WATCH: Another physical clash between Hamilton police and protestors leads to 3 more arrests over encampments

Published November 26, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Three more individuals were arrested Friday afternoon in Hamilton, two days after a physical confrontation between police and protestors at an encampment site at JC Beemer Park.

Three more individuals were arrested Friday (Nov. 26) afternoon in Hamilton after another physical confrontation between police and protestors. It occurred two days after the two sides clashed at an encampment site at JC Beemer Park.

Sarah Jama, 27, is accused of obstructing and assaulting a police officer. One other individual, a 20-year-old male, is facing the same charges. A 24-year-old female is the third person facing charges. She is accused of obstructing police. The latter two arrests appear to have occurred after Jama’s, as protestors gathered outside the central Hamilton police station.

That brings the total number of arrests to five. A 33-year-old male was already charged with obstructing police and a 27-year-old female for assaulting police officer after the events on Wednesday (Nov. 24).

It began shortly before 6 a.m. when encampment residents at JC Beemer Park were awoken by a fire that led to multiple explosions.

The Hamilton Police Service (HPS) said first responders found several tents fully engulfed in flames “spanning 15 to 20 feet in the air.” Multiple occupants were pulled from their tents before the fire spread, according to police.

“There were several explosions from items such as propane tanks and electrical generators, which was further fuelled by debris in the surrounding area,” said HPS. “The fire destroyed several tents but thankfully no physical injuries were reported.”

A hydro line was also damaged in the fire.

The advocacy organization, Hamilton Encampment Support Network (HESN) tweeted that “most of their possessions and tents” were destroyed.

Encampment residents told the HESN they don’t know how the fire was started at the park located at the corner of Wilson St and Victoria Ave.

Police say “the majority of those affected have been relocated and six individuals have been provided with shelter.”

The advocacy group, however, called the shelter “inadequate.”

“Residents were not offered permanent housing solutions, and the options that were offered were more than inadequate,” said HESN in a media release. “The shelter-hotels offered were locations where some residents have restrictions or have experienced past violence, and the crisis center ‘beds’ are an interim stay of five days.”

Dozens of activists gathered at J.C. Beemer Park after the fire to protest the removal of the encampment, which police deemed “unsafe.”

What followed was a clash between law enforcement and protestors that was filmed and posted to social media. It has since been removed.

In the video, posted by HESN, a protestor can be seen charging toward an officer before another individual is dragged by police.

HESN put out a notice on social media Friday, calling on its allies to gather out front of the central police station on King William until Jama and the other arrested individuals are released from custody.

HESN says Jama was at Beasley Park while the City continued its removal of encampments on municipal property before she was arrested.

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