Hamilton Pride Defender Update! Some charges withdrawn, others going to trial

Update from the Pride Defender Solidarity Committee and a solidarity statement from CUPE 3906

It has been nearly two years since Hamilton Pride was attacked by white supremacists, homophobes and fundamentalist Christians. Nearly two years have also passed since a group of determined people stood their ground and drove the attackers out of the park. In the aftermath of that bloody event, the Hamilton Police showed their true colours by dedicating their efforts to tracking down and identifying Pride Defenders, while letting all but one of the attackers off the hook (despite having clear video evidence at their disposal). Of the six Pride Defenders initially charged, three of those people are still facing charges today.

Two of those three people have recently accepted a peace bond that will see their charges effectively withdrawn. The peace bonds will come with one year of probationary conditions, which is essentially the same punishment doled out to Chris Vandeweide who was caught on film committing multiple brutal assaults both at Pride, and again the following weekend in Toronto. Read More …

Gidimt’en Territory: Solidarity is inclusive: We are one

It has been almost one year since the call went out for peoples across so called canada for solidarity; to respect Wet’suwet’en laws and jurisdiction to our lands and to fight together against colonization, industrial genocide, and to stop CGL and RCMP from invading our yintah.

As we asserted full control over access to our yintah and brought industry to a halt, many others rose up with us. From large demonstrations to rail blockades to clandestine sabotages against the infrastructures of colonization, many nations, groups and people fought alongside us. These actions gave us strength in the face of the looming buildup of militarized police. Read More …

Always Against Prison — From Hamilton to Minneapolis

This evening, we dropped a banner over highway 403 going towards Toronto in solidarity with the five people in Minneapolis facing serious felony charges in connection to a New Year’s eve noise demo in that city. Although we’re glad all five are out on bail, the arrests and charges mark a significant escalation of repression against an international anarchist tradition.

In our region, New Year’s noise demos started in 2009 in response to a hunger strike campaign by anarchist prisoners, and we have kept doing them every year since. These demos let us a share a moment of celebration with prisoners, breaking the alienation through direct action. As an international tradition, they are also a thread that connects us to anarchists elsewhere, allowing us to exchange ideas and tactics with people whose contexts are quite different than ours. Read More …

Hamilton New Years Noise Demo

For the 12th* year in row, folks in Hamilton rung in the new year with a noise demo outside the Barton jail. COVID has changed a lot of our organizing context this year, and made a lot of traditions harder to keep, but was too important to miss. 

If anything, COVID has exacerbated many of the existing horrors of prison. Barton prisoners saw the loss of visits for big chunks of this year, only winning them back for a period of time through a series of courageous hunger strikes. There is the constant threat of the pandemic spreading through the jail, as we’ve seen at countless other institutions. The administration’s response to the pandemic has been to further erode prisoner’s basic “rights”.  Read More …

Hamilton: Banner Drop in Solidarity with Freedom Camp

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. Read More …

Hamilton: Outbreak Coverup at the Barton Jail

As of November 28th, we’ve received reports from multiple sources that the administration is trying to cover up at least 2 new cases of COVID-19 among staff at the Barton Jail. Management is outright denying to both prisoners and staff that there are new positive cases, while at the same time introducing new policies in response to the outbreak. Read More …

Hamilton: Anti-Choice Billboards Paintbombed

Anonymous submission to North Shore MISSED CONNECTION: u were out in the middle of the nite painting over gross anti-choice ads all over town, probably wearing all black, being a total babe. i drove by your handiwork hours or maybe days l8tr. i feel like were into the same kinda stuff, maybe we could grab some coffee or go for a late nite stroll? looking for friendship, a bit of Read More …

Hamilton: John A MacDonald Statue Painted Red

Early in the morning on November 9th, a few of us tread into the night to pay visit to Sir John A Macdonald in Gore park downtown Hamilton. With a loaded fire extinguisher, we painted him red, symbolizing his blood-soaked legacy. We did this in solidarity with the land defenders out 1492 Landback Lane, our neighbors from Six Nations, who are facing intense police violence in their attempt to save their land from another cheap and hollow suburban development. Read More …

Into the Second Wave: Barton Prisoners on past rounds of struggle and the challenges ahead

It’s been two months now since the last hunger strike at the Barton Jail. To end it, the administration made a slew of promises, but have they been kept? This past week, we had long conversations with several prisoners who participated in the strike and in negotiations with the admin, and they expressed deep disappointment at the Barton Jail’s failure to follow through on even basic promises. As well, there has been a steep increase in lockdowns in recent weeks, rolling back a gain from a previous round of struggle that saw an end to rotating lockdowns. And finally, as the second wave of covid hits, we talked with prisoners about masks, soap, and healthcare. Read More …