Culture

On Oct. 4, 2011, a rally was held in front of the Baltimore City Jail, in Baltimore, MD. Its purpose was to gain public support to stop the state of Maryland from building a new jail for youthful offenders of the law at a cost to the taxpayers of an estimated $104 million. Some of the activists in attendance shared their views with me To learn more, go to: http://stopbaltimoreyouthjail.com/

 

 

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.”  

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.

We the undersigned women of African descent and anti-violence advocates, activists, scholars, organizational and spiritual leaders wish to address the SlutWalk. First, we commend the organizers on their bold and vast mobilization to end the shaming and blaming of sexual assault victims for violence committed against them by other members of society.

Recently, Stonewall Democrats of Central Maryland announced its dissolution.  Over the several years of its existence, Stonewall worked to endorse candidates that supported a “LGBT Agenda.”  Like many LGBT political organizations, Stonewall apparently struggled to reconcile a Gay Identity with other interests important to individual gays and lesbians.  What Stonewall wanted to be may never have been fully realized, but I commend the volunteers who labored for the organization, including President Alice Kennedy.

On a gloomy and drizzly Saturday afternoon, 250 people gathered in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to demand respect for women’s bodies, regardless of their job, location, or attire.The diverse crowd mostly carried placards demanding an end to rape and assault. Many dressed scantily to reinforce the point that short skirts and exposed flesh does not imply consent.  Other placards demanded an end to street harassment and brought up links with local labor issues and the right to have an abortion.

In response to a piece published last week in the Baltimore City Paper about a write-in category for Best of Baltimore, I sent the following letter to the editor.

- Shawna Potter, director of Hollaback Bmore!

To whom it may concern,

“What do we want?”  

“RESPECT!”  

“When do we want it?”  

As the crowd marching down The Block screamed “NOW!”, we drowned out the traffic and the passers-by, who didn’t seem to realize that their slurs and catcalls were the reason we had all come out in the chilly rain.  The name of the march, that stormed through Baltimore, on Saturday, September 17, was: SlutWalk.  Some of us had never been called “sluts” before, some of us were used to it.  And for most of us, that was beside the point.

Live updates all weekend long at 2011 Radical Bookfair!

Local queer activist,and Baltimore Indypendent Reader correspondent, Dulcey Lewis, presented her lecture: The Lesbian Avengers w/ Dulcey Lewis - to a packed house, at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, on Friday, September 9th, 2011.

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