Main Street blocked by ‘Defund Police’ protestors looking to ‘evict’ Hamilton Mayor

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Published December 7, 2020 at 5:14 pm

The “Defund Hamilton Police Service (DHPS)” movement gathered outside City Hall and spilled on to the street Monday (Dec. 7) leading to the temporary closure of Main St. W between Summers Lane and Bay St.

Hamilton Police reopened the street approximately 40 mins later.

DHPS posted mock eviction notices outside City Hall, accusing Mayor Fred Eisenberger and the City of Hamilton of being in “violation of” their “Terms of Agreement and/or Ontario Landlord Tenant Act.”

The violations listed on the eviction notice include: funding the Hamilton Police Service, underfunding housing, and policing housing on stolen land.

The notice then re-iterates the group’s demands: slash the Hamilton Police budget by 50 per cent, reinvest the police budget surplus of $568,000 into free housing, and deny the $4-million requested increase to the police budget.

DHPS scheduled the demonstration for 3 p.m. Monday, “calling for an all-out show of community” as they held “a donation drive” in “rage, love, and solidarity.”

Last Monday (Nov. 30), trash bins arrived and by-law officers began the removal of the tents that had been pitched outside of Hamilton City Hall as part of a demonstration led by the “Defund Police” movement.

Protestors had said they would not leave until their demands were met.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger had said that while he supports the right to protest outside City Hall, bylaws prohibiting camping in the forecourt will be enforced—as will the bylaw prohibiting more than 25 people from gathering while the city is in the Red ‘Control’ zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

Eisenberger also said that the demand for a 50 per cent reduction of the police budget is “not a rational notion and it not supported in the broader community.”

Later that night, Hamilton Police said they are investigating after a coffin filled with roses and naloxone kits was left outside the mayor’s home.

On Dec. 2, police arrested 18 people in connection to a DHPS protest. Demonstrators convened at Hamilton City Hall and refused to leave after business hours, demanding that the mayor meets with them, which he did not.

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