June 4/05

HAMILTON ROCK AGAINST RACISM SHOW CANCELLED BY POLICE

A message from (The booker at The Underground where the show was suppossed to take place):

Chalk a point up for the Racists.

And give a strongly enforced 'assist' to the Hamilton police in spooking the owners of the Underground.

It seems some police "intelligence" was gained, into thinking that a serious/violent situation was likely to arise on Saturday at this show. The police called to inform the Underground owners of this 'situation' and encouraged that they either cancel the show, or at the very least conveniently purchase some off-duty police officers to keep the show 'secure'.

The owners were willing to do as the police suggested and purchase the services of these officers (looking first to arrange additional security, a cancellation being the last resort), but it turns out the officers are just not available (I don't know why that is). As a result, the serious tone and concern that the police has communicated has caused the owners of the club to be uncomfortable with the show happening. Their thinking is, they can't risk the potential (whether it be small or large) problems, nor be responsible for hosting an event that could potentially get people seriously hurt.

Whether people were going to get hurt or not can't be said for sure (who can tell the future?), but the club does feel the risk is too high to carry out this show based on the "intelligence" from the police.

This seriously blows. This show WILL get re-organized, but not at the Underground. When and where TBA.

I as promoter of the Underground (as well as the owners) are sincerely sorry that those passionate for this cause, those directly and indirectly involved in this show have been completely inconvenienced and dis-advantaged by these unfortunate developments.

I can't blame the owners. Their is a relative risk here. If their concerns turned out to be valid, the club could face way more serious repercussions than they will face from canceling the show. I'm hoping everyone can respect that.

My limited experience in this scene was apparent at the beginning of this event's booking, but I can say for sure that my experience and knowledge has surely been heightened now as far as knowing where the city of Hamilton, the citizens of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Police stand on the issue.

Stay tuned for a re-booking somewhere. That's for certain.

==

A message from Hamilton Rock Against Racism:

HAMILTON POLICE ACCOMPLISH WHAT NAZIS COULDN’T!

“Thanks Hamilton Police,” – Southern Ontario Skins

Shocked but not surprised.

Bloody but unbowed.

As the organizers of Hamilton Rock Against Racism we wish to confirm that the inaugural Hamilton Rock Against Racism planned for Saturday June 04 at the Underground, and featuring premiere street punk bands such as The Fallout and local upstarts Non-Passive Resistance, has been cancelled. We were informed of the decision of the Underground ownership last night (June 02) by the Underground management.

Needless to say we’re disappointed. The club informed us that Det. Steve Hahn of the Hamilton Police Hate Crimes Unit had approached both club management and ultimately the owners, scaring them with perceived threats of violence from the far-right.

The cops accomplished what the Nazis couldn’t.

. . .At least for now.

We came together exactly because neo-nazis and organized expressions of racism threaten our scenes. Their presence in our events, in our clubs, and on our streets misrepresent our rebel music to the world.

Can’t stop! Won’t stop!

Join us in making Hamilton a no-go zone for fascists! Look for the Hamilton Rock Against Racism label as we plan other events in the weeks and months ahead. Coming to a venue near you.

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who planned to come out – and there were many of you! – and to the bands: Non-Passive Resistance, The Fallout, the Rotten, the Final Four.

Love Music! Hate Racism!

Hamilton Rock Against Racism

==

An article appearing in The Hamilton Spectator:

Anti-Racism Show Cancelled As Cops Warn Of Neo-Nazi risk
Hamilton Spectator, June 4, 2005

An anti-racism music concert scheduled for tonight was cancelled after police contacted a downtown Hamilton club to warn of a potential conflict with neo-nazi protestors.

Detective Steve Hahn of Hamilton's hate crime unit confirmed contacting the Underground and "having a converstation" with an owner, but would not reveal details of the call.

Club co-owner Laura Holbrook said yesterday Hahn had phoned her husband Steven on Thursday to inform him a possible threat posed by right-wing skinheads attending the Hamilton Rock Against Racism show.

He said she did not know details of the threat, but was concerned enough to cancel the concert.

"It's unfortunate, but we had to make that decision," she said. "It's not worth the risk. The first priority is the safety of our customers."

Holbrook said police had suggested it would be good to have off-duty officers on hand, but there were none available.

She said she would have cancelled the concert even if extra police had been available.
Holbrook insisted she had no problem with the nature of Saturday's planned anti-racism concert.

"These are not aggressive people, they're just trying to tout a good cause."

An organizer of the concert, who did not want to be identified, described the cancellation as dissapointing, but insisted they were planning other shows.

He said he was afraid the cancellation would be interpreted by neo-nazis as a victory.

"There's definitely a sharp divide between left-wing punks and racist skinheads," he said, adding the show was organized in response to a recent surge of neo-Nazi harassment within Hamilton's punk music scene.

A May 12th positing of a white pride Internet message board asked people to come out to protest the anti-racist concert at Catherine and King William streets.

The Hamilton concert was modeled after the similarly named Rock Against Racism concerts.

They began in England in the 1970's and have since spread across Europe and North America.

==

The show was re-scheduled for Aug 20 @ The Corktown and went off without a hitch. Not a single bonehead showed up. Great turn out and lots of fun had by all.

 

 


Home | About | News | Shows | Contact | Audio | Lyrics | Pics | Merch | Links | Guestbook
 
Home About News Shows Contact Audio Lyrics Pics Merch Links Guestbook