Hamilton police make swift arrest in protest at mayor's house
A 33-year-old woman is facing charges
Police have arrested a Hamilton woman after a protest outside the mayor's house Friday morning.
Hamilton police say they've charged a 33-year-old woman with theft under $5,000, criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and mischief after about 20 people went to Fred Eisenberger's home at 7:15 a.m.
The group put up signs that said the "Mayor doesn't care about Queer People," police say. Several people also banged on the door, played instruments and shouted obscenities. Police say the group was there for about 15 minutes.
The woman is in custody and the Crown will oppose bail.
The protest was part of a larger "autonomous day of action" called "Drop All Charges Against Pride Defenders." The Tower, a local anarchist social space, encouraged people to participate using posters and other means. This comes after violence at a June 15 Pride festival at Gage Park, when a small group of extremists gathered with homophobic signs, and counter-protesters in pink masks erected a barrier to block them.
Four people the Tower refers to as "Pride Defenders" have been arrested in connection with the confrontation. That includes Cedar Hopperton, who was on parole after a conviction last year for the anarchist vandalism spree on Locke Street.
Police say the 33-year-old was among the counter protesters at the Pride festival. Hopperton, The Tower claims, wasn't at Pride. The call to release Hopperton from jail was the focus of Friday's day of action.
The Tower is also promoting a rally at Gore Park at 8:30 p.m. tonight called "We Make Us Safe: Drop the Charges! Free Cedar."
Christopher Vanderweide, who was part of the anti-Pride group, has also been arrested.
The Kitchener man, also known online as "helmet guy" is charged with two counts of assault with a weapon.
Eisenberger, meanwhile, called the early-morning protest at his east-end home "unacceptable."
"Harassment of my family, my neighbours, or anyone is crossing the line," said Eisenberger, who is also chair of the Hamilton Police Services board.
Eisenberger said the anarchist group doesn't represent the broader LGBTQ community, and he hoped anyone responsible would be prosecuted to "the full weight of the law."
Police are still investigating and say more charges could be forthcoming.