Hate Isn’t A Part Of My Punk Rock.

*NOTE: By my definition of Hamilton Punk, I include those that come in from surrounding municipalities, provinces, and even countries who share the idea of an inclusive scene.

I think Hamilton is a really great place and I love it here.

Part of it is the art. Part of it is the feeling. Part of it is the music.

But the biggest part is the people. I grew up here, and I know that most people in Hamilton are nice. But since I’ve started going to Punk shows, I have witnessed the best in people. Truly, 98% of the people in Punk are the best people you could ever meet.

That’s why I am saddened it when people with extreme, hateful views have to stir the pot and attempt to wreck everyone else’s good time at a show. (Like they did at Doors Pub the other night.) Or even in life.

I will not mention these people much, except to say that they have views that no one should hold. And this group has committed violence time and time again.

The people, music, shows, and venues I love makes EVERYONE feel like they are at home. Not just those that look a certain way.

I believe anybody that wants to have fun at a show should be welcomed. (I was at Slamfest a few weeks ago and there were some new faces. I hope they become regulars.)

ANYBODY who spouts hates for a certain colour, race, gender etc should be tossed out. That kind of hate isn’t a part of Punk Rock.

Hell, it isn’t a part of any music.

An Article On Sexual Harassment.

(* I know a lot of what follows is a lot of people will already know. I’m more writing it for people who don’t know.)

There have times in my life when I haven’t felt my safest. Whether it was because someone said something inappropriate; and did something worse, there have been times I have been frightened out of my mind.

Fortunately, I have never had to go to a hospital or anything. But I have thought over the years ‘What can I do with the things that have happened?’ And so I thought I would write this. I know a lot of seems obvious, but some people don’t know the information.

Here are some things I think EVERYONE should know.

1. Nothing You Did Made It Happen.

It’s not about how you dress. It’s not about how you talk. It’s not even really anything to do with you. People who do things do it for the sense of power.

2. If You Can, Tell.

It would be hard, I know. But whoever did something to you doesn’t deserve to have the community thinking they’re the person they make themselves out to be. And they could hurt someone else. If you can, tell it from the roof-tops. (Proverbially speaking.) Tell everyone you trust to help you.

3. Stick To Your Story.

You know what happened to you. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘Nothing happened’ or ‘Maybe this happened instead.’ Stick to what you remember, and find support. That’s what you need.

4. Know You’re Not Crazy.

You’ll question yourself. You’ll do it again. You won’t want to go anywhere. It’s all normal. If it doesn’t clear up after a long while, than it’s a problem.

5. If You Want, Learn Self-Defense.

There are plenty of classes and videos on how to defend yourself without a weapon. (My favorite is Krav Maga.) Self-defense is totally up to you though.

6. Beware Of Your Surroundings.

I call this just having a good eye. Could you get home if you didn’t have a car? Are there other people around?

7. Let People Know Where You’re Going.

If you expect to be gone a long time, tell someone. Or write a note. Then they’ll be expecting you.

If something were to happen, they would have that note to show as possible missing persons evidence.

8. Nobody, Anywhere, Anytime, Has The Right To Harass You.

Unless you’ve given them permission, no one has the right to touch you. And no one has the right to say degrading things about you.

If they do, and you feel like you can , confront them. In a steady voice, tell them that was unacceptable.