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Media Release: Hamilton Stands for Inclusivity

June 17, 2019 Hamilton Issues

June 17, 2019

Hamilton celebrates its rich diversity of people from many places, of many beliefs and of different perspectives. Hamilton is a community of strength, of historical struggles, tremendous capabilities, expertise and high achievement. 

We strive to improve our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.  The voices of diverse people matter.  All of us should have equal opportunity to belong, to succeed and to celebrate our lives without fear. 

And yet there are those in our community who would seek to undermine our progress, pit communities against each other, spread fear, mis-information, resentment, hate and now violence.

In recent months this has led to public protests that spread this message of hate. We are disgusted and horrified that Hamilton has been described as "the front-line of Ontario hate-group activity" in recent national media articles and hate groups feel emboldened to threaten community members at events intended to bring us together.

As community members we stand up for an inclusive, diverse and compassionate Hamilton.

We denounce recent actions by those that seek to deny people their fundamental dignity, liberty and security.  Recent incidents of racist and homophobic graffiti and vandalism, of weekly demonstrations at City Hall by groups spreading extremist ideology and the violence at this weekend’s Pride event have no place in our community. History has taught us that hate must be confronted through education and truth and by communities standing united.  Hate cannot be allowed to fester. Hamilton stands for inclusivity. We are united in our commitment to each other and our equal right to be respected and stay safe as a member of our community.

We are appalled, disgusted and horrified by what is happening. We are furious that members of our community are being threatened and hurt. We call on the City, all elected officials, all leaders of organizations, particularly the police, neighbourhood associations, faith groups and all people of conscious to denounce groups that perpetuate hate.  We call on the City of Hamilton to implement a zero-tolerance policy towards their extremist actions. They are not welcome at City Hall or anywhere else. We are all allies in this cause and we must send a clear message supporting inclusion.

 

For more information contact:

Hugh Tye, Executive Director, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, 905-527-4572 x 45

Ruth Greenspan, Executive Director, John Howard Society, 905-522-4446

Tom Cooper, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, 905-667-3595

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