Occupy Baltimore at two months, City denies permit request

Occupy Baltimore at two months, City denies permit request

Denial letter page 1
Denial letter page 1

This past week the City of Baltimore denied a permit request submitted by Occupy Baltimore to maintain their now two-month-old encampment at McKeldin Square. The denial was sent by letter from Gregory Bayor, director of the Department of Recreation and Parks, prohibiting the request to remain at the inner harbor site legally through to April 2012.

The rejection cites that the protest may not exceed lasting legally for “more than five days”, that activities at the site may only occur “between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.”, and that public assemblies may not have “more than 150 people”. This comes on the heels of the Occupation’s two-month existence, where city residents have joined a broader movement expressing disillusionment and outrage over political corruption, vast economic disparity and an overall erosion of democratic participation in the country.

The news also comes as other Occupations around the country have been denied to remain in their spaces and are suffering violent evictions. Last night over 1,000 riot police forcibly removed citizens at Occupy L.A. and in Philadelphia independent journalists and activists were trampled by police on horseback as they violently evicted that encampment.

For many the occupation in Baltimore has provided a space for democratic participation where city residents are challenging local systemic issues. Some of these issues include unfair development, economic human rights, housing, and funding for prisons instead of education

Although Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been quoted stating that the city will deal with the Occupation “at a time of our choosing”, it still remains unclear when or if that will occur.

Clayton Conn is a photo/ multimedia freelance journalist, English to Spanish interpreter/ translator and student of Linguistics and Anthropology. His work primairly focuses on immigration, social movements, and Latin American issues. He splits his time between Mexico City, Mexico and Baltimore, United States.

To contact: clayton@indyreader.org

Go to claytonconnmedia.com or claytontconn.blogspot.com to see other personal and independent journalistic work.