Tuesday, February 13, 2007



The Downtown Eastside Residents Association/Anti-Poverty Committee yesterday at the unveiling of the 2010 Olympics clock, stepped up their irresponsible and criminal behavior, this time engaging in Violence. These yahoos are really pathetic and actually cowardly. One of their male leaders assaulted a defenceless woman who was acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event.

Concerning to folks who have genuine concern for the poor, must be the activities of this APC/Dera GANG. Dera receives government funding and runs $15 million dollars worth of taxpayer funded housing. APC leaders comprize the board of Dera and therefore like other GANGS, decisions are made collectively.

Often this GANG have mislead the media by inferring they are two separate social activist groups but make no mistake folks, this organization is clearly a GANG which only has one purpose. Yesterday, they showed their GANG Colours. Wearing balaclavas and their use of weaponry for this staged event could cause serious injury to people.

The mandate of the Dera/APC GANG is to control the lives of poor people, while cashing in financially, of course, on the backs of the poor. How they accomplish their means and rule the Downtown Eastside is by intimidation, coercion, threats, violence and by brute force. Yesterday was another pitiful example of their tactics.

The police now have on their radar, criminal activities associated with this GANG.

When you cross this GANG, retaliation so far included violently assaulting vulnerable drug addicted sex trade workers, many who reside in one of their buildings, Marie Gomez. These poor women had their heads shaved for outstanding drug debts. This was in fact reported by Province reporter, David Carrigg. Other violent measures include threats and coercion. Those who come into contact with this GANG, are threatened unless they keep their mouths shut about illegal activities.

The APC/Dera GANG has a strong underground network and if you investigate, you will witness activities of a criminal nature. One of their members who is now residing abroad had a stockpiling of weapons. This member was also a prime suspect in an unsolved murder in one of their buildings.

This GANG must be stopped but like other criminal groups, they are difficult to impenetrate since they allow into their organization only others who have been recommended by a loyal member. They rule their GANG and the Downtown Eastside with iron fisted control. If anyone steps out of line, there are severe repercussions.

Who are their GANG Leaders you ask?

Leadership is centered with two men who co-share leadership. Their names are Kim Kerr and David Cunningham. Both of these men are scary. Often, emotionally, they are out of control. They resort to instilling fear, coercion, bribes and extortion as a way of maintaining and exacting control. These two men attempt to maintain certain fronts, like other organized crime groups do, but make no mistake there is widespread criminality to many of their actions. Just ask the police.

Mr Kerr is known to have covered up widespread fraud within his organization. He is currently paying back public funds which were previously stolen. Of course, this has gone undetected since there is fear of retaliation if you speak up.

Now is the time though, if the DTES is ever to be cleaned up there must be attention paid to eliminating much of the criminal activities happening in this once dynamic oldtown area.

For starters, there should be an acknowledgment that Dera/APC isn't an anti-poverty group. They are a Gang. In fact, their manifesto states, they are involved in direct action. Direct action is a process which is meant to create harm.

Charges should be laid against the leaders who are engaging in illegal activities. They should be charged under the anti-Gang laws.

Dera, once was a proud strong organization advocating for the poor. It was led by the likes of Bruce Eriksen, Libby Davies, Jean Swanson and Jim Green and now its so sad to see that their legacies have been co-opted by a bunch of hooligans ie GANG members.

Jamie Lee Hamilton