Sunday, January 5, 2014
Drug related violence outside the Front Room
When I first started writing about the predatory drug dealers outside the Front Room one blog reader commented on how the "Front" Room was such a strange name for a homeless shelter. How obvious can you get? It's a front for something else just like how some businesses are fronts for laundering drug money. The Front Room is the epicenter for drug related violence in Surrey.
My problem is two fold. I have a problems with the police and the city letting crack dealers sell crack outside the Front Room. I also have a problem with the predatory violent nature of those crack dealers who bully the homeless and exploit them.
When Janice Shore was brutally beaten to death for a drug debt near the Front Room one local activist I spoke with said it couldn't have been a large debt because Janice was a user not a dealer. No doubt. Janice was used as an example just like Bob Roth was in Edmonton who was decapitated for a drug debt owed to the Whiteboy Posse who in turn sold crack for the Hells Angels. Anthony Terezakis videotaped himself laughing while he beat the life out of addicts who owned him money. He sold drugs for the Hells Angels in East Vancouver.
Likewise when Ashley Machiskinic was pushed out of a window for a drug debt in East Vancouver it couldn't have been a large debt because she was a user not a dealer. Carol Martin of the Downtown East side Women's Centre said "Women get their heads shaved for a $30 drug debt, they're killed for $50." It's no different outside the Front Room in Surrey. Only the level of violence there is even worse than the DTES.
Last thanksgiving my daughter bought an extra turkey to feed some homeless. We had everything prepared in the trunk of our car and parked it in an alley right beside Pidgeon corner and handed out a few plates to those who might have missed a turkey dinner at a food line. One guy who claimed he was recently out of jail came back for seconds. As we were dishing up his plate the Front Room in Surrey came in our conversation. He said he had just come from there. He said he found it too violent there that's why he returned to the DTES. He said there if you don't join in giving someone the boots, they'll give you the boots. I found it incredibly ironic that an ex con came back to the DTES because he thought the Front Room was too violent.
The drug dealers outside the Front Room are pretty obvious. There's nothing discreet about them. I remember driving my car by there at night with my window open and having someone sitting in the shadows scream "Crack!" He was literally screaming it to get my attention to buy some crack. That happens all the time there. It would be pretty easy for an under cover cop to buy crack there.
The cleaner young guys standing outside the Front Room selling crack aren't there because they're homeless. They should be moved on. Instead they are allowed to bully the homeless. The crack dealers across the street from the Front Room are predatory. They are in your face "Crack?! Crack?! Wanna buy some Crack?!" No thanks I reply. "Are you sure? I have some really good stuff." Really good stuff alright it's cut with Levamisole also known a superbuff and will give you flesh eating disease. Handing out free crack pipes or mouth pieces to help people get flesh eating disease is in opposition to medical treatment. People who use harm reduction to promote addiction are raging lunatics.
No doubt the police are aware of the problem and have made some arrests in the area. No doubt they are frustrated with the magnitude of the problem and no doubt they have been told to contain the problem to certain areas. Yet as long as we let those drug dealers make that kind of profit by exploiting the homeless and selling crack publicly, we are contributing to the violence that killed Janice Shore. If Janice Shore was killed for a drug debt then anyone who sells crack outside the Front Room is a suspect in her murder and should be moved on. Even the prostitutes are bullied there by aggressive pimps demanding their percentage of every trick.
I do not support the legalization of pot I support the decriminalization of pot. When we prioritize busting pot use we prevent us from being able to stop the crack dealers which is a much more serious problem. It's like the VPD issuing jay walking tickets to the homeless in East Vancouver but not arresting the predatory drug dealers selling crack there. It is disproportionate application of the law and is inhumane because of the violence it creates.
Yes we need mandatory minimum sentences. For selling crack not for the possession of pot.