Hamilton CopWatch is on patrol!
Hamilton CopWatch has fielded a number of patrols over the past few weeks, monitoring police activity downtown while reaching out to others in the community about our work. These patrols form the foundation of CopWatch, work that we hope will deter police brutality and harassment. While on the street we record any interaction between the police and the public and distribute CopWatch contact cards and leaflets, while being highly visible as a unified force (CopWatchers are identifiable by the reflective vests, clip boards and cameras). This combination of counter-surveillance, outreach and visibility is our strategy to build a powerful Hamilton CopWatch and encourage a broader culture of CopWatching and resistance to police abuse in the heart of Steel City.
Thus far our patrols have provided valuable training for Hamilton CopWatchers and opportunities to fine tune our routes and protocol. Want to get involved? Have information on the cops you want to share or an incident to report? Get in touch: 905-546-8768 or email@example.com
Hamilton Cops think twice about harassing #Occupy participants
In recent weeks Occupy Hamilton rallies have gathered every Saturday in Gore Park in solidarity with the global Occupy movement. Hamilton CopWatch has been occasionally present at these rallies to keep an eye on police, who until last Saturday (October 22nd) have kept their distance.
This changed when some Occupiers used sidewalk chalk to write various messages on the concrete in the park. The cops saw this as an excuse to weasel their way into the crowd and began hassling people about the “mischief”, claiming that they were looking to potentially press charges against those writing with the chalk. At around 2:40pm, 3 cops were on the scene (David - badge #423, Young - badge #119, and a third cop with badge #1164) with what appeared to be the intention of intimidating people from expressing dissident political views. A call was made to CopWatchers in the area, who made their way to the park to begin filming and questioning the cops about the situation. Unable to give an answer as to whether sidewalk chalk was a crime, the 3 instead simply got angry about being filmed.
Shortly after the arrival of CopWatch, and perhaps feeling a bit foolish, the 3 made their way back to their vehicles and cleared out of the park.