Tuesday, February 06, 2007


How We Move Forward

In the weeks since the trial of accused Mr. Robert Pickton began, some information is coming to light, concerning acts allegedly inflicted on Downtown Eastside women. This information cannot be disclosed because previously this information has been placed under publication ban. In fact, it continues to be inadmissible evidence and anyone reporting on it would be in contempt of court.

Therefore, as a blogger, I cannot report on certain facts which may be relevant to the accused Mr. Pickton's right to a fair trial, however, I believe this information is relevant to the safety and well being of many victimized, missing, murdered and at risk women of the Downtown Eastside.

While the public desires a fair trial and would do nothing to jeopardize this, nor would I, concerning though is how specific violent acts which place sex trade workers--not necessarily attributed to the accused--at grave risk.

In 1991, when a young women named Cheryl Ann Joe was murdered in the Downtown Eastside, a concerned coroner, now Senator Larry Campbell, came to the area. His belief was that these deaths are preventable and he honestly believed there are ways in how to diminish this violence. I think most of the public agrees.

Currently, bad customers for many sex trade workers are a continuous staple that they endure. These 'bad Johns' often engage in sadistic actions which involve sex trade workers being tortured.

These type of behaviors again, must be clearly stated are not attributed to Mr. Pickton but most likely did involve activities which likely did take place at or around the Pickton farm.

In fact, it has been revealed at the trial that there was engagement of 'blood sport' on or near the Pickton farm lands.

Unfortunately, here is a situation where key information which is in the greater public interest will be trumped by the need not to be seen affecting criminal investigations and most certainly the Pickton trial.

Information can be provided by a public fact finding mission where certain individuals who attended that farm knew certain facts. They should disclose what they knew or even themselves engaged in. These individuals are currently being protected by our justice system and this raises alarm bells.

It is only when we can truthfully explore certain information, even if this information is unsettling, only then can we move forward to ensure that the most vulnerable on our streets are protected and further harm to them is eliminated.

How to prevent torture of sex workers in our City must be spoken about. It is only by exploring these ghastly troubling behaviors that we then can move forward to ensure true justice prevails.

Jamie Lee Hamilton