American Autumn: Occupations in Baltimore and Beyond

The Baltimore City Police are having a good laugh right now.  The officers in the yellow vests, who loiter around the occupation site have reported back, or will reportback soon, that we’ve played right into their hands.  We’re not planning any civil disobedience, we’re not going to block tomorrow’s traffic with a march, and we’re not even going to disturb the night with a noisy dance party.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has set fire to Manhattan, the central hub of the financial institutions responsible for the 2008 economic calamity and its vicious aftermath. Four days after the “Battle of Brooklyn Bridge” when 700 people were arrested en masse by the NYPD, “an estimated 15,000 protesters brought Lower Manhattan to a standstill” on Wednesday, the Guardian (UK) reported. Across the country, others are striking matches, with hopes of engulfing the poles of corporate dominance in flames.

 

In Baltimore, a spark has been lit. After several “general assembly” meetings held at 2640, the participatory body decided to “occupy” McKeldin Square, a concrete slab at the corner of the city's monument to economic inequality, the Inner Harbor.

Several dozen people participated in an economic crisis teach-in at McKeldin Park, the site of Occupy Baltimore.

Activist and academic, Lester Spence, spoke on the relationship of neoliberalism and the black community, and Joel Andreas spoke on the economy, militarism and imperialism.

10/5/11: Day 2 / Day 19

Well, this is it.  Here I sit in a folding chair, on my laptop, enjoying wifi and dessert.  No, I’m not in my kitchen; I’m occupying Baltimore.

There are a few things wrong with this picture.  And when I say “wrong,” I don’t mean “bad,” but, “looks more like Friday at Oberlin College than political protest.”  

Watch second-by-second minute-by-minute on-the-ground livestreaming video of Occupy Baltimore here at: indyreader.org!

 

As the Occupy Everything Movement kicks-off in cities nationwide, many queers have been wondering: what potential is there for queers to organize around issues and realities that influence us directly within the movement.

It's a beautiful night in the Inner Harbor, for the first time in a long while.  As I type this---under a freshly hung cardboard sign declaring this folding card table the beginnings of a media center, people are making the square their own.  A precocious seven year old, doing what has to be the best homework assignment ever, wandered up to ask me what I was doing here, and I explained, as best I could, what was going on, why we were unhappy, and what we wanted to do about it.  If you haven't already done so, try explaining the crisis to a seven year old; it's probably the best thing you might do to sharpen up your analysis.

“Banks Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out!” chanted the crowd.  

The growing nationwide “Occupy” movement may be coming to Baltimore.  More than two hundred activists gathered at St. Johns Church in Charles Village Sunday night for more than three hours, planning a response to calls for public action by their counterparts in New York.  
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