On November 24th, 2021 volunteers of the Hamilton Encampment Support Network and residents responded to a fire and an encampment tear down at JC Beemer Park. This resulted in the arrest of a Black disabled woman and her partner. In the following days (November 26th, 2021), another Black disabled woman was arrested at Beasley Park. In response to the arrest, a number of residents showed up at the Hamilton Police Central Station. Hamilton Police asked residents to leave and in the process, three Black youth were arrested violently as witnessed in this video.
On December 1st, 2021, Black organizations, Black-led organizations and Black residents in Hamilton released a collective message to support Black youth and housing advocates arrested. They made the following calls:
- We call Hamilton Police and the Prosecutors office to drop the charges laid against all six youth.
- We are calling on the Hamilton Police Service Board and/or the Attorney General to open a judicial inquiry into the actions of all Police officers present at JC Beemer Park on Nov 24th and at the Hamilton Police Central station on Nov 26th.
- We are calling on City Council to stop encampment evictions adversely affecting Black, Indigenous, and low-income residents.
HCCI along with local and provincial partners are calling on residents of Hamilton & Ontario to send an email to the Crown Attorney’s office asking for the charges to be dropped against Black & housing advocates. Since pursuing these charges will not be in the best interest of the public.