Australian Scott Jones & Canadian Alexandra Thomas – Kissing Couple in Vancouver Riot identified

Friday, 17 June, 2011

June 19th update: In our somewhat twisted world, this is absolutely amazing: “Canadian riot kiss couple turn down offer of millions by celebrity agents“.

To me, Alex and Scott are so level-headed that their actions are worth thinking about and possibly learning from. Would you or should you let “money” (even if it is millions) change your life out of the blue? Or will you strive to live the best life you can after working hard and applying the skills/talent/knowledge you have?

June 20th update: Oh well, it was nice to think Scott and Alex won’t try to cash in for a day. “Vancouver riot couple hire PR agency Markson Sparks in Australia“. I remember watching Ricky Gervais at Banff reminding us/warning us, the danger of making money off just “being famous” (having talent or skills are different, I am talking about simply “being famous” or “being a celebrity”).


"Kissing Couple" at Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot identified as Australian man Scott Jones and Canadian woman Alex Thomas

If all the facts check out, which I expect they will, then Scott Jones & Alexandra Thomas‘ “kissing photo” in the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot (shot by Rich Lam/Getty Images) will totally have my “vote” for photo of the year.

What a wonderful job Rich Lam has done in giving us all a tiny bit of hope out of this totally disgraceful mess. To me, Rich has definitely captured a perfect example of Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s “decisive moment“, good job Rich!

Have a watch of CBC News report (with video news report and Skype video interview of the father of Scott Jones) and CTV News report (with phone interview).

Have a read of TorStar for its excellent reporting and research, (emphasis added)

“How’s that for making love, not war,” astonished dad Brett Jones declared on his Facebook page, telling the world that the famous Romeo in a Vancouver riot picture is his son.

If you haven’t seen it, Scott Jones, 29, is lying on a street locked in an embrace with girlfriend Alexandra Thomas as they’re flanked by riot police Wednesday night.

“She had actually been injured,” Brett Jones told the Star Friday morning from his home in Perth, Australia. “She had been knocked down by a shield” from the riot police.

“He lay down next to her to comfort her. She was crying and he just kissed her to calm her down.” [Kempton’s note: What a lovely moment.]

Even as a young boy, said Brett Jones, Scott demonstrated his “gentle side for other people. I’m not surprised he would comfort Alex.”

An update from TorStar “‘I can’t believe that’s us,’ says woman in kissing photo“, (emphasis added)

“At first Alexandra Thomas couldn’t believe that was she and her boyfriend on the ground sandwiched in between riot police on a calamitous Vancouver street.

“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘No way, that’s not … I can’t believe that’s us,’ ” said Thomas in an interview with the Toronto Star this morning. “Then I looked some more and realized, that is us. That’s a very revealing picture of us.”

[…] Thomas said this morning that everything happened so fast that there was just massive confusion all around.

“I was trying to understand what was going on. The photo was definitely not something we expected to happen,” said Thomas.

The couple is leaving in three days on a trip to California, before Scott heads back to Australia. Thomas said the response from her friends and family has been overwhelming.

“When I saw that picture I couldn’t believe it and then I looked at it more and realize it’s quite artistic and really something beautiful.”

[…] Jones senior can see that the couple’s now-iconic photograph may follow them for the rest of their lives, for good or ill.

“Relationships do buckle under that pressure unless you have the ability to be very centred. Even if it wasn’t Scott, the guy who took the picture captured a moment in time that is iconic.”

Brett Jones has also counselled Scott not to buckle to the doubters, rampant on the skeptical, know-it-all Internet, who say the photograph was staged.

“Tell your story as it happened and there’s nothing you can do about them,” he told his son. “I think it’s amazing.” [Kempton: Wise counsel from a great dad!]

Jun 17, 8:40pm update: CBC has snapped up the Canadian exclusive video interview with Scott & Alex, “EXCLUSIVE: Vancouver riot’s ‘kissing couple’ tell their story“. Enjoy this 13+ minutes interview. What a lovely couple.

Jun 18, 12:02am update: CBC, “‘Kissing couple’ witness rushed to help – Canadian woman hit by rioter, then knocked down by riot police

Finally, I think we humans are an optimistic species. We gravitates towards hope and love even when (may be especially) the world around us seems to be falling apart and failing us. The photo reminds me of the dialogues and images in the opening of the movie “Love Actually”.

Scott Jones & Alexandra Thomas - Kissing Couple in Vancouver Riot identified

P.S. I am still waiting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other national political leaders to come out (not just a press release) and deliver an address/speech to try to turn this mess into a teachable moment and share some lessons learned.

Post 2011 Stanley Cup Game 7 Vancouver Riot

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

It pains my soul to see my fellow Canadians rioting in Vancouver after the Canucks losing Stanley Cup Game 7. To my friends, it may be easy to condemn all Canucks fans or Vancouver as a city for the riot. To me, I believe there will always bad citizens amongst us and there are nothing stopping drunken and angry citizens in our own cities in rioting.

I feel sad and ashamed of what my fellow Canadians have done and are doing in Vancouver. I am shocked and disappointed, Canadians are much better than this. I feel ill in encouraging a visiting friend to take in the game and join in the party in Vancouver. I hope she gets home safely.

A very sad day.


Update: What we say or do in a crisis reflect a lot of our characters. My friends living outside of Vancouver, try not to feel too superior or smug to our fellow Canadians. A day of potential national pride turned into a night of destructions. This is a sad day for Vancouver, a sad day for Canadians across the country. A sad day.


Looting update: The Bay and some brandname stores are being looted. Even London Drugs are being looted! What a sad day in seeing Canadians in Vancouver engaging in all these illegal acts. Vancouver St. Paul’s hospital is currently in “code orange”, so no medical staff are leaving, in case of “mass casualty incident”.


6:39am, June 16 update: Facebook page Post Riot Clean-up – Let’s help Vancouver

If you live in Vancouver and are disgusted with the riots last night, please spare a few minutes in helping. It only takes a few to break windows, destroy properties and steal, but it takes a city to rebuild and cleanup. Go @VancouverClean Go !!!

Masked & violent Vancouver Olympic rioters

Saturday, 13 February, 2010

Masked & violent Vancouver Olympic rioters should be fully prosecuted under the law, each and every single one of them. From CTV (emphasis added),

Seven protesters were arrested and will likely be charged with assault and possession of a dangerous weapon after 200 anti-Olympic demonstrators marched through downtown Vancouver Saturday, smashing plate glass windows and overturning newspaper boxes.

Police say they recovered a bag with a hammer. One protester had a bicycle chain wrapped around his fist when he was arrested, police also say.

A criminal element mingled with the legitimate anti-Olympic protestors. “The criminal element apparently willing to wield anything that might cause damage or injury marched among about 200 legitimate protestors,” police said in a statement released about an hour after police broke up their march.

These rioters are NOT the same as other peaceful protestors that protest their cause peacefully. The moment someone put a mask on his/her face, carry tools to destroy properties, they become public enemies and shall be prosecuted and punished fully under the law.

These rioters don’t really care about the causes (be it anit-proverty, anti-Olympics, etc), they were there to destroy and gain attention. What should happen is they should get the full attention of the law and be punished according to our judicial system.

News from CBC (with video), CTV, AP.

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