Tensions simmer in Hamilton LGBTQ community after Pride festival violence

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07/13/2019

The groups stand separated by temporary metal fencing and a line of police officers. On one side, Canadian flags and yellow vests. The other, rainbow flags and cardboard signs decrying hate. This has become a regular scene in downtown Hamilton since violence broke out at the city’s Pride festival last month. The clash at Pride and the arrest and subsequent detention of a transgender activist has inflamed tensions between the LGBTQ community, police and municipal officials, who are trying to manage weekly protests. On Friday, activists set up an encampment outside City Hall and called for the release of the person detained. A rally in support of the LGBTQ community is planned for Saturday. The conflict ignited on June 15, when a religious group and far-right demonstrators clashed with Pride festival attendees. Some of the protesters are part of a group that have been demonstrating weekly since the beginning of the year in front of Hamilton’s City Hall against what they see as mass immigration and a federal carbon tax.

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