In an act of peaceful protest on Thursday afternoon, over 100 Hamilton activists organized to paint a massive ‘Defund the Police’ message across a sizeable stretch of Main Street directly out front of Hamilton City Hall, just prior to the Hamilton police board’s scheduled meeting.
The message, which was painted in striking yellow across a nearly 200-metre stretch of Main Street, is in response to the considerable call – in Hamilton and beyond – to defund the police; an ongoing call catalyzed by the movements and protests in Canada and the USA against anti-Black racism and police brutality.
A follow-up statement from the City of Hamilton said that they will be removing the paint from the Main Street stretch immediately this afternoon in action they say is out of an “abundance of caution” and in the interest of public safety.
Advocates for defunding the police force argue that by decreasing the annual budget for the Hamilton Police, public monies would be freed up that could instead be invested into a wider and more comprehensive array of community services and public safety initiatives, thereby lessening the burden on the local police force and reallocating some services to more specialized programs.
Recently, Hamilton city councillors Nrinder Nann and Maureen Wilson were the first two councillors to publicly express their support of defunding the Hamilton Police.