Hamilton

Police make second arrest in relation to violent Hamilton Pride event

Another Pride supporter has been arrested and charged in relation to the violence at Hamilton Pride, this time for violating a court order.
Police say several people received minor injuries after an altercation at the Hamilton Pride festival, but no victims or witnesses have come forward. (Imgur)

Another Pride supporter has been arrested and charged in relation to the violence at Hamilton Pride, this time for violating a court order.

Hamilton police say a 32-year-old man turned himself in on Monday "as a result of breaching conditions of a court order." He was arrested and released on a promise to appear in court July 23.

This makes the second arrest in relation to violence at Hamilton Pride June 15, both relating to previous court conditions on the people charged. Neither so far have been people from alt right groups who showed up at Gage Park to protest with anti-LGBTQ signs and slogans.

At the event, counter-protesters wearing black clothes and pink masks erected a portable barrier to shield the signs from view, and other Pride supporters joined with signs and noise makers. Videos posted to social media show shoving, and at least two alt right protesters punching people. One is shown smashing someone in a pink mask in the face with a helmet.

Police first arrested Cedar Hopperton on Saturday on a charge of parole violation. Investigators say Hopperton was one of the pink-masked counter-protesters. Hopperton supporters say the 33-year-old wasn't at the park. The parole charge relates back to Hopperton's mischief-related convictions for the anarchist anti-gentrification vandalism spree on Locke Street.

The Tower, a local anarchist social space, called the second person arrested Friday "another friend."

"This is the second targeted arrest of people defending Pride as police continue to target queers and the LGBTQ2+ community," it said in a statement on its Facebook page.

"At this point, no one from the right has been arrested or charged with anything."

The lack of arrests on the anti-Pride side has drawn criticism. The Hamilton and District Labour Council wrote an open  letter Monday to police and Mayor Fred Eisenberger saying police appear to be prioritizing the wrong things. 

"There is video footage, from Gage Park, of an identified male assaulting two people with a weapon and he was wandering the streets of Toronto this past weekend inflicting the same harassment and violence at that Pride event," the letter says.

"Surely, if an arrest was to be made, he should have been the first consideration."

Police say they're going through reams of video and witness statements, and also sharing information with Toronto Police, who are investigating violence at Toronto Pride too.

Police also want victims to come forward, but say so far, none of them have.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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