Anonymous submission to North Shore
One week ago today, the 14 day occupation of Hamilton City Hall known as Freedom Camp came down voluntarily. For two weeks, Black and Brown youth organized the tent city and gathering place to demand a 50% reduction in the Hamilton Police budget and to have that money reallocated towards free housing for houseless folks who have been left out in the cold during a pandemic. Meals and shelter were provided to any houseless folks who came to find some help, until of course the city came in and ripped down all of their tents as is their disgusting mission these days. But those youth stayed strong and held out, helping folks come down from drugs in a gentle way, keeping people warm, and pressing the limits of what Sad Fred (the mayor) could handle. At one point, they even brought a coffin to his front yard.
City Hall isn’t looking to budge on any reduction of the police budget, nor do they have any real personal investments in doing so. Fred likes being on the cops good side, so he can call them like a little snitch every time his decisions land at his front door. But these young folks showed incredible resilience and bravery, sometimes demonstrating care for strangers that made my heart ache on long, cold December overnight shifts. And so some anarchists decided to paint a big dirty banner and hang it high over King St (one of the main city thoroughfares) during rush hour traffic reading:
HOUSING NOT COPS
SOLIDARITY WITH FREEDOM CAMP
with some dandelions painted on the side. Because we saw some of that imagery at the camp and loved the idea of anti-police sentiment rising through the pavement all over the city like weeds, spreading their seeds in a wild and uncontrollable fashion. Here’s to radical friendship!