on December 8, 2016 by test_editor in Archive_2016, December, Print Articles, WEB-EXTRA content, Comments Off on December 8, 2016: Letter to the Editor: Not My Ottawa;

December 8, 2016: Letter to the Editor: Not My Ottawa;

December 8, 2016: Letter to the Editor: Not My Ottawa;

By Cheryl Parrott.

After a week of concentrated hateful attacks against 3 Synagogues, a Mosque and Parkdale United Church, the community came together in 3 events to prove these hateful sentiments are not shared.

On November 19th Machzikei Hadas Synagogue held a multi-faith celebration; on November 20th Councillor Jeff Leiper joined with other Councillors to organize a Solidarity March from Island Park Drive, down Wellington Street West to Plant Recreation Centre; on November 25th Crime Prevention Ottawa organized a Speakers Series event entitled “Let’s Prevent Hate Crimes”.

Some of the key points made during this week of reaction to the hate attacks:

  • Hate speech de-legitimizes the recipients in the eyes of the majority. It is denying the recipient the same rights we enjoy. The impact is far reaching! Not just to the individual but also the entire community.
  • Inaction and indifference iare the same as coming down on the side of the accuser. We must all stand up against hateful acts.
  • If unchecked it can escalate. Crimes against humanity and genocide started with hate speech.
  • The myth that “it is my right to Free Speech” does not trump someone’s right to safety.
  • After the American election there has been an increase in hate crimes. There’s a feeling that permission has been given to spread hatred about groups who are not the majority.
  • It is estimated that two-thirds (2/3) of hate crimes go unreported.

It is up to all of us to stand up against hatred every day and be pro-active rather than reactive after something has happened. It is really important to report hate crimes to police.

{Ed: if you or your property is subject to hate vandalism, contact the Ottawa Police Service Hate Crimes unit.

Here is the OPS view on hate graffiti;

“What about graffiti?

Motivated graffiti can be considered a hate crime if it is:

  • found in or near a religious institution
  • or an affiliated community recreation area;
  • or on commercial property that is affiliated with a community group;
  • or on personal property.

Find out about our Graffiti Management Project.

If the graffiti you are inquiring about does not meet the above-mentioned criteria, you may contact the Graffiti Management Program with the City of Ottawa to have it reported or removed.

If the graffiti is found on a Bell pay phone, (this is not City property), you may call 1-800-268-5933 to report it. Bell will require the 10-digit phone number associated with that pay phone, which is marked on each individual pay phone.

To report hate crime graffiti as it pertains to the above-mentioned criteria, you may contact the Ottawa Police Call Centre at 613-236-1222 ext 7300.“]

[Ed: For regular graffiti the on-line reporting tool is available ( discussed in Cst. Neilly’s September article ) and there is the Graffiti Management Page on the OPS website (https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/safety-and-crime-prevention/graffiti-management-program.asp ) .

Additional groups that should be informed of hate graffiti may include; neighbourhood watch captain for your area, your BIA (for defaced businesses), your community association’s security committee, your ethnic/native/religious/group association that tracks hate statistics. Beyond that after conferring with the former parties, consider contacting the local news organizations (community paper, daily city-wide newspaper, radio and TV) as appropriate. Hate crimes should not be allowed the benefit of shadow, but need to be exposed in ways to not encourage more.]


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