Hamilton council votes to support ban on hate symbols, including Confederate flag and swastika

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Published May 11, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Hamilton council votes to support ban on hate symbols, including Confederate flag and swastika
Hamilton city council voted unanimously to throw its support behind Bill C-229, which would make it illegal to display hate symbols, such as the Nazi swastika, Ku Klux Klan insignia, and Confederate flags.

Hamilton city council voted unanimously Wednesday (May 11) to throw its support behind Bill C-229, which would make it illegal to display hate symbols, such as the Nazi swastika, Ku Klux Klan insignia, and Confederate flag. The ban would also apply to Confederate military uniforms and hoods and robes of the Ku Klux Klan.

In February, the Bill to amend the criminal code passed its first reading before parliament.

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The motion at Hamilton council was introduced by Mayor Fred Eisenberger after a home in Binbrook displayed the Confederate flag on the porch.

The flag quickly prompted a large amount of backlash and activism from the community, including a community walk and petition calling for legislation that prevents the promotion of hate symbols.

The flag has since been taken down.

Last week, police reported that Hamilton residents with Black, Jewish, Islamic and 2S&LGBTQIA identities bore the brunt of a 35 per cent jump last year in hate/bias incidents in the city.

There were 108 hate/bias incidents reported to Hamilton Police last year, up from 80 in 2020. The report emphasizes that the “true number” is likely much larger since most incidents of this nature are still unreported.

Twenty-one incidents led to charges being laid, including the first-ever charge of wilful promotion of hatred laid in the city. That was more than double the eight charges from 2020.

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