Minutes of First Annual General Meeting

  Wednesday January 29th, 2003

 

Annual General Meeting

Community Coalition Against Racism

 

Chairperson Ken Stone called the meeting to order and outlined the very full agenda.

 

In attendance:

 

Regrets:

Maria Rosa Ramirez

Peter Leibovitch

 

Notice was drawn to the fact that Room 110 at Hamilton City Hall was secured for the meeting with the kind assistance of Councillor Andrea Horwath.

 

1)    Hate crimes in Hamilton

Ken introduces the hate crime issues outlined on the agenda.

a.      Introduction of the police officers

                                                               i.      Sandra Wilson – Community Relations Co-ordinator

                                                             ii.      Superintendent Ken Leendertse – Investigative Services Division

                                                            iii.      Sergeant Steve Hahn – Intelligence, Hate Crime Unit

                                                           iv.      Det. Michael Webber – Professional Standards Branch

 

ü      Superintendent Ken Leendertse spoke about the Hindu Temple. He briefly explained the situation at hand and that this case will be “re-looked.” He assured everyone that even though charges were withdrawn, they can be relaid.

§         This case has been reassigned to the major crime branch.

§         Witness will be re-interviewed (Case is built on circumstantial evidence.)

§         They are committed to solving the case!

 

Ken Leendertse also spoke about the native person who was beaten up at the Corktown Tavern. No one has been charged with this offence, but the investigation is still underway.

 

ü      Sergeant Steve Hahn presented the statistics for hate crimes in 2001-2002.

§         91 reports

§         55 of the 91 were reported after September 11th, 2001

§          

Explained that schools have been made aware of hate crimes and must report them to the police, and if possible, photograph the scene.

 

ü      Sandra Wilson went into detail about how we should educate the community in how to a) identify a hate crime, b) understanding it, c) how to report them.

·        “Not a one shot thing!”

 

ü      Det. Michael Webber discussed how to report a complaint about a police officer.

§         Under the Police Services Act, anyone can report an officer who has been acting inappropriately on duty.

§         There are many options available to report if need be.

 

If you see a hate crime, you automatically become a witness. You must contact the police. A uniformed officer must respond.

 

 

 

ü      Executive director of SISO, explained SISO and how the visual minority persons are less likely to report a hate crime. Typically they are afraid and don’t want to start any sort of conflict.

ü      Saleha Khan expanded on what SISO was.

o       Gateway to the community

o       Funded by- Department of Canadian Heritage

o       They are trying to create a link between SISO and the Hamilton Police, social services and any other organization to help immigrants who come to the city.

o       Working on helping people recognizing hate crimes in terms of identifying them and reporting them.

o       6 out of 10 hate crimes go unreported.

o       In hopes of presenting information seminars (S.Wilson spoke about it as well)

o       Incident Reports and available through SISO, which are kept confidential!

 

a) MOTION:  that the CCAR Executive be authorized to solicit funding for several $1000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons committing hate crimes in Hamilton

 

 Moved: Fred Loft

Seconded: Geoff Small

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

b) MOTION: That the CCAR Executive be authorized to try to hold a "Kaffiyeh Day" in Hamilton.

 

moved: Adam Khan

seconded: Khawla Ibrahim

CARRIED (2 people opposed)

 

The Chairperson repeated that the word must get out that each and every hate crime in Hamilton must be reported. Only one in ten is currently reported. If hate crimes go unreported, politicians will claim that there is no significant hate crime problem in Hamilton. In that case, no resources will be allocated by the city, the boards of education, and the police to deal with hate crimes and racism in general. REPORT THEM! Call 911!

 

2)      Non-Ebola Scare

The Chairperson gave some historical background about the issue and the violation of doctor/patient confidentiality.

ü      Presentation by Charles Adeyanju, PhD student, Sociology, at McMaster University.

§         Charles is writing his PhD thesis explaining his findings

§         Concluded that so far the whole scare was racist!

§         Doing a comparative analysis.

§          

Contact: Charles Adeyanju 905-522-0036

 

c) MOTION: That the CCAR executive be authorized to solicit funding to turn the research into a book.

moved: Richard McKinnon (from the Hamilton & District Labour Council)

seconded: Fred Loft (CUPE, native organizations)

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

3)    Mission Statement

 

"CCAR is a grassroots organization that seeks to mobilize the broadest possible spectrum of Hamiltonians against racial and religious discrimination. The Coalition utilizes both proactive and reactive measures to promote racial equality and religious acceptance in the Hamilton community."

 

MOTION: That CCAR adopts this mission statement.

 

moved: Fred Loft

seconded: Carmeta Gentles (Rob Gentles Action Committee and CCAR Executive)

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

4)    CCAR's proposal on special council seats

 

MOTION: That CCAR adopts as its official policy that Hamilton City Council establish three additional city council seats for a period of nine years (three municipal elections) reserved for visible minorities, native persons, and people with disabilities.

 

moved: Fred Loft

seconded: Richard Mckinnon

CARRIED

 

Number 5 from the agenda was skipped

Concerning: CCAR and the proposed 2003 city budget

 

6)    CCAR and anti-war activities

 

a) MOTION: That CCAR continue to be part of the November 16 Coalition and to take part in activities to try to prevent Canada's participation in a full-scale war against Iraq because such a war will cause a dramatic increase in hate crimes, racial profiling, and harassment of our Arab and Muslim neighbours in Hamilton.

 

Daniel                      moved an amendment that the word “Muslim” be taken out of the 6a) paragraph. The amendment, which was duly seconded, was defeated.

 

moved: Adam Khan (CCAR Executive)

seconded: Christophe Muhigira

CARRIED (two opposed)

 

b) MOTION: That CCAR do everything in its power to prevent the internment of Arabs and Muslims in Canada in the context of the so-called "war on terrorism" so that we do not perpetrate another shameful crime in our history like the internment of the Japanese during WW2.

moved: Richard McKinnon

seconded: Nedal Haddad

CARRIED

 

7)    Racial Profiling

 

a) MOTION: That CCAR ask the Hamilton Police Services to retain an independent researcher to sift through the Hamilton data of the same kind used by the Toronto Star in publishing its series on racial profiling in the Toronto Police services.

 

*Failing the above, CCAR will try to find an independent researcher to sift through the findings.*

 

moved: Faisal  Baksh

seconded: Nedal Haddad

CARRIED

 

b) MOTION: That CCAR opposes the installation of police surveillance cameras in public areas of the downtown core.

Amendment (agreeable to mover and seconder) : Problems of the downtown core should not be addressed through the use of surveillance cameras, but through social change in accordance with Hamilton City Council’s document “Social Vision…”.

 

moved: Yasmeen Mirza

seconded: Fred Loft

CARRIED

 

c) MOTION: that CCAR make its view known to the federal and provincial governments that racial profiling is nothing but officially-sponsored racism against segments of our people and is a violation of the law as set out in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

moved: Yasmeen Mirza

seconded: Madina Wasuge (SISO)

CARRIED

 

Number 8 from the agenda was skipped

Concerning: March 21- the International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

 

9)    Election of the New CCAR Executive

§        The new CCAR executive is:

Chairperson - Ken Stone; Vice-Chair - Bernard Parsons; Treasurer- Christophe Muhigira; Members at large - Maria Rosa Ramirez, Carmeta Gentles, Khawla Ibrahim, Adam Khan.

 

 

 

 

 

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