Richard Elliott, ’17, Political Science and American Studies, participated in Baltimore demonstrations for justice on Friday, May 1, 2015.
I participated in Friday’s march along with several thousand other people of all colors and walks of life. I’ve never before seen so many friendly, peaceful people who were united in anger towards a common cause. The entire march was about police accountability and an end to police brutality. There were dozens of local people, including kids doing Black Power Fists. The solidarity between many people in cars driving home, honking, dapping people up, and doing fist bumps was beautiful to a degree I couldn’t explain.
The protest was entirely peaceful, with several thousand people marching and there not being a SINGLE criminal offense, except for a truck driving over the median. The closest thing I saw to criminal were cars illegally backing up and fleeing as the marchers approached a bridge near MICA. However, the media mostly recorded interviews and footage while walking through a West Baltimore neighborhood where we were crowded together extremely close, the gang members had the strongest presence of any time during the march, and there were people standing on cars.
The police at the protest were rather rude. Having their face masks covering their faces, batons out, hands on their guns only gave the impression that they were expecting things to go sour (and this was never a fear of mine as a member of the crowd). Chris Christie sending troopers from New Jersey was totally unnecessary and ALL of the money spent on summoning all of the police and National Guardsman could’ve fixed the pothole-ridden roads we marched on for miles and unboarded homes.
Again, there was not a mass of rioters uprooting the city, murdering police and terrorizing the citizens. There were thousands of people, whether gang members, children, puppies, white college students, black high schoolers, whatever, all walking in solidarity for a just cause.
Contact the author, Richard Elliott, at firstname.lastname@example.org.