Comment 122521

By (registered) | Posted March 06, 2018 at 14:48:41

Although regrettable, I agree that because no one was physically hurt this was primarily a property crime. After the fact, I find the police response to be both ineffectual - they chose not to give chase, but to guard the street - and overblown.

Since moving to Hamilton from you know where in 2016, what I have noticed most is the diversity of the city's population and not only by virtue of race or ethnicity, but also class. Far from feeling squeamish about the street life here, after being gentrified right out of Toronto, I find the (relative) affordability of housing and general acceptance, even visibility, of poorer people here refreshing. There should always be room in cities for every strata of society and especially for those less fortunate. Rid a city of its low-income inhabitants - very often immigrants, artists, refugees and Indigeonous people - as Toronto is busy doing and you also rob it of an essential element of the very idea of a city: plurality and a sense of a present and future for all.

Those shops on Locke St. do not represent the unbridled greed of developers and as such should never have been targetted, so this was also an ignorant and cowardly action. I doubt that these "ungovernables" are disaffected youth raging on behalf of themselves or their peers who they believe are being displaced by rampant gentrification. Fresh from their Westdale book fair, they are more likely bored, white young men, feeling their general powerlessness, especially in the face of movements like "me too", and opportunistically misdirecting their anger on a relatively quiet, modest street.

These so-called anarchists did not attack real symbols of power such as banks, or even city hall because those institutions are well guarded. Unwilling to risk being caught and identified, they simply ran away from the scene. They chose Locke St. over King William for the same reason: security, in the form of cameras, guards and bouncers and, of course, fewer unlit places to hide. This tells us something about them: they are organized, but indiscriminate and completely unaware that their act of casual violence would only strengthen the community they attacked.

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