Video: Participants attacked during anti-violence march in Hamilton


Published September 22, 2023 at 2:44 pm

attack march hamilton

Anti-violence march participants were unexpectedly attacked in Hamilton.

The world-wide Take Back The Night march aims end sexual, relationship, and domestic violence in all forms. SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area) organizes the march annually for woman-identified participants in Hamilton.

But last night’s march was met with violence as seen in a video posted online today (Sept. 22) by participant Jelena Vermilion.

“I was attacked at the @SACHAhamont Take Back The Night march tonight…” Vermilion wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“The man goes directly for our sex work banner, rips it out of the hands of demonstrators, and then assaults me and drags me across the asphalt. At a rally to stand against sexual violence, shamelessly, in front of ~450 witnesses.”

The video shows what Vermilion describes.

As the march walked past FirstOntario Concert Hall in downtown Hamilton, a man runs up to the banner held by rally participants and rips it out of their hands. He then walks off with the banner before throwing it to the ground a short distance away.

Vermilion grabs the banner from the street but the man decides to take it back. A struggle ensues, and Vermilion falls to the ground. The man pulls her along the road before dropping the banner and walking off.

The video ends with a large group of rally participants walking toward the man.

Vermilion thanked to SACHA for their support and said she followed the man until he was arrested by Hamilton Police officers.

Hamilton Police and SACHA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from intheHammer.

But many people spoke out against the attack.

“What a shameful and disgusting act of violence. I am so sorry this happened to you,” one person wrote on X.

“An act of violence & misogynistic hate out in the open in downtown Hamilton, during a historic annual march against sexual violence against women & gender-expansive people… the work is more urgent than ever. So sorry this happened,” another wrote.

In a later post, Vermilion said she is feeling “sore and achey” and was saddened by the attack.

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