Police State Inner Harbor
The police state is alive and well at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD. Police and hired
security goons there are now claiming the right to designate public property as private; and to
arrest anyone who even makes a silent, political protest.
Last April (4/4/03), police broke up a silent vigil being put on by Women in Black at
the southeast corner of Light and Pratt Streets. (A Women in Black vigil consists of
women silently holding signs advocating peaceful resolutions to conflicts and wearing
dark clothing.) The pretext was that the Women needed a permit for their vigil, which
they had been conducting every Friday for a year. No explanation was proffered by the
officers as to why they needed a permit, for a clear form of Constitutionally-protected
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Women in Black. At this writing the
lawsuit is in process. In response, Baltimore City has announced a 180-day reprieve. The
agreement specifies that starting in April and for 180 days no groups of less than 25
would need a permit for their free speech at the Inner Harbor. However, the City is
not abiding by its promise.
On June 21, this writer, along with two good friends (with SUSTAIN and Pledge of Resistance -
Baltimore) was attempting to leaflet on a sidewalk near a fountain across from Port Discovery. It
was a small, harmless leaflet announcing the upcoming (6/26/03) Ralph Nader/Dennis Kucinich
talk at JHU. We were not disrupting anyone’s flow and movement, nor were we aggressive.
That’s when a female police officer and three security guards who could only be called
goons instructed us that the sidewalk for an entire block was private property and we
had to immediately leave or we would be arrested. The officer very reluctantly gave us
her name. The security goons refused to give their names.
Neither one of us was prepared to get arrested. Nor was the crowd particularly
interested in progressive ideals at that Saturday night hour. So we left.
However, it isn’t hard to remember that the Inner Harbor was constructed largely
through public subsidy (e.g., tax-exempt municipal bonds, etc.) In addition, the
police are paid for by our tax dollars and the security goons are probably someone’s tax
In a nutshell, the Inner Harbor was created and is currently being maintained through
public investment. However, the police under the thuggish Martin O’Malley administration
no longer believe we have Constitutional rights down there.
Civil liberties must always be defended or they will be lost. There are many people
in Baltimore who will not stand for losing their Constitutional rights at the Inner Harbor.
Like-minded people are welcome to join us.
Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore
mailto:scottL44 at yahoo.com
Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now (SUSTAIN)
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, Joshua Brown