Hamilton

City releases plan to prevent hate-related activities on city properties

The city of Hamilton is taking steps to curb actives relating to hate from happening on city properties. The general issues committee will look at a report with purposed changes Monday.

The general issues committee will be looking at a report with recommendations Monday

The city of Hamilton is taking steps to curb protests by hate groups on city properties. The general issues committee will look at a report with purposed changes Monday. (Adam Carter/CBC)
The city now has a plan to prevent hate-related activities from taking place on city properties and councillors will begin to discuss that plan Monday.

The city wants to arm city security staff with greater powers. The recommendations come in the form of a draft policy that will be presented to the general issues committee.

One recommendation is to hire a security investigator for two years. The investigator would be trained and tasked with investigating and documenting hate-related activities on city owned properties.

The report, created by Legal and Risk Management Services Division and Public Works department, comes after mounting pressure to stop yellow vest and other far-right extremist groups who have been protesting on a weekly basis in front of city hall for months.

Police say several people received minor injuries after an altercation at the Hamilton Pride festival, but no victims or witnesses have come forward. (Imgur)
"Concern over demonstrations on city property by demonstrators who have at times breached the peace and may be engaged in 'hate speech' led council to direct staff to review existing policies and processes governing demonstrations on city property," reads the document ahead of Monday's meeting.

The yellow vest movement began in Europe in reaction to increasing gas prices. But the North American version of the movement has latched on to issues like immigration, and has been associated with far right groups. In Hamilton, notorious white nationalist Paul Fromm has been spotted at yellow vest events.

Tensions running high

Tensions in the city have been running even higher in recent weeks after some yellow vesters appeared to join religious protesters at a Pride festival in Gage Park last month that saw homophobic signs and several people injured.

Since then, people have been voicing, online and in person, their concerns of hate being spread across the city.

On June 26, Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger stopped a city council meeting after shouting from angry LGBTQ residents.

Two days after that, people placed signs outside of Eisenberger's house in relation to how the violence at the Pride event and subsequent events were being handled.

On Friday, Eisenberger apologized for the "fear and pain" felt by the LGBTQ community following the Pride festival violence.

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