From Embers presents a special two-part feature on the Locke Street Affair in Hamilton, Ontario. We sat down and interviewed a defendant in the case who will be in jail when this episode is released.
In March 2018, on the weekend of the Steel City Anarchist Bookfair, about 30 people marched through the Kirkendale neighbourhood of Hamilton. Some in the group lit fireworks, attacked luxury cars and smashed out the windows of gentrifying businesses on Locke Street, doing an estimated $100,000 in damage.
In the days, weeks and months that followed there was a massive backlash against anarchists in Hamilton, much of it against The Tower, an anarchist social space in Hamilton. 8 people were arrested and charged with a variety of offences including conspiracy, mischief, and “Unlawful Assembly While Masked”. Last week, a non-cooperating plea deal was struck that will see two people spend some months in jail, one person on house arrest, and a mix of probation and stayed charges for the rest.
In Part One, we discuss the context of gentrification in Hamilton, the Locke Street demonstration, and the initial backlash. In Part Two, we explore the strategies of repression used against Hamilton anarchists, questions about navigating the court system, and the idea that resignation is worse than defeat.