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.
On Fri Jan 20th, Occupy Baltimore participants finished their week-long Schools Not Jails Occupation at the slated $104 million 120 unit youth jail site in East Baltimore by converging at War Memorial Plaza in front of City Hall for Public Recreation Day. Demonstrators made the plaza a temporary outdoor recreation center to critique the planned privatization of over 18 city recreation centers in 2012.
On Monday, January 16th, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Schools Not Jails, in collaboration with Occupy Baltimore and the Baltimore Algebra Project, began a 5 day occupation at the site of a proposed youth detection center.
Wednesday, Jan.18th, 2012, marked the third day of the five-day "pop-up" occupation: Schools Not Jails. This demonstration strives to bring awareness and to protest the city's proposed youth jail. While the organizers' original gameplan had been to occupy the site of the proposed youth jail 'round the clock, from Monday-Saturday, by Wednesday the strategy had dramatically shifted.
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:
On his 24th birthday, hundreds gathered at Fort Meade to support US Army Pvte. Bradley Manning, who is being accused of “aiding the enemy” and 21 additional offenses for allegedly leaking thousands of classified US government documents. These documents include the infamous Iraq and Afghanistan war logs that were leaked to WikiLeaks in November 2009. Supporters of the Army intelligence specialist came from around the country to stand in solidarity with Manning, demanding his release, as prosecutors presented their case against him.
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 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.
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.