A Wake-Up Call for the Mayor

Submitted anonymously to North Shore.

28 June 2019 – Hamilton, ON

It’s been two weeks since a band of homophobic preachers crashed Pride and the rainbowed crowd defended itself. One week since the cops came banging down our doors, looking to arrest Queers for showing up to protect their friends and neighbors. And it’s been a month of utter buffoonery seeping out of City Hall. First, the city decided to raise the trans and rainbow flags for Pride Month even though their permission was revoked by the LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee. Then, when 100+ people got mad that the police abandoned Pride to the queerbashers, Fred Eisenberger (the Mayor) claimed they were putting forth a “false narrative”. After a bit of public pressure, we saw the release of some halfhearted statements talking about inclusion and diversity and “doing better”. But at the last city council meeting we saw how truly spineless Fred could be as he let Councillors Merulla, Collins, and Whitehead make a mockery of Queer rage in Hamilton. But – hey! – he claims to be supportive of the LG..D..TP.. community.

Well, Fred, you can kick the public out of your council chambers, but outside of those walls we can’t be silenced.

It’s well past time for the Mayor to wake up. And so – very early this morning – we decided to help him with that. As people who frequently have to deal with cops banging on our doors and invading our spaces in the early morning hours, we wanted to share a small aspect of this experience with Fred. A colorful assemblage of Queers rolled up on his house on Bryant Court at 7:30am and delivered onto his lawn a loud and splendid cacophony of terrible, disjointed music along with 40 lawn signs to tell him exactly what we think of him and what we want.

Signs read: THE MAYOR DOESN’T CARE ABOUT QUEER PEOPLE, DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST PRIDE DEFENDERS NOW!

We didn’t overstay our welcome. We stayed just long enough to ensure he heard us, just long enough to be certain that he was awake. Just long enough to see him hiding behind his curtains. The queer community in Hamilton has their eyes wide open and we aren’t going to stop until Cedar is out of jail and all of the charges against Pride defenders are dropped. The Mayor is the chair of the Police Services Board and has the power to call a meeting, and demand that the three go free. His refusal to do so makes it clear that he is complicit in the criminalization of Queers defending themselves.

This marks the first demonstration on the Day of Action for Pride Defenders and there is more to come. Tonight, Hamilton will march in the streets to celebrate the way we had each others’ backs at Pride and how brave and resilient we can be when we stick together. At the end of the day, we don’t believe that pandering to politicians is the way to solve our problems and we know that no amount of apologies or reforms are going to restore faith in the police. Many of us have never trusted them, and many more are finding power and comfort in coming to the same conclusions.

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