From the Toronto IWW
During the 2019 Pride Festival in Hamilton, Ontario, a group consisting of white supremacists, homophobes and Christian fundamentalists crashed the festival spewing hate and intolerance, even resorting to violence against Pride goers. However these attackers were met with resistance from the LGBTQ community and its allies. Following the attack, the Hamilton Police Department proceeded to prosecute the very people who defended the LGBTQ community.
Barry Conway, a long-time labour activist, is one of these defenders being prosecuted. Barry was charged and is being tried for allegedly “assaulting” an extremist preacher named Phillip Ness-Thomas; a man who is a part of a group called the “ServantHOODS”, who preach homophobia and misogyny at public gatherings, and have been specifically targeting Pride events in recent years. Ness-Thomas crashed the Pride event with a group carrying 10-foot scripture signs decrying the “sins” of homosexuality. He was accompanied by thugs like Chris Vanderweide who showed up to the event wearing body armour. It is clear that their goal was to terrorize and intimidate the LGBTQ community. The Hamilton Police Department continued that intimidation by charging Barry Conway with assault for defending himself and his community, and the case is now proceeding to trial. This is despite the Hamilton City Council’s own independent inquiry into the events at Pride, published in 2020, which clearly showed that the violence that occurred during the 2019 Pride Festival was caused by agitators from right-wing militant hate groups.
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐈𝐖𝐖 𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐈𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐋𝐘 𝐛𝐞 𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝.