Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vancouver's "Occupy" Martyr

A makeshift shrine of flowers and candles has sprung up to remember Ashlie Gough, late (in both senses of the word) of Occupy Vancouver. Had she lived and died in another time--the Sixties, say--she would have been seen as a casualty of the hippie/drug scene. But since she had the fortune (or misfortune--take your pick) to snuff it while protesting the iniquities and inequities of eee-ville capitalism, her death is so much more meaningful, don't you think?:
Ashlie Gough was happy and healthy the last time she visited her father's house on Vancouver Island.
She was 23. After high school she had drifted a little – she studied tattoo design and travelled the world with a new boyfriend who was a scuba diver.
“She zig-zagged back and forth a bit and led an interesting life, but she was really starting to grow up,” her father, Tom Gough, said on Monday.

On the weekend she went to visit friends who were camping out as part of the Occupy Vancouver protest and on Saturday she was found inside a tent, unresponsive. The cause of her death isn't official yet, but it may have been a drug overdose...
An "interesting life"? An aimless, hedonistic, silly one, more like--the kind of life led, in fact, by many 20-somethings who are really started to grow up. (Speaking from personal experience, my twenties sucked, and I didn't exactly have my sh*t together during that period.)

Would Ashlie have ever grown up? We will never know, and her bereft parents are left to mourn and wonder what might have been.

Is her death especially significant, though?

Yes it is, but only because it gave authorities the excuse they needed to wrap up the whole smelly gathering of other similarly aimless scuba divers, world-travelers and tattoo artist-wannabes.

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