Until they crash or hit someone, then it's excuse city.

Anyone that doesn't know how dangerous it is to drive has got to be living under a rock. Anyone who thinks rioting, looting and fighting is not taboo, even proud of it, needs to be more than just shamed. If my son was involved in any of these incidents, I would give Merv a good close up photo so he can embarrass him publicly. It would be the least of his worries.

The problem is, too many so called "real fans" just stood back and let things happen. Things would be different if 1,000 more real men, like the one in the second photo, were there to back him up. So, big thanks to those who did stand up to the punks and risked their lives, and to those who cleaned up this mess after. It makes me believe at least some of us know the difference between right and wrong.