Threats made to Hamilton pro-diversity group over response to PPC event
PLEASE NOTE: This story contains explicit language.
The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) and one of its executive members have received hate-laced threats over remarks made in news coverage of a PPC event last month.
The first threat came in an email addressed to HCCI and Kojo Damptey, HCCI’s interim executive director, threatens a multimillion-dollar lawsuit if they “ever interfere with peoples’ right to assembly and free speech again,” in reference to protests staged outside the event at Mohawk College at which PPC leader Maxime Bernier appeared.
The email’s author, who did not identify themselves, claims to be angered by comments Damptey made in media coverage of the event.
In the coverage, Damptey said the focus on an incident in which an elderly couple were confronted by alleged Antifa protestors who screamed ‘Nazi’ in their faces was a “distraction” from the reason why the protest was taking place.
“If they (PPC) weren’t allowed to speak at Mohawk, that wouldn’t have happened,” he said in the CBC story from Sept. 30. “I think people should be focused on the reason why residents need to come out.”
The email focuses on this incident in particular and points out that the couple’s generation is likely the one who defeated the Nazis “otherwise you’d be under Nazi German rule now, you stupid idiots.”
“Who do you think you are?!! To say they shouldn’t be allowed to meet there,” the email reads. “You came from Ghana, a s***hole overpopulated nation, and you are going to tell Canadians how we are going to live….?”
The writer repeatedly refers to Canadians’ right to legal assembly and that any attempts to interfere will result in an example being made of Damptey in a court of law or “we will f***ing come down to your office and we will discuss it in person you f***ing know it all pieces of s***.”
Email Threat 2 received pic.twitter.com/UuCAhJopju— HCCI (@HCCI1) October 9, 2019
The second threat referred to the same incident and media coverage and claimed to come from a “moderate liberal” who said Damptey “deserved to be attacked” and called him a “s***stain within our society.”
Damptey spoke with Inthehammer Thursday and said the emails have been reported to Hamilton Police.
Police confirmed that they were looking into the emails and said the case has been forwarded to HPS’s hate crime investigator for follow up.
On Wednesday, HCCI announced a plan to address hate and racism in Hamilton. To this end, the city will be hosting an anti-racism event in February, as well as researching the need for and feasibility of an online hate-reporting system.
“These issues become a public safety issue,” Damptey said, saying that people can become a target in their place of work or at home. “The current laws under the Criminal Code are insufficient [to protect people].”
Following the federal election, HCCI plans to engage MPs to look at legislative options to address the increasing number of hate crimes.
The city and the Hamilton Anti-Racism Resource Centre is planning a community consultation event later this month, and this event, Damptey told Inthehammer, is a “good step” but “more can be done.”