'Anti-fascists' clash with police in Hamilton, Ont.; no injuries
Published Sunday, March 25, 2018 9:53PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 6, 2018 3:01PM EDT
A group of protesters calling themselves “anti-fascists” clashed with police in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, as they marched in opposition to a demonstration that attracted members of the far-right.
The demonstration, billed as the “Patriots Walk on Locke,” was advertised as a walk in support of businesses on Locke Street that were damaged earlier this month by a group of black-clad vandals who police described as “anarchists.”
Some of the Walk on Locke’s attendees wore jackets emblazed with Soldiers of Odin, which the U.S. Anti-Defamation League describes as an extreme-right group devoted to “hatred and fear of immigrants and, especially, Muslims.”
Many of those with the so-called “anti-fascist” group wore red bandanas over their mouths, and sunglasses and hats that concealed their identities.
One of them, Martin Rosso, told CTV Toronto that it was “a real shame that police have decided to protect the fascist organizations and allowed them to march.”
He refused to comment when asked if he would condemn the vandalism spree on March 3, in which a group of about 30 people smashed windows with rocks.
Max Guerrero, from the revolutionary socialist group Fightback, said his group had joined the “anarchists” to stand against “fascism,” even though he believes their “tactic” had failed.
“It is not the small businesses that are driving gentrification,” he said.
“We need to unite as a working class to fight against the capitalist system and say that we could have a society that works for everybody,” Guerrero added.
Guerrero called the Walk on Locke “an opportunistic attack against working people and racialized people.”
Yasmeen Mirza, from the Muslim Association of Hamilton and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said she joined the protest to “stand against hate” in her community.
One of the men who participated in the Walk on Locke said he was there to “march with the patriots” and “to show support to the local businesses.”
The man, who identified himself only as Ed, said that he is not anti-immigrant but that “immigrants should be vetted” and only “true refugees should be allowed to come in.”
Hamilton Police were joined by members of Waterloo Regional Police and Toronto Police. They said that there were no arrests or injuries.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Miranda Anthistle