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Hamilton community comes together for #LoveLockeDay, one week after vandals targeted street

The windows have been boarded up but the messages of support keep coming for the Donut Monster in Hamilton, after a group of approx. 30 people vandalized several storefronts on Locke Street last Saturday. Erica Vella/Global News

The windows of several business on Locke Street in Hamilton may still be boarded up, but hundreds of messages of support have been etched into the wooden panels.

The well-wishes come after a group of approximately 30 people walked down the street last Saturday, vandalizing several storefronts.

Rebecca Tomasic, co-owner of Bitten Cupcakes, said she watched the vandals break the store’s windows.

“It took a minute to register that it was something violent and angry,” she said.

“I was sitting in my car on the street watching them throw the rock and hammer and in a state of shock.”

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

Tomasic said the events upset her, but since that night, her feelings have come full-circle because of the support she’s received.

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“It was so shocking at the beginning but now we feel so boyd by the community. It’s fantastic,” she said.

On Saturday, community members came out to support businesses as part of the #LoveLockeDay event, which was planned in light of last week’s events.

“No matter what happened last weekend, we are supporting our community and we are saying to folks who were trying to intimidate us, we wont be intimidated,” said Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

At approximately 10 p.m. last Saturday, a black-clad mob descended on the Locke Street area carrying a banner that said “We are the ungovernable.”

An early estimate from police said they caused $100,000 worth of damage from throwing rocks and setting off fireworks.

No group has claimed responsibility, though police have said they believed the event was well-organized.

READ MORE: Amid criticism from businesses, Hamilton police chief says tackling vandalism ‘very important’

Earlier this week, Hamilton police said they believe there is link between the incident and an anarchist book fair at Westdale Secondary School, but Police Chief Eric Girt said they are still investigating.

“We are following up the lead that we did find there and at this point we are not ready to speak to that, but of course as the evidence comes out, we will,” Girt said.

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— With Files from Kerri Breen and Paul Tipple

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