Yesterday, Baltimore cleaned up after Monday’s unrest. All eyes were on the intersection of North and Pennsylvania, where a CVS was looted and burned the day before. Residents, volunteers, and demonstrators crowded the street, facing a phalanx of police in riot gear.
As night fell and the city’s new curfew loomed, almost everyone went home. Everywhere else in the city, people went home. The police stayed. A small group stayed of protesters and residents stayed, ready to defy the curfew. The national and local media stayed, looking for a showdown. At 10pm, they got one.
It wasn’t much. Some threw bottles and the wall of police advanced, firing smoke grenades and pepper bombs. Only 7 people were arrested for violating the curfew before midnight, including this well-choreographed disappearing act of student activist Joseph Kent (VIDEO). UPDATE, 3PM: 35 were arrested for curfew violations in total on Tuesday/Wednesday.
That’s pretty much it. Like yesterday, it’s another sunny day in Baltimore. It’s quiet, but it’s not peaceful. Peace is not the National Guard occupying the Inner Harbor. Peace is not the Orioles playing a
double header daytime game to an empty stadium. Peace is not a nightlife district boarded up out of fear. Peace is not a city afraid of the dark, with a curfew bound to inflict long-lasting pain on workers and small business owners. Peace is not a policy that prohibits anyone from engaging “in a march, parade, assembly or demonstration on a public place, whether during the Curfew Period or during Other Hours unless the event has a previously issued permit.”
Peace is not missing a solid justification for why police prepared for students leaving school by donning riot gear and shutting down public transportation. Peace is not a lie about gangs teaming up to kill police. Peace is not a continuance of Baltimore’s endemic street violence, with five shootings and one man dead on Tuesday.
Peace is not lacking official answers or consequences to Freddie Gray’s fatal injuries in police custody on April 12th. Peace is not a police investigation that will hand over information to prosecutors on Friday, but may not release any more public information.
In Baltimore, We’re All Freddie Gray – Local writer D. Watkins in The New York Times
Nonviolence as Compliance – Ta-nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
Baltimore Cop: “I Blame The Department” – Deadspin