Report from Occupy Hamilton
By Connor Crawford
Recent weeks have seen ‘Occupy Hamilton’ rallies take over Gore Park. The group, made up of local activists from various backgrounds, gathers every Saturday at noon to make noise and show solidarity with the global ‘Occupation’ movement.
This past week’s rally (Oct 22) drew a crowd of about 40 people. A range of groups and individuals were present, from the Mohawk Social Justice Society, to the Hamilton Young Communist League, to Zeitgeist activists. Copwatch Hamilton was also present, and were effective in blocking police interference with the protest.
Around 1pm the microphone was opened up to the crowd and some speeches and announcements were made by attendees. Afterwards, a short picket/noise demonstration took place throughout the park; signs were attached to poles and fences, and sidewalk chalk flooded the park with socially-conscious slogans and thoughts. Upon noticing the chalk, three police officers entered the park and attempted to intimidate protesters with threats of mischief charges; Copwatch promptly sorted this issue out. A short discussion followed the protest, and agendas were drafted for the upcoming group meetings.
All in all, the protests seem to be already gathering speed and creating a buzz in Hamilton. Occupy Hamilton has been successful in creating a safe space for people to voice their concerns about the current state, and now must look to further engage the public in that discussion. Occupy Hamilton, alongside the rest of the ‘Occupy’ movement, will surely face many roadblocks as it grows. However, regardless of any issues that may arise, there is no question these wider protests are a solid first step towards building a true, global, anti-capitalist movement.