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    A Thousand Hoodies + Video

    Baltimore's rally for Trayvon Martin started with a lot of energy and promise. An enthusiastic crowd on both sides of Pratt Street was cheering for passing drivers that honked in solidarity. I'm not sure who planned the march, but the Southern Christian Leadership Council, All Peoples Congress and Occupy 4 Jobs were present. I saw two serious looking people, one black man and one white woman, with small, grey bullhorns. They initiated a few call and respond chants - "No Justice! No Peace!" - "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" - "A people, united, will never be defeated."

    So we marched out at about 5:15 PM, and there were a lot of black folk, a few whites, and a lot of hoodies. Quite a few people had boxes of Skittles. Some guy was selling orange Trayvon t-shirts from a pushcart. Some white guy was pushing a folding bike. That was me. I own a hoodie or two, but they interfere with peripheral vision on the bike. There were a few other cyclists.

    According to a schedule on Occupy Baltimore's website, local victims of police and those still protesting the Shomrim neighborhood patrol case were to speak out at 6 PM at the Baltimore Police Headquarters on Fayette Street. We did very peaceably march to the police station, but nothing much happened there, and we were on the move to City Hall within a few minutes. I heard, then saw, a sousaphone. Then a trumpeter joined into a jazzy tune.

    After a short march to City Hall, a major vigil and rally was planned from 7 to 8 PM. We got to City Hall at maybe 5:45, and some rallyers were already on the East portico and the flanking steps facing War Memorial Plaza. The problem was that only a few hundred people near the portico could hear them. Their little bullhorn wasn't nearly loud enough to reach the entire crowd. I was thinking that a mike check, a la Occupy, would have been just the thing. 

    So they tried the same simple chants again, but not enough people caught the cues. After about fifteen minutes, someone started backing a big black Tahoe SUV out of a space marked for President of City Council Bernard C "Jack" Young. Yeah, he looked like that picture. A couple of traffic cops guided the car through the crowd as a few people said, "Jack, you should stay here with your people!" Jack closed his windows and drove away - but looking at the video, he did make an appearance, wearing a hoodie, at some point.

    Fifteen minutes later, the close in group started chanting something new. I finally made it out: "Where is the Mayor?" A few women shrieked, and I guess they thought that Stephanie Rawlings Blake might actually show up. But that didn't last long. By about 6:15, people with strollers were drifting away. I had a lot of time to admire the city hall stonework and try to categorize the architectural style. I was thinking French Empire; wiki calls it Second Empire. I left at about 6:30 myself. As I rode up the street, I heard one guy telling another, "... but I'm glad we came."



    I gotta wonderful coverall

    I call it a hoody

    If I wear it out in public

    Some would get a real woody

    Well I dont know what others

    Might get probable cause

    But when I wear it out

    It causes pause

    oh forget it


    How was the media coverage and reports about this event?

    Any response from the politicos there?

    And if that is your city hall - Wowsa.  Very nice.

    So glad you went.  How are you feeling about it now?

    Thanks for this post, would be good to have all whose locales had a march, attend and post their experiences.  

    (In my little rural 'island' we seldom have these opportunities, especially during winter.)

    All the local TV affiliates were there, and even the Sun didn't trash it the way they trashed Occupy. It looks like some minor local pols were filmed before the march.

    It was kind of interesting on facebook. One nephew posted the better-looking picture of Zimmerman and a purported worse-looking picture of Martin just before I posted that I had been to the march. My brother replied, "Really." I am glad I went because it shouldn't be only black faces at such a rally.

    I liked your writing here, Donal, well done. Same with "Losing Our Marbles," where you handled bouncing thoughts quite well; you're on a roll!

    Thank you very much.

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