Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Ashley Machiskinic's murder
Wow. Ashley Machiskinic fell to her death from a hotel room in East Vancouver on September 15 2010. Friends, relatives and advocates are calling it a murder. They claim she was pushed out the window by drug dealers to send a message to other addicts who don't pay their debts.
She landed on her back which is suspicious. One witness claims the person threw her shoes out the window after she fell which would also imply she was thrown out.
A vigil was held for her yesterday and a few protesters occupied the VPD office and wouldn't leave because the police claimed it was a suicide and weren't investigating the case further like the Pickton murders. The protesters were arrested for trespassing.
Obviously people are upset. For good reason. Finally women's groups and First Nation groups are rallying together and speaking out. "Women get their heads shaved for a $30 drug debt, they're killed for $50," said Carol Martin of the Downtown East side Women's Centre. Gee what does VANDU say about that?
That sounds an awful lot like what's happening in Prince George where people will have fingers cut off for a drug debt and have been found chained in the basement of crack houses tortured for drug debts. The article claims that Honduran and Salvadoran dealers, doing a brisk trade Thursday just after "welfare Wednesday," boast of profits as high as $15,000 a month. Their collection methods, if they front a woman drugs that she uses or loses, can be brutal. However, we have learned that in Prince George it's not the Honduran and Salvadoran dealers that are doing the same thing. It's someone else.
"There's been a few women lately thrown out of windows, at the Balmoral, the Regent, women missing fingers, wearing wigs because their heads have been shaved," said Gladys Radek, organizer of the annual Walk 4 Justice in support of missing and murdered women in Vancouver and along the Highway of Tears.
Obviously the police can't do much if people are too afraid to testify. Yet closing the file and saying it was a suicide would be premature at this point. It clearly looks like Vancouver is having similar problems as Prince George with ruthless drug dealers and the suppliers of the two cities may well be connected. Let's face it we all know who supplies the crack for East Van.
Maurice Boucher made Gregory Wooley a member of the Rockers and used him to supply cocaine to the Syndicate or the Crips in Montreal on behalf of the Hells Angels.
Growing public outcry for the mistreatment of addicts is a good thing. The response of the New York model would be to stop letting them sell crack in public at Main and Hastings at the Carnage centre. That would be the first step. Getting people to provide more information to the police as to what's really going on would be another. Arrest the dealers not the addicts.
DTES activist knows of six women thrown out windows over drug debts in East Vancouver over the last two years.
This new article admits that "MacDougall said she doesn't know who killed Machiskinic, but people in the DTES are afraid to tell police investigating her death what they know." So common sense says that if people are afraid to tell police what they know, then we can't blame the police for not making an arrest.
Activists wanting to speak with Jim Chu is a good thing but we need to be leery of activists who just want to fight with the police for any reason they can find. The police aren't perfect but we can't blame them for everything either. We need to start reporting what these drug dealers are doing so arrests can be made. Reporting an abusive drug dealer to the police is not being a rat.