Take Back the Night protest against violence shutters some Hamilton streets


Published September 15, 2022 at 9:54 pm

The annual Take Back the Night demonstration against violence in Hamilton streets has closed down much of the downtown.

Take Back the Night has been organized by Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area (SACHA) for more than 40 years. Throughout that time the event has focused on sexual violence against women, sexual violence and street harassment .

After decades of allowing only women to participate, SACHA expanded the event to include people of all gender identities for this year’s event.

The feminist organization describes this year’s protest on their website as, “return­ing to the roots of Take Back the Night, to honour the event’s ori­gins and dream togeth­er where we can grow from here.”

“This event began as a protest against the pow­ers that threat­en our safe­ty in pub­lic spaces, par­tic­u­lar­ly walk­ing the streets at night,” SACHA continues. “In 2022 we take back those streets as a col­lec­tive, and proud­ly demon­strate that we deserve to exist safe­ly in any and all spaces. All acts of rev­o­lu­tion stem from love, and ours is no excep­tion.”

As a result of the demonstration Hamilton prepared a variety of bus route detours around the event centred around Hamilton City Hall. Routes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 20, 21, 34, and 51 are all affected in several ways. A full list is available on the Hamilton website.

Nine Hamilton police officers are on site at the march to ensure traffic safety and shut roads in the area, as legally required. Per an agreement with SACHA, they are not taking part in the protest itself and will stay as far from the demonstration as possible.

The organization requested this distance since, “We understand that the police do not create a safe environment for everyone.” They also have volunteers trained in de-escalation on site who will marshall the event to keep everyone safe on their own.

SACHA has provided a list of all closed intersections that will have an officer stationed on them, including one “floater” officer.

Earlier this evening the demonstration featured community tables, live music and, for the first time, an Indigenous market.



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