Organizers arrived at 600 East Monument this morning to set up for breakfast–carting pots of coffee, and the makings of some really excellent oatmeal–to find a strong presence from the Baltimore City Police Department, and the State Police. After taking video of four organizers unloading cars and creating a makeshift lean-to from a tarp tied between two trees to provide shelter from the rain, a group of officers approached the organizers and insisted that they were “not allowed to be there,” despite having been told yesterday by the Department of Public Safety that it was understood that a full program of events was planned for the site, and that as long as those events were not actually inside the fence around the youth jail site, there would not be any problems.
Officers refused to allow the organizers to serve food or have any sort of shelter against the rain, and threatened arrest. Though we stalled as long as possible, we were outnumbered 4-1, and we were forced to leave the site or take arrest.
We WILL continue with the program of scheduled events every evening this week! Tonight, meet at the site at 6PM for a delicious dinner and a teach-in on youth and the prison-industrial complex with members of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. Call City Hall during the day today and implore the mayor’s office to allow the events to go on, and ask that organizers be able to provide shelter from the rain! Here are the relevant numbers:
Be sure to tell Carl Stokes that we would love to see him down at the site any evening this week!