Its been one week since Locke Street businesses were vandalised. Today, the community rallied behind the owners by flocking to support their businesses.
Police Chief Eric Girt says the mob of vandals did not get their message across.
It was a lively day on Locke street. Lineups out the door for cupcakes and doughnuts. All in support of Love Locke Day, a celebration of the resilience of small businesses.
A mob of vandals threw rocks at businesses, vehicles, and homes last week. No arrests have been made but police say there is a connection to an anarchist book fair held last weekend in Hamilton. In a blog post, an anonymous writer claiming to have taken part in the attack says gentrification is the reason why Locke Street was targeted, writing: the rich make our lives worse. Everyday we have to deal with their attacks on us, but every once in a while we can find a way to strike back.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath says the group was not successful in sharing their message.
“We have other parts of the city where the streets are transforming. We can’t view that as a negative thing. These businesses bring economic activity. They bring jobs.”
Police Chief Eric Girt says Hamilton was built on hard work.
“We are a city of immigrants, a city of new comers. We are composed of people who had to work hard. We are in fact obligated to make sure people can peacefully demonstrate. But this wasn’t that. This was a criminal act.”
The co-owner of Bitten says the vandals have got it all wrong.
“Their attitudes are very ignorant about what it takes to run a small business.”
While others say the violence brought up the issue of affordability of living in the city.
Many shoppers here on Locke Street say while the vandals may have broken some windows, the spirit of the community is stronger than ever.
Hamilton Police Chief Eric Girt says any piece of information the public could be pivotal in making arrests and laying charges.