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International Day Against Police Brutality

March 15th in Hamilton!

by Daina St.Clair

International Day Against Police Brutality

March 15th marks the International Day Against Police Brutality. In the spirit of this day, we are calling for the first annual demo on the streets of downtown Hamilton – in solidarity with struggles against the police globally, and as a manifestation of our own antagonism against the police locally. 

We call for this demonstration as a means to take back space downtown (if temporarily) against the continued encroachment of surveillance systems, overzealous security guards, and the increasingly invasive police presence that is making way for the reshaping of Hamilton’s downtown in the interests of rich investors. The ACTION Team is the most visible manifestation of this process, acting as the foot soldiers of gentrification to further the immiseration of all those discarded by capitalism.

As downtown Hamilton is “revitalized” in the interests of a small section of property investors and condo developers, all space downtown (whether Jackson Square, Gore Park, or the street corner) is contested to make way for safe investment. 

We also recognize the relentless violence, sometimes murderous, that the police inflict on struggling neighbourhoods in our city. We recognize that official channels for so-called “accountability” are incapable of addressing the actions of police. The supposedly independent Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which presents itself as a check on police conduct, is stacked with ex-cops. Their track record confirms their function of protecting their buddies in blue. This is a small snapshot:

April 2007, Pig Tocher shoots and kills Cambodian refugee Soun Saing: Cleared by the SIU. May 2010, Pig Tocher beats and hospitalizes Karen refugee Po La Hay in his own home: Cleared by the SIU. January 2011, Pigs slam 59 year-old Michael Farrance in to a wall for swinging his cane at them, leaving him hospitalized and dead: Cleared by the SIU.  February 2011, Pig McNaughton shoots and kills 19 year-old Adreas Chinnery in his home on a noise complaint: Cleared by the SIU. February 2012, Pig Tocher shoots and kills Laos-born Phonesay Chanthachak during a car chase: Cleared by the SIU. June 2013, Pigs shoot and kill Steve Mesic outside his own home: Cleared by the SIU.

Police inflict terror on our communities – they harass, humiliate, beat, and even murder with relative impunity. They incarcerate our loved ones, as they protect the rich and act as the armed branch of a state that does not serve our interests. On March 15th 2014 we call for a confrontational demonstration in opposition to this order and everything that it represents. Meet at McNab Terminal at 7pm.

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