Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Hamilton councilors to ban Nazi swastikas, Confederate flags from city property


Hamilton hate racism xenophobia anti-semitism crime violence vandalism

Hamilton city councilors unanimously voted to ban hate symbols such as the Nazi swastika or the Confederate flag from city property.

They also voted on Monday during a general issues committee meeting to amend a by-law so city officials do not need any notice to remove the symbols or flags.

While a city report classifies the Confederate flag and Nazi swastika as hate symbols, it doesn't list other symbols.

City spokesperson Sarah Ghandour wrote in an email other examples of hate symbols are "currently not well-defined within the criminal code."

Staff will be conducting further research as the by-law is developed to clarify the definition of a hate symbol, she said. "At the current time, the swastika and Confederate flag are the most commonly identifiable symbols of hate toward groups."

The Confederate flag was flown during the American Civil War by the secessionist states, notoriously by General Robert E. Lee's army that fought to preserve slavery. The symbol was later resurrected during the civil rights movement by those opposed to equal rights for Black people, and has since been associated with white supremacist groups.

Kojo Damptey, executive director of Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, told CBC Hamilton he isn't aware of the city consulting community groups in its process to label what symbols are hateful, but banning them is a step forward.

Still, he hopes the city continues to work to define more symbols.  (more...)

Hamilton councilors to ban Nazi swastikas, Confederate flags from city property


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