Baltimore Catholic Worker Stories Inspire

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By Len Shindel for Baltimore Post-Examiner – “This volume is one of real christian art. And real christian words,” writes David Simon, creator of “The Wire. He adds: “This is the beauty that comes from lives spent in service of real christian ideals in a very real and unchristian place called Baltimore, Maryland.” Like Simon, I was raised in a Jewish household. But, I, too, was deeply moved by Walsh’s and Bickham’s precious stories of urban struggle, published by Apprentice House, the country’s only campus-based, student–staffed book company at Loyola University, Maryland. These narratives, poems and pictures bare the couple’s pious, but irreverent and iconoclastic Catholicism, the joy of their service to the suffering, and their lifelong resistance against the forces of greed and militarism inside Baltimore’s Sowebo (Southwest Baltimore) and far beyond. In the story “Alley of Tears, 2014,” Willa, a former nurse and nun from Chicago, who had just been enjoying time with her three granddaughters, scurries to staunch the bleeding of Oscar Torres, a Mexican immigrant.

Trump’s Executive Orders Spark Baltimore Protest

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By Bill Hughes for Baltimore Post-Examiner – More than 300 gathered Saturday at the Edward J. Garmatz’s Federal Courthouse in Baltimore to protest President Donald J. Trump’s recent torrent of Executive Orders. The building is located at 101 W. Lombard Street in the downtown area, not far from the Inner Harbor. Speaker after speaker roundly denounced Trump for his executive actions concerning a wide array of human rights and economic issues, such as: withdrawing federal funding for sanctuary cities, banning Muslim immigrants, building a Border Wall with Mexico, crippling Obamacare and restarting the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines.

Baltimore Police Agree To Tackle Deep, Systemic Failures

In Baltimore's Sandtown-WInchester, every day is an ongoing Katrina

By Juliet Linderman and Eric Tucker for Associated Press. Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said the agreement will make the city safer for everyone, including officers. “The city and BPD will implement comprehensive reforms to end the legacy of Baltimore’s zero-tolerance policing,” she said. “And in its place, Baltimore is empowering officers to engage in proactive, community-oriented policing.” The Justice Department agreement mandates changes in the most fundamental aspects of police work. Known as a consent decree, it is the culmination of months of negotiations and is meant to correct constitutional violations identified in the report released last year.

Solidarity Protest With NoDAPL In Baltimore Shuts Down Wells Fargo

Credit: City Paper by J.M. Giordano and Tanya Garcia.

By Staff for the City Paper. The group marched to the Wells Fargo Bank building downtown where many gathered outside and some entered the bank chanting, “Protect the water, defund the pipeline.” Eventually, three affixed a chain of bike locks around their neck and sat down and began reading four demands: “1. We demand that Wells Fargo divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline2. We demand that Wells Fargo divest from predatory development and gentrification.3. We ask the people of Baltimore to divest from Wells Fargo.4. We ask the city of Baltimore to respect Indigenous sovereignty by changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and by removing colonialists statues.” Outside, as group held signs that read “No DAPL,” “Big Oil Out Of Native Land,” and “From Standing Rock To Palestine Ethnic Cleansing Is A Crime,” others lead the group in chants, further articulating the point of the protest

Black Man Calls Baltimore Police For Help, Gets Punched In The Face

A screenshot of a news report on the local CBS affiliate shows a photograph of Tawon Boyd.
Screenshot/WJZ CBS Baltimore

By Daniel Politi for Slate – Family members gathered on Friday for a vigil to remember Tawon Boyd, 21, who died in the hospital mere days after an altercation with police. It all began early Sunday morning of last week, when Boyd apparently called 911 requesting an ambulance because he was feeling disoriented, reports the Guardian. The operator even heard Boyd’s girlfriend say in the background that he needed medical attention,notes the Associated Press.

A Call For Equitable Development

Baltimore, one affordable-housing activist noted at a late August City Hall hearing, “should not be in the business of subsidizing affluent enclaves” like the proposed Port Covington project.

By Allie Busching for Inequality – The entire city of Baltimore seemed to be cheering on Michael Phelps as he won his latest set of Olympic medals, continuing his reign as the most decorated Olympian of all time. No one can mistake Baltimore’s pride in our hometown hero. At the entrance to the city on Interstate 95, a giant billboard image of Phelps welcomes one and all. That image is an advertisement for Under Armour, a brand almost as synonymous with Baltimore as our star swimmer. The major difference between the two? These days, Under Armour and its founder Kevin Plank are getting jeers from once loyal fans.

Big Brother Is Secretly Taking Surveillance To A New Level In Baltimore

Analysts in the Baltimore office.
Photographer: Philip Montgomery for Bloomberg Businessweek

By Monte Reel for Bloomberg Bussiness Week – The sky over the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on June 23 was the color of a dull nickel, and a broad deck of lowering clouds threatened rain. A couple dozen people with signs—“Justice 4 Freddie Gray” and “The whole damn system is guilty as hell”—lingered by the corner of the courthouse, watching the network TV crews rehearse their standups. Sheriff’s officers in bulletproof vests clustered around the building’s doors, gripping clubs with both hands.

Heavy-Handed Policing Protested, And On Display, At FOP Conference

Baltimore firefighters cutting metal chains protesters had used to chain themselves to railings during a Maryland Fraternal Order of Police convention in Baltimore. (Fern Shen)

By Fern Shen for Baltimore Brew – Unwarranted arrests of people doing nothing illegal – often after a hot-headed officer escalated a situation – were among the unconstitutional actions documented by the U.S. Justice Department in a scathing report on the Baltimore Police Department released Wednesday. City police made one such arrest, arguably, at a protest yesterday afternoon intended by organizers to call attention to the overly aggressive behavior chronicled in the Justice report.

Look, Black People Aren’t Lying About Police Violence

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Melech Thomas chants during a demonstration outside the State Attorney’s office calling for the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore.

By Julia Craven for The Huffington Post – A damning report from the Justice Department found that the Baltimore Police Department routinely used excessive force, retaliated against citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights and committed other civil rights abuses. Baltimore police officers often stopped, frisked and arrested residents unconstitutionally. The report, formally released on Wednesday, also says officers within the department were purposefully careless in sexual assault cases, used slurs against LGBT people and, in some cases, were told by supervisors to target black residents and “lock up all the black hoodies.”

DOJ Exposes Racist Policing In Baltimore, Major Transformation Needed

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A mural in Baltimore depicts Freddie Gray, who died in custody of Baltimore Police officers following a “rough ride” in a police van.

By Jean Marbella for The Baltimore Sun – Soul searching in Baltimore as Justice Department details racial underpinnings to police problems. One vexing challenge underlies and overrides nearly everything in the Justice Department’s 163-page report on the failings of the Baltimore Police Department: race. Justice officials found that police used excessive force and unlawfully stopped hundreds of thousands of drivers and pedestrians without cause — and that African-Americans bore the brunt of this.

Water Shut Off – A Story Of Control And Profit

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By Arno Agman for Popular Resistance. Baltimore, MD – No, it’s not a line from a B-series Italian mafia movie from the 80s. It’s straight from the entrails of the city of Baltimore. Most people living along the North East corridor don’t really ponder on the necessity of water…until it suddenly stops flowing. Then everything changes. Today started well with an early short trip to the gym. At home, we refilled all 8 five-gallon water bottles at the store in the morning, poured water in the four buckets spread around the house for periodic necessities and various cleaning tasks, installed a cut-out, slow dripped, refillable 3 gallon container above the kitchen sink for our dishes, and finally hung our 5 gallon portable camping shower bag in the bathroom. We were then ready to attack the daily events everyone takes for granted. Drinking, cleaning dishes, going to the bathroom… Showering had now entered the line of a luxury items.

Judge Hands Down Another Acquittal For Officer In Freddie Gray Case

Freddie Gray's death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. (Photo: DC Media Group/flickr/cc)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking officer charged in the death ofFreddie Gray, was on Monday acquitted on all counts. It marks the fourth time prosecutors have failed to secure a conviction in the case, theBaltimore Sun notes, and in turn “is likely to renew calls for Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby to drop the remaining charges[...] including from the union that represents the city’s rank-and-file officers.”

Afromation Protest In Baltimore Against Police Violence

Afromation protest 7-16-16 by Larry Cohen

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The Afromation protest in Baltimore stood up for black life and the importance of black culutre in the face of ongoing killings. To understand the reasons for protests in Baltimore and across the nation, we must look at the “race-based trauma” caused by police killings. As we prepared to march, I was talking with two of our colleagues. They described how it felt to be an African American man and see video of people who look like them being killed by police for no reason. It creates a trauma that requires them to act in order to stop it. The demands of the Afromation protests are reasonable: 1. An all-elected civilain complaint review board to give communities control of the police and self-determination; 2. A ten percent cut in the police budget away from militarization of the police and surveillance of the community with the funds used for community programming.

Tired Of Tax Breaks, Baltimore Activists Disrupt Developer Fete

United Workers protest for Fair Development

By Staff of The Real News Network – This is Taya Graham reporting for the Real News Network here in Baltimore City, Maryland. I’m here at Port Covington, where developers are asking for a historic tax break. But this evening, community concerns intruded. If Baltimore is indeed two cities, one rich and one poor, then nowhere was this divide more evident than at City Garage in Port Covington Tuesday Night. I

Baltimore Police Officer Found Not Guilty In Freddie Gray Killing

Officer Caesar Goodson arrives at the courthouse in Baltimore

By Julia Craven for The Huffington Post – A judge has cleared Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. of all charges in the 2015 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Goodson, 46, drove the van that transported Gray to central booking; Gray later died of injuries sustained while he was in police custody. Goodson was facing the most serious charges of all six officers charged in connection to Gray’s death, including depraved-heart murder, a second-degree charge that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Goodson was also indicted for second-degree assault, misconduct in office, reckless endangerment and three counts of manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.