No Hate in the Hammer’s Statement on the Mayors Comments Regarding Statues

On April 29, community organizations hosted a press conference at Hamilton City Hall condemning the display of hate symbols and the rising targeted hate crimes in Hamilton. In interviews that took place immediately after the press conference, the mayor made comments to the media that countered the calls to action made by Indigenous communities regarding colonial statues. Instead of supporting the requests for removal of statues and monuments that immortalize and celebrate genocide, the mayor used this opportunity to propose his own personal solution to retain the statues and to add explanatory signage nearby.

Colonization is not a force of the past, but rather a continued system that impacts Indigenous communities today in various ways, including through ongoing discrimination. A March 2021 representative survey in Hamilton focused on the extent and context of discrimination, found that approximately 83% of Indigenous Peoples reported experiencing discrimination in Hamilton in the last three years compared to 48.5% of non-immigrant White respondents[1]. The most common reported bases for discrimination were Indigenous identity (61.6%), ethnicity or culture (32.9%), and race or skin colour (28.8%).

Further, Indigenous peoples have stated that the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald, and more recently that of Queen Victoria at Gore Park, are hurtful and triggering. This would not be altered by the addition of signage around the status.

In this context of high levels of reported discrimination, the City of Hamilton must take concrete steps to support Indigenous communities, and not to further traumatize them. As we continue to reckon with centuries of colonization, it is important that we listen to and honour the voices of Indigenous communities. No Hate in the Hammer stands with Indigenous advocates who are asking that monuments of hate and genocide to be taken down. This request is simple and feasible, and we continue to look to the City of Hamilton and its elected representatives to attend to these community demands.


Statement of Solidarity with the Muslim Community

In light of the recent hate crimes that have escalated within Canada and targeted Muslim-Canadians, No Hate in the Hammer joins others across the country to express our sadness, outrage, and stand in solidarity with Muslim communities to denounce any form of hate, especially Islamophobia. 

In London, Ontario, we grieve the lives of four members of the Afzaal family who were killed in a hate-driven vehicle attack. In Cambridge, we are saddened to think of the vandalization of The Baitul Kareem Mosque in an act of anti-Muslim hate. In our Hamilton community, we, too, are pained when we think of the mother and daughter in the Meadowlands who were victims of an anti-Muslim terror attack. The mother and daughter were called racial slurs and were almost killed by a vehicle.

While conversations denouncing Islamophobia have risen due to the terror attack in London, sadly, we remember that these incidents are not new to Canada as anti-Muslim hate crimes have only increased in the past years and are etched in our memory. We are still mourning over the 2017 murderous attack on the Quebec City Mosque where six Muslim men were fatally killed.

Policies at the federal and provincial levels also further contributed to anti-Muslim hate and discrimination in Canada. Two examples are the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act” and Quebec’s Bill 21. The so-called “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act” contributed to perpetuating gendered stereotypes and Islamophobic sentiments. Quebec’s Bill 21 systemically prohibits public service workers from wearing religious symbols including crucifixes, hijabs, kippahs, or turbans.   

The National Council of Canadian Muslims presented a statement and recommendations (PDF) at the recent National Summit on Islamophobia. This document outlines anti-Muslim hate in Canada and shares 61 policy recommendations to combat it. This is one way we can understand how to directly address this issue.

We stand in solidarity with Muslim communities across Canada and call on leaders to take action to dismantle systems that perpetuate all forms of hate. To do this, we must learn, listen, and acknowledge how prejudice is present in our communities to break these barriers. Members of our communities deserve to live in a hate-free Hamilton where places of worship are respected, and groups of all ethnic backgrounds, religions, or identities can thrive.

In solidarity,

No Hate in the Hammer

Statement of Solidarity Condemning Anti-Asian Racism

Hate against Asian communities is not a new issue globally, in Canada and more specifically in Hamilton. Anti-Asian racism can be traced back to the foundation of Canada from the early discriminatory treatment of Chinese railroad workers, the 1942 internment of Japanese Canadians, efforts to curb Indian immigration and many more… Since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a surge in blatant threats, intimidation and assaults against Asians.

The fatal shooting in Atlanta on March 19th, 2021 that left eight dead, six of them being Asian women who worked in spas, is a devastating outcome. We send our heart-filled condolences to friends and family members of Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue. Advancing Justice-Atlanta said in a statement: “The shootings happened under the trauma of increasing violence against Asian Americans nationwide, fuelled by white supremacy and systemic racism.”

In Canada, Anti-Asian hate has also been on the rise. Sources that track these incidents have reported 959 incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes across Canada during the pandemic. In Vancouver, there was a 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020. And this is not solely a “West coast issue”. Sadly, these incidents also happen within the Hamilton area, although often underreported. This serves as a reminder of the work that is needed to make Hamilton a truly more inclusive city, free of hate. We need to work together to stand up against all forms of discrimination. To do so, we must actively listen to members of this community, learn and take action to fight against hate.

We at NHH want the Asian community to know that we stand with you now and always.

Below is a link with resources and steps that can be taken to fight against Anti-Asian racism in Canada:

Statement in Solidarity on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Discriminatory stereotypes about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Indigenous peoples permeate contemporary society and disproportionately impact the social, economic, educational, and health outcomes of Indigenous men, women, and children.

Today we share words from Indigenous writers that are helping us better understand this injustice and the work we must take on to develop respectful and just relationships between first peoples and Canada. We invite you to share with us what you’ve been learning during National Indigenous History Month, and to share this learning with friends, family, and colleagues.

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Statement in Solidarity with the Black Community

Systemic anti-black racism persists in our society. While Canada was founded on racial injustice, we have a long history of denying racism exists in this country.

Despite human rights being protected by federal, provincial and territorial laws, racist and discriminatory stereotypes about people of African Descent permeate contemporary society and disproportionately impact the social, economic, educational, and health outcomes of Black men, women and children. Whether they are descendants of those who were enslaved or recent immigrants, people of African Descent are united by the shared, lived experience with anti-Black racism.

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