Late last night, Kevin Rector of The Baltimore Sun reported that a group of “about 50 mostly white protesters stood on a corner in Hampden on Saturday just as the citywide 10 p.m. curfew went into effect.” The protesters said they were there because “they knew they’d be treated differently than black protesters in poorer parts of the city.” Rector said that the organizers of the event–“which took place at the corner of 33rd Street and Keswick Road and was promoted on social media under the hashtag #breakthecurfew”–refused to provide their names.
“Media: We are not talking. Please reach out to Black led organizing for analysis on racism/white supremacy in Baltimore,” a sign read.
Raya Jalabi of The Guardian reported early this morning that legal observers and medical volunteers “were among the roughly 50 people arrested in Baltimore on Saturday night, as another evening of protests ended in yet more clashes as protesters attempted to defy curfew restrictions.” Jalabi said that The Guardian witnessed the arrest of two volunteers who “identified themselves as belonging to the National Lawyers Guild.” The legal observers were reportedly “arrested alongside four street medics outside the Baltimore City Correctional Center.”
Jalabi added, “One of the legal observers was wearing a bright green cap, emblazoned with her organisation’s name – caps which have proven useful for protesters seeking legal advice during this past week.” Jalabi said that as Baltimore police were observed handcuffing volunteers, “a seventh man walked past and was apprehended after one officer with a handheld stun gun asked the man where he was going. The man had said he lived in the neighborhood and was on his way home.”
The arrests outside the building on Greenmount Avenue stand in contrast to the police’s treatment of curfew-defiers in Hampden, a predominantly white neighborhood in northern Baltimore.
Earlier in the day, a group of activists had called for a “silent curfew protest” which they said was intended to highlight the police’s differing treatment of protesters based on race, and to expose the police’s “anti-Black racism, an institutionalized practice of the police force and government”. The [sic] were mostly white.
Deray McKeeson, an activist and Baltimore resident, tweeted out a video that “showed police officers trying to reason with the assembled crowd at Hampden.”
According to Jalabi, thirty people were arrested “at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues.” She said that one protester who was wearing a Fuck the Police T-shirt “appeared to be pulled to the ground by police and tear-gassed.”
Raw: Man Pepper-Sprayed, Detained in Baltimore (AP)
As the 10 p.m. curfew went into effect police have detained one man in Baltimore. The handcuffed man had been pepper-sprayed and police were pouring water into the man’s eyes to try to ease the effects of the spray. (May 2)
The seemingly arbitrary nature of the curfew’s enforcement has led activists to voice their concern that the curfew was targeting poor black communities unevenly.
NOTE: Aljazeera America reported this morning that the mayor of Baltimore “has lifted a citywide curfew six days after the death of Freddie Gray sparked protests and occasional violence in the city.” In a statement that she made earlier today, Mayor Stephanie said “that her goal was not to maintain the curfew any longer than was necessary.” According to Aljazeera, “A day of prayer and healing has been planned for Sunday.”
Baltimore mayor lifts curfew after dozens arrested overnight (Aljazeera America)