UBC student apologizes for role in Vancouver riot, criticizes social media mob

Camille Cacnio appears at the 1:30 mark of this video.

During Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot, Camille Cacnio entered a formal wear shop smashed up by rioters and took two pairs of dress pants.

Since then, the UBC biology student has lost her job, turned herself in to the police, and become the target of racism and harassment online.

Cacnio says she loves Vancouver, never intended to participate in a riot, and found it difficult to foresee the consequences of her actions.

And she argues that people who are using social media to ruin the lives of riot participants—even going as far as shaming their families and the organizations they've been associated with—are going way too far.

It's all in her incredible public apology posted online.

Regarding her actions that night, Cacnio explains:

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.

On the online mob, she writes:

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!

Update (June 21): Camille Cacnio has revised her online post titled "Dear Vancouver, I am sorry", removing her analysis of why she got caught up in the riot and her criticism of the online mob.

Cacnio writes:

I am not proud of my actions and have made a visit to the Vancouver Police Department, over the weekend to turn myself in. The pants are being returned. I have made mistakes and I have learned from them. The aftermath has been a tough ordeal and I let my emotions get in the way of my original apology. But I take full responsibility for my actions and understand that it is nobody else’s fault but mine. I am truly sorry for my actions and am ready to accept the consequences, including the public backlash.

You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.



Kid Rawk

Jun 20, 2011 at 11:00am

How ironic is this statement! The social media now has a mob mentality? Okayyy...? More like, it keeps people accountable. Yeah, yeah, you never intended to do that, but now you'll think twice now before you do anything stupid, stupid!

Your life isn't ruined. It's a price to pay for your stupidity in this involvement. Think of what Vancouver as a whole feels internationally. It's a joke. Because of you. Think about that. You give Vancouver a bad name, and you give all of us a bad name. Including you, WHO STARTED IT. The riot didn't start itself.

Get over yourself, and move away. You don't deserve to live in our beautiful city.

Vancouver's Voice

Jun 20, 2011 at 11:08am

I appreciate you posting this and I read the whole thing through. My problem with it comes from the anger she seems to be throwing back with this apology. She literally says that one of the young men should look up the words stupidity and imbecile, and in the same breath - mental retardation. That really doesn't sound like as politically correct and socially aware a young lady as she's trying to project. I'm pretty disappointed with this apology (which seems more like a rant than a genuine atonement for her actions.) I don't think she should be burned at the stake, but I think she's adding to the fire by sounding so... angry. Also, those who stole are no less guilty and their actions no less reprehensible than those who stomped on cop cars or lit things on fire.. None of those acts are "fairly minor compared to the rest of the acts that were done." Each of the crimes are equally major in that they were all wrong, vile, and inhumane to those who worked hard to make our city beautiful- whether that be building their businesses on our city streets or trusting our people to respect their property. People did the wrong thing. That shouldn't be negotiable or minimized.

That is not to say that her actions on this one, overly adrenaline fuelled night make her a bad person. She made a bad decision but she shouldn't suffer at the hand of cyber bulling. That is one thing that should be agreed upon as utterly unnecessary. Though the identification of rioters was initially a respectable idea, that has been violated by hate and anger. In this scenario- there seems to be no right, only wrong. Those who refuse to feed this nonsense and continue to build up our city and not tear it down can hold their heads high. Rioters and cyber-bullies... not so much.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:19am

Oh look, she’s deflecting the blame and focusing on what others have done while offering an insincere apology. What a surprise. I hope you lose your friends and this haunts you for the rest of your life. STOP PLACING THE BLAME ON OTHER PEOPLE AND SURROUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES. _YOU_ MADE THE CHOICE, _YOU_ NEED TO ACCEPT 100% OF THE BLAME!

This girl is intensely annoying to me, not because of her actions but because of her bogus "apology", sense of entitlement and lack of accountability. She clearly believes that her actions are not entirely her fault. If she had a good moral foundation, she wouldn't have done what she did.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:33am

If facebook had been around in 94, would last week's riots happened? How about the NEXT time the Canucks lose a Stanley Cup final? Will douchebags like you still be inclined to 'find their adrenaline rush'?? Or will they think twice? Thanks to all the people outing idiots like you, I'm pretty certain they'll think twice.

I've been in your situation. I've had opportunities to take stuff when I knew nobody was looking and there was very little chance I would get caught. I didn't. Because I'm not a selfish thief.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:36am

Well, she's criticizing people for doing exactly what she did, isn't she?

Downtown resident

Jun 20, 2011 at 11:40am

Her defensiveness makes her apology less sincere. We would not have an apology if she had not been caught and outed.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:41am


In the last paragraph of your so called apoogy you have the gaul to write: "don't ruin our lives!" Reality check time, nobody ruined your life but you! You have no right to demand leniency from the thousands and thousands of peace loving Vancouverites.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:54am

This apology seems a little ludicrous to me. Her main argument centres around the fact that she does a lot for society: i.e. she goes to school, works, volunteers, supports being eco-friendly and plays sports. What I'm not understanding is how the hell any of that makes up for being part of a mob and stealing? As far as I can tell, the homeless beggars who collect old pop bottles and cigarette butts do more for the city than she ever has and probably ever will. If she decided to talk to kids about how being part of a mob is terrible and you need to learn how to respect your city, maybe, but not for doing what the majority of the rest of the population does on a daily basis.


Jun 20, 2011 at 11:57am

Make it clear, we didn't ruin your life; you did it to yourself by acting the way you did. NO ONE pointed a gun at your head and told you to loot, riot, or act the way you did. You brought the shame to your family and to yourself; and no one else. Unfortunately, because you live life for the moment; tomorrow came and now the consequences are far much greater than what you anticipated. I hope everyone gets jail time for their actions; and a civil suit to follow.

Vancouver isn't stupid just angry

Jun 20, 2011 at 12:00pm

That was not an apology. That was a lot of writing and a lot of explaining and some excuses... but not an apology.

When a person starts to outline why they think what they did was "not that bad", what she demonstrated was that she wants to be judged in relation to all crime and has no serious personal awareness of how offensive it is to see her "having fun" via senseless stealing. It doesn't matter how much research she throws into a blog - smart today doesn't change stupid yesterday. What she actually did is presently unforgivable.

I think it is fair for people to say she has presently said too much. She is probably the wrong person to discuss civil liberties and social responsibility - and the fact that she doesn't seem to know that displays lack of emotional intelligence.

As for racist and sexist comments made towards her? I am not surprised drunken morons had a very destructive party downtown.... are you really surprised there are racists and sexists in Vancouver? Are you honestly surprised Canadians say racist things AND trying to tell them their comments are not welcome in your Canada?

I think the online backlash is fueled by the disgust the people feel... and the idea that there may be no real consequences for the non-violent, but obviously idiotic people, like Camille. The fun was just as shocking as the violence.

Will there need to be further examination of the appropriate use of social media and civil liberties issues? Yes.

Is an "apology" the right genre for it? No.

It was clear that she was NOT a major player in what happened. Her "apology", finger pointing, deflection, scapegoating... lack of actual personal responsibility makes me angry.

And people do vote with their dollars, so if they feel like going to a different car dealership, donating to charities she is not affiliated with, and donating to research in faculties she is not a part of... that's their choice. There is something wrong with sending a person hate mail. There is nothing wrong with supporting causes and organizations whose members you do not have negative feelings about.

I don't think her life should be ruined. I do think her lecturing is moronic, narcissist, and entitled. It is the reaction of someone who thought it was a lot of fun to participate in a riot and thought that destruction of property was an adrenaline rush.
Even without exaggeration; not unforgivable, just not presently forgivable.

I find myself more annoyed with the apologies than the actual riot.