Saturday, July 23, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Sometimes I just spill my beans, whatever it is which I'm feeling--and than I just write. Sometimes it helps my soul by expressing what goes on down here in the Underbelly region. In the Cesspool. I sometimes speak from personal experience. This blog post is one of those times.

So yesterday (Friday) started off great. I awoke to a beautiful sunny day. City Hall was having the launch of Pride. My friend Laura McDiarmid was about to pick me up at 11:30 am and drive us up to 12th and Cambie.

I went outside in front of my building to await pick-up from Laura. It was 11:20 am. Someone I knew was passing by. He is a transvestite, however, this particular morning wasn't dressed up as a Girl. He should not to be confused with being a transsexual. She works the hooker stroll at night in what is called Tranny alley in the Downtown Eastside. He, on this morning, told me how lovely I looked. Then he began berating me because a few days earlier I had written a letter to the Mayor and Council about a pilot project the city is supporting, which isn't responsive to the population it purports to serve. I used research to back up my claim.

This individual has recently been put on the joint management committee of the project which I have concerns over. The individual who happens to be a drug misuser articulated I shouldn't have written to council. I explained I had no other choice since a number of times, I have brought forward my concerns to project staff without any satisfactory resolve. I even brought my concerns to the governing board members who suggested I go back to project staff. I informed this to the individual. I politely said I am entitled to proceed in a way which will bring results since in over a year and a half there has not been any results. He dis-agreed which is fine.

Then the horrible abuse started. He began in a threatening manner pointing his finger right in my face while calling me horrible names, including "you faggot". Other epitaphs which came hurling my way was "your an over the hill hooker who can't make it anymore" and "I'm going to clean your clock if you say one more word about our project". Plus there was the "wait until you are out on the dark deserted stroll, I'll put a switch in you you fuckin bitch".

At this point I was really hoping Laura would get here. As it turned out she was 10 minutes late so I endured this assault for 15 minutes. The individual continued to point his finger in my face not a half inch from my left eye. I grabbed his hand to push it away, telling him he needed to take some anger management program. This escalated his rage and he physically assaulted my face with his open hand. I was fearful as this individual has previously served a lengthy jail sentence for stabbing, numerous times, a bartender at a local gay club. Because of the seriousness of the assault, he was charged and sentenced under the attempted murder provision of the criminal code.

In any event, I was able to get back inside my building but not before this individual claimed, "I'm going to fucking kill you if you say one more word about the MAP project". Then he stormed off.

Laura arrived and I showed her the mark this individual left on me. She was concerned. It was quite red and I hoped it wasn't going to be noticeable at the PRIDE launch. Laura and I chatted about the problems in the Downtown Eastside and how the service agencies of the Downtown Eastside are producing these monsters.

Yes I call them monsters because it is what these drug addicts have become. They have no respect for a civil society. They often cheat, rob, steal and commit crime to sustain their way of life. They are irresponsible citizens and here in the DTES, they are treated like royalty by the helping agencies. Is it any wonder they think they can get away with the shit they do?

Every alley has become a shooting gallery contrary to those who say the Injection site is working. On every block, you hear these out of control dopers fighting with one another. Robbing each other of Dope, physically fighting and screaming obscenities at each other is their way of life. Taking a piss or shitting on our streets and alley's is normal behaviour for them. Now these individuals have taken to setting up shop by squatting on the street so you can't walk by. Even though there are a number of parks nearby, and Carnegie centre, these individuals have taken over our streets and the law-abiding citizens, seniors and children of the hood are fearful to venture out.

This madness cannot continue. Moreover, there must be independent evaluations of the hundreds of programs down here which are not working.

I want sociologists to bear witness to what the libertarians have created down here. I hope academics at our Downtown Universities which have set up programs and bring their students to study the neighborhood, begin to explore the prevailing dynamic and relationship of the Exploiter and Exploited.

We need to investigate how the agencies have become the Exploiter by putting on their boards, the exploited. How they set these individuals up for failure and then discard them when they have served their usefulness or purpose.

In the meantime, I am applying for a 810 Peace Bond against the individual who assaulted me. And I plan to continue speaking out against those agencies down here whose main staple is called EXPLOITATION. You are not going to make me retreat out of fear.

Wish me well folks!

Jamie Lee Hamilton