3 Hamilton residents charged following pro-Palestinian protest at defence technology company

Charges are related to actions in November when demonstrations blocked access to L3Harris, which develops surveillance and targeting systems.

Demonstrations took place last November outside L3Harris in Hamilton

a group of people stand along a road
Hamilton police have charged three people following a demonstration at a L3Harris location last year. (Instagram/Hamilton4Palestine)

Three people have been charged in relation to a pro-Palestinian protest held outside a defence technology company's Hamilton location in November.

On Sunday, two of the Hamilton residents were charged with mischief under $5,000 and for covering their faces while committing an indictable offence, Hamilton police said in a news release Monday. They had been arrested and were released Sunday on bail.

A third Hamilton resident was charged with mischief related to interferring with lawful use, enjoyment and operation of property, as well as covering their face. 

The protest took place on Nov. 10 at L3Harris Westcam in Waterdown, Ont., which develops surveillance and targeting systems, including for military drones.

L3Harris did not respond to a request for comment.

About two dozen demonstrators stood on the road, blocking employees from entering the parking lot, according to social media posts by the grassroots organization Hamilton4Palestine. The group also posted photos of red paint thrown at glass doors.

Hamilton4Palestine said its demonstration was in support of Palestinians impacted by Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Israel's bombing campaign and ground invasion has destroyed entire neighbourhoods in northern Gaza and killed over 25,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children, according to the most recent figures from the Hamas-run Gaza health authority.

The attacks began after Hamas, which controls Gaza, launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200, mostly civilians, in southern Israel, according to Israeli authorities. They also took around 240 people hostage.

people stand across road
The blockade was promoted by the grassroots group Hamilton4Palestine. (Instagram/Hamilton4Palestine)

In November, Hamilton4Palestine said it chose the L3Harris location because its technology "is contracted widely by intelligence, military and police forces" including in Israel's air force.

"We demand a ceasefire, and an end to Canada arming Israel," the group said on social media.

L3Harris is an American technology and defence company with multiple locations across Canada. It works alongside Israel Aerospace Industries, L3Harris said in a news release in July. The Israeli company develops "advanced defence and intelligence electronics," according to its website. 

Along with blocking the road, demonstrators scattered debris and burned a steel drum, police said, adding that the police's "swift action" comes after an "extensive investigation."


Samantha Beattie is a reporter for CBC Hamilton. She has also worked for CBC Toronto and as a Senior Reporter at HuffPost Canada. Before that, she dived into local politics as a Toronto Star reporter covering city hall.

With files from Thomson Reuters