City Council votes to condemn acts of violence against Hamilton citizens

A group of about 30 masked people marched down Locke Street on Saturday night, smashing windows with rocks and damaging vehicles.
A group of about 30 masked people marched down Locke Street on Saturday night, smashing windows with rocks and damaging vehicles. Twitter user: OliverioCarmela

Hamilton politicians have taken a symbolic stand.

City Council has voted, unanimously, in favour of Donna Skelly’s motion to publicly condemn recent acts of violence against citizens, including Saturday night’s attack on Locke Street.

Skelly stresses that such actions “cannot be tolerated, full stop, end of discussion.”

READ MORE: Hamilton anarchist group denies involvement but has ‘zero tears to shed’ for Locke Street

Other councillors have chosen a variety of ways to describe the mob of vandals who inflicted $100,000 worth of damage to Locke Street storefronts.

Ward 6 Councillor Tom Jackson calls them “faceless, gutless cowards” who are just “thugs and hooligans” while Mayor Fred Eisenberger describes them as “terrorists.”

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The mayor says the vandals “obviously don’t understand or don’t appreciate the hard work that we’re doing collectively as a community to try and make prosperity for everyone.”

READ MORE: Hamilton police link anarchist book fair, Locke street vandalism investigation

Eisenberger points to investments in transit, affordable housing and tax breaks for seniors to help them keep their homes.

Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla echoes those remarks, adding that “if any of these morons actually paid attention to what we have done to combat gentrification, then they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing anywhere in this city.”

Flamborough Councillor Judi Partridge agrees that “we must all stand together,” voicing her hope that police will catch those involved and punish them to the full extent of the law.

Mayor Eisenberger says when that happens “they can ply their anarchy in jail, that’s a good place for them to work on not being governed.” That’s a reference to the We Are The Ungovernables banner that the anarchists carried during their attack.

READ MORE: Book fair linked to Locke Street vandalism was vetted, school board chair says

Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson, who lives in the Locke Street area, says “it goes without saying that we condemn all the things that this motion condemns, but it’s good to say it out loud.”

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He adds that while “glass shattered on Locke Street, love has proven unbreakable.”

Skelly has stated that she brought forward the motion, in part, because of recent comments made by Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green. Skelly says he has made comments indicating he’s “receptive to discussing the reason for this unprovoked assault on our citizens with the perpetrators.”

Green voted in favour of her motion, after referring to it as “political theatre” during Wednesday’s meeting.

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