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Pushing back: Hamilton in March

The past month in Hamilton saw two communique-worthy events without communiques. We celebrated March 15th day of action against brutality in the middle of the Juno awards ceremony and our buddy who was getting railroaded into a jail sentence got off after a crowd of supporters pressured the court.

For the second year in a row, a crowd of angry, largely masked folks gathered on March 15th for a confrontational march against the police and the daily violence they inflict on us. By coincidence, the march started at the same time as the Juno awards, a big stupid spectacle celebrating canadian musicians, were also starting in downtown hamilton. With banners reading “Free donuts! Just kidding, fuck you pig”, “All Cops are Bastards, Fuck the Police”, and “Cops Pigs Murderers”, the march was a bit smaller than last year but higher energy, way tighter, and anchored by Hamilton’s Flamingo Mutiny Brigade, a radical marching band. More than twenty people joined in off the street as the march progressed, pushing through police lines into the heart of the awards ceremony area. The march dispersed without incident while energy was still high and no one got arrested.

On Friday March 20th, a friend of ours who was getting pushed into a fifteen-day jail sentence for a made-up breach of bail showed up at the Hamilton courthouse ready to go do time. The situation of her charges is described in more detail in this open letter, but she’s an anarchist involved in anti-pipeline actions in the area who has regularly been targeted by police over the past years. Forty people showed up to support her, which seemingly caused the duty council and the crown to take a serious second look at what they were doing. Anarchists in town have an extremely conflictual relationship with the justice system, notably in fall 2013 when, during another mass court support day, a crew of people attempted to de-arrest one of their friends and started a hilarious brawl.  In the end, rather than going to jail, which she’d arrived ready to do, our friend got her charges dropped and went home free.

In other Hamilton news, The Tower, our local anarchist social space, is having a spring fundraiser.

Consider this a challenge to anarchists in other cities to let the rest of us know what you’re up to!