Recently formed Hamilton CopWatch held a public gathering in Beasley Park hoping to connect with community members and begin building a base of support for our activity in the city. The Beasley Park Community Jam offered an opportunity for CopWatch organizers to meet with others concerned or impacted by police brutality, enjoy some music, share food and share ideas of how we can work to defend ourselves.
Downtown Hamilton’s Beasley neighbourhood is the poorest in the city and one of the poorest in the entire country. As such the area is also the primary target of the Hamilton Police ACTION team, which aggressively criminalizes poor, homeless and marginalized people. Building a group like CopWatch that is willing to combat police harassment and abuse is clearly necessary within this context.
Folks who stopped by the event were treated to a free meal, musical acts, and balloon animals and face painting for the kids. Amidst the festive atmosphere several dozen “Know Your Rights” booklets were distributed along with Hamilton CopWatch contact cards. A number of local organizers from various groups also spoke addressing the need for self-organization in order to fight back against the police, poverty, and improve our collective conditions. A small success like the event on the 28th has us at Hamilton CopWatch looking forward to continuing to contribute to this process.
More a more in depth discussion of the purpose and goals of Hamilton CopWatch, check out this recent interview:
Lunch, desert & literature…
For full stomachs and sharpened minds…
Children enjoying free face painting and balloon animals
Sunday at Beaz