Hamilton 350 stands in solidarity with the six young housing activists who were violently arrested by Hamilton police officers last week. We condemn Hamilton Police Service for using excessive force against Black youth yet again and we echo calls from Black community leaders for prosecutors to drop all charges.
We also support calls for Hamilton Police Service Board and/or the Attorney General to open a judicial inquiry into the actions of all officers present at JC Beemer on November 24th and at the Hamilton Police Central Station on November 26th. And we join them in calling on City Council to stop the encampment evictions that have adversely affected Black, Indigenous and low-income communities.
The struggle for climate justice and the struggle for social justice are inextricably linked. Our unhoused neighbours are on the frontlines of the overlapping crises of climate breakdown and spiraling wealth inequality and they need our help. But instead of providing housing, the City of Hamilton and Hamilton Police Service are criminalizing poverty and attacking peaceful protestors. City Council would do well to follow the lead of organizations like Hamilton Encampment Support Network, who provide valuable services to our unhoused neighbours where the City is falling badly short. HESN members were among those violently arrested last week.
This outrageous abuse of power by Hamilton police is part of a broader attempt to criminalize protest, with Black and Indigenous activists consistently singled out for arrest and then banned from peaceful protest as a condition of their release. From Hamilton to Wet’suwet’en we must stand together against police violence and abuses of power.