Locke St. bracing for weekend protest, counter-protest

Click to play video: 'Hamilton residents show support for vandalized Locke Street businesses'
Hamilton residents show support for vandalized Locke Street businesses
Mon, Mar 5: Hamilton police are appealing to the public for any video and information that could lead to the identification of black-clad rioters who marched down Locke Street on Saturday. Mark Carcasole reports – Mar 5, 2018

Locke Street may be in the crosshairs of duelling protests this weekend.

The mob vandalism on March 3 brought about a wave of support, but one group is planning a march on Locke Sunday at noon called a Patriot Walk on Locke.

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

That’s prompted pushback from a group calling itself Hamilton Against Fascism.

It’s planning its own event for the same time to confront what it says in a Facebook post “is an anti-immigrant and alt-right hate group trying to cast itself as more than being racist, xenophobic goons.”

READ MORE: Hamilton police say Locke Street vandalism appears to have been well-planned

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Hamilton Against Fascism has announced plans for a Locke Street anti-fascist counter-rally scheduled to start at 11 a.m. in Victoria Park, 451 King St. W. — the same place where the Patriot Walk is supposed to begin — before progressing to Locke.

Locke Street merchants are bracing for the possibility of further trouble.

WATCH: Hamilton police link Locke street vandalism to anarchist book fair

Click to play video: 'Hamilton police link Locke street vandalism to anarchist book fair'
Hamilton police link Locke street vandalism to anarchist book fair

Tony Greco of the local Business Improvement Area (BIA) says they “are hoping their neighbourhood doesn’t become the capital of the protesters. That’s something we don’t want.”

“We are all hoping that if the situation gets worse and there’s a need for some form of action, that the police will take it; that they won’t let a riot get any worse,” he adds.

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Greco says the last thing they want is for people to “get the idea they can come here and do what they want.”

LISTEN: Tony Greco joins The Bill Kelly Show on 900 CHML

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

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Hamilton police say they are aware of the planned demonstrations and will monitor the situation.

“We are encouraging demonstrators to be considerate towards our community and respect the laws,” the police force said in a statement on Thursday. “There will be a zero-tolerance approach to any unlawful or criminal activity.”

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