Urbanism

Originally published at Free Speech Radio News

Occupy encampments continue across the country, including in Baltimore, where over the weekend Pan-African theorist Max Rameau gave a teach-in and addressed the General Assembly. Rameau is an organizer with the Take Back the Land movement, which uses direct action to push for community control over land.

 

On the northwest corner of The Fallsway and Centre Street in downtown Baltimore City, there used to sit an inconspicuous brick warehouse that housed offices for the City's Department of Transportation. Earlier this year, however, a new banner appeared above one of the corrugated metal garage doors that proclaimed, “Future Home of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Housing and Resource Center.” The banner included a computer-generated image of a shiny new building overlooking The Fallsway on an idyllic sunny day. This old warehouse would be transformed into a dedicated year-round 24-hour homeless shelter, meant to replace the old derelict shelter on Guilford Avenue.

Indyreader caught up with community activist, Reverend Heber Brown, at the end of the Stop the Youth Jail march this last Tuesday. He spoke on some of Baltimore's fundamental issues that the majority of the city's population faces, as well as positives and potential challenges that the growing Occupation Movement may have within the city. 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago for all intents and purposes, Baltimoreans re-elected incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake after a fierce campaign that saw each candidate tackle the central questions of unemployment, poverty, and crime. The construction of a Baltimore Youth Prison played a central role, as candidates trenchantly debated whether continually incarcerating Baltimore youth was the best use of hard earned tax dollars.

Ok. Except for the election, everything I said above was alternative history.

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.

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.

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/

 

 

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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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.

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