Make Love, Not Riots: Vancouver Kiss Steals the Internet’s Heart

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Rich Lam / Getty Images

Riot police walk in the street as a couple kiss on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Click here to see the full-size photo.

Their passionate embrace was juxtaposed against a fierce-looking team of riot police. Which, of course, makes the couple the Internet’s latest sweethearts.

Scott Jones and Alexandra Thomas were caught in the middle of the post-Stanley Cup riots Wednesday night in Vancouver. And when Thomas was “knocked down by a shield” by riot police, her boyfriend Jones stooped down to help and comfort her with a kiss. It was an innocent act, propelled into the spotlight thanks to a well-timed camera.

(PHOTOS: Vancouver Hockey Riots)

Their smooch, captured by Getty Images photographer Rich Lam, has quickly gone viral as a quite paradoxical photo. At first, many wondered about the kissers’ identity and if their kiss was possibly staged. (The Internet is notoriously skeptical, particularly about love.) But once the smoochers were identified by name, the Internet fell in love.

Their embrace amid the chaos in the streets made for a touching photo. The 29-year-old Jones, originally from Perth, Australia, is seen on top of Thomas, kissing her, as shield-laden riot police keep protesting Canucks fans at bay. “When I first saw it, I thought, ‘No way, that’s not … I can’t believe that’s us,’ ” Thomas told the Toronto Star.

(PHOTOS: The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals)

But upon closer inspection, she learned it certainly was them, and now, as per the (unspoken) rules of the Internet, the latest viral iconic photo must be combined with other pictures. Their scene has inspired many Photoshopped spin-offs. Who knew Jones and Thomas were on the scene of OJ Simpson’s car chase down the 405?

via @19jms

And they were in Baghdad in 2003 when the Saddam Hussein statue was toppled?

via @19jms

Theirs is the kiss seen ‘round the world, and thanks to the Internet, it’s also timeless.

MORE: Vancouver Riots: Fans Stick It to Their Own City

via @hockeycardshow

[images via here, here and here]