Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama attends abolish the police rally in Toronto

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It’s not the first time the Ontario NDP MPP has stirred controversy with her associations. Pictured is a Twitter post from Jama at the June 25 event. Ontario’s Solicitor General said Jama’s attendance at the march is an example of the Ontario NDP showing their “true colours.” Photo credit: Twitter/Sarah Jama


Hamilton Centre MPP Sarah Jama has put herself at the centre of yet another controversy for attending an abolish the police, so-called “anti-fascist” Pride march in Toronto organized by the “No Pride in Policing Coalition.”

The “No Pride in Policing Coalition” is self-described as “a group of queer and trans people focused on defunding and abolishing the police.” Jama attended the rally on Sunday, June 25.

In addition to attending the march, Jama promoted the event multiple times and posted clips and photos of the event on her official MPP Twitter account.

A large banner held by those leading the march read “No justice, no peace, abolish the police.”

Chants at the rally included “defund, disarm, dismantle, abolish [the police].”

The “No Pride in Policing” website says that the event was to bring attention to “continuing racist and colonialist police violence and the right-wing and fascists attacking drag queens, trans, queer, Black and Indigenous people.”

The march was also in support of 25 demands posted on the group’s website, including:

  • Abolishing the RCMP
  • “Support for the Palestinian Struggle Against Israeli Apartheid and Settler Colonialism. Support the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Defend Palestine defenders from attacks by pro-Israel lobby groups, universities, and school boards.”
  • Immediately reinstating masking mandates in all indoor locations and public transit
  • Abolishing all police and all forms of “carceral injustice”

The No Pride in Policing Coalition’s poster for last month’s rally.

Ontario’s Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, the provincial minister in charge of law enforcement, told The Hamilton Independent that Jama’s attendance at the march is an example of the Ontario NDP showing their “true colours.”

He added that he and his government “condemn in the strongest terms the NDP’s calls to defund and abolish the police, and their continued embrace of rampant antisemitism. [Ontario NDP Leader] Marit Stiles must be clear: Is the Ontario NDP’s official policy to abolish the police? How much more antisemitism will she continue to tolerate within her party?”

Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Human Rights group B’nai B’rith Canada, commented on Jama’s attendance at the march in an email to The Hamilton Independent.

“Sarah Jama is a radical who continues to take positions that are contrary to the aims of her party, the legislature as a whole, and the sanctity and security of her constituents. She continues to unnecessarily conflate domestic issues with those of Israel/Palestine,” said Mostyn.

B’nai B’rith Canada previously called on the Ontario NDP to withdraw Jama’s candidacy for her association with controversial anti-Israel groups and her involvement in “radical” anti-Israel events. 

The Ontario NDP did not oblige and allowed Jama to run under their party banner. Jama was elected to the Ontario Legislature as the representative for the riding of Hamilton Centre on March 16, 2023, with 54 per cent of the vote. 

The riding was previously held by Andrea Horwath, who resigned to run for Mayor of Hamilton.

Hamilton Centre is one of the strongest NDP ridings in Ontario and Jama will likely be electorally successful as long as the party allows her to run under their banner.

Mostyn added that Jama’s participation in the Toronto march “was distasteful, to put it mildly, and unbecoming of anyone elected to political office.”

Co-Pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Hamilton Father Jarek Pachocki, who is rather active on social media, also commented on Jama’s recent activity. 

Replying to Jama’s photos from the “No Pride in Policing” march, Pachocki tweeted, “While the Hamilton Centre politician/activist publicly supports a group ‘focused on defunding and abolishing the police’ let’s see what an amazing service Hamilton Police actually do.”

Pachocki then shared a link to a Hamilton Police video about the Rapid Intervention Support Team (RIST) that helps those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues.

Pachocki’s St. Patrick’s Church runs the “De Mazenod Door” program, providing breakfast and lunch to nearly 500 people a day.

This is not the first time that MPP Jama’s words and actions have made headlines. MPP Jama came under fire in May for a tweet calling a convicted terrorist and member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad a “martyr of freedom.”

Leading up to her election she was also criticized for a series of videos and events she attended that appeared to endorse violent anti-Israel uprisings. She was accused of anti-Semitism.

A number of other videos resurfaced at that time showing Jama supporting abolishing the police and making other accusations such as saying that “Hamilton police protect Naziism” and “target Blacks, Muslims, and Palestinians.”

The Hamilton Independent contacted the Ontario NDP and their leader Marit Stiles for comment on this story but did not receive a response.

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