For a third year in a row dozens of Baltimore youth, activists, and residents held a rally and march, dubbed "Youth Justice Sunday", to protest the planned construction of a more than $70 million, 120-bed youth prison*. This action comes days after the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution that officially recognizes the first Sunday in April to be "Youth Justice Sunday", so as to:
"Bring attention to the plight of Baltimore City's youth; to advocate for the civil liberties they deserve, and; to celebrate the triumph of spirit of youth who achieve greatness through academic, athletic, social and intellectual perserverance."
In recognition of Black History Month, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), hosted a public debate on the meaning of Black history and Black identity in a “post-racial” moment. The debate was held at the cooperative events venue - 2640, this past Saturday, February 10th.
At 3pm on Monday Jan 16th, 100 Schools Not Jails! demonstrators held a rally outside of the Central Booking detention facility in East Baltimore City, and marched two blocks southeast to a fenced off lot that is the proposed site of a new $100 million youth jail.
On January 16th, Occupy Baltimore and the Baltimore Algebra Project, along with a enthusiastic crowd of supporters and allies, marched on the site of the proposed youth detention center in East Baltimore, and erected a wooden schoolhouse on the site to call attention to spending priorities that favor incarceration instead of education. Indyreader was on the scene to report:
Stand With Us is a new public service announcement that takes aim at violence and discrimination against transgender people. It is the collective work of the Transgender Response Team (TRT), a stakeholder's group convened in Baltimore, Maryland and tasked with reducing HIV and improving wellness in the transgender community. Ending violence and discrimination are paramount to the success of this work. The TRT welcomes new members who share our vision for health, safety, and equality.
The president of the Baltimore AFL-CIO, Ernie Grecco, along with twleve other union leaders wrote a letter to Mayor Rawlings-Blake urging the city to allow for the Occupy Baltimore encampment to continue. This comes just one day after the city declared the encampment illegal, threatening to evict the near one month protest.
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.
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.
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/