Hamilton

Hamilton issues trespassing notices under its new bylaw to discourage yellow vest group

Hamilton bylaw officials have issued two trespassing notices under a new bylaw aimed at discouraging yellow vest wearers and groups such as the Soldiers of Odin and Proud Boys.
This screen cap from a YouTube video taken by one of the yellow vest protesters shows the group holding signs outside Hamilton city hall. (YouTube)

Hamilton bylaw officials have issued two trespassing notices under a new bylaw aimed at discouraging yellow vest wearers and groups such as the Soldiers of Odin and Proud Boys.

The city confirmed Monday that it issued two notices on the weekend under the new bylaw aimed at "safe and inclusive public city spaces." The matter is before the courts, said Martin Dambeau, the city's corporate security specialist. So the city won't release many details.

"Events that led to the issuance of notices resulted in a response by Hamilton Police Service," Dambeau said in an email statement. The city wouldn't say if the notices were to yellow vest wearers or the people protesting them. 

Photos and video posted to social media appeared to show Dambeau talking to the yellow vest group. Its spokesperson, Justin Long, wouldn't talk about whether any of them got a trespassing notice.

"I don't want to speak to the media," he said Monday. "Every time I do I get smeared and misquoted."

The yellow vest group has been demonstrating in front of city hall for about a year, bearing signs against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the United Nations immigration pact, among other issues. Long has previously said Soldiers of Odin, Wolves of Odin and Proud Boys help with security.

At peak times, as many as 40 people have participated in the yellow vest demonstrations.

The presence has drawn counter demonstrations, including choirs and people bearing pro-immigration and diversity signs.

City council passed a trespassing bylaw earlier this year, and increased surveillance to discourage the yellow vest group.

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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