Reportbacks from the Poor People’s March Baltimore to DC

From the 11th to the 12th of May, a Poor People’s March walked from Baltimore to DC. When they set out, at least 150 participants were in the march. Thirteen of the marchers went every mile on foot, the rest travelled in the motorcade and support vehicled part of the way.

Video: Scenes from Day 1, late afternoon
Video: Poor People’s March Day 2 video highlights
Video: An Oakland mother speaks out at the closing rally on the murder of her son by police

Just south of Baltimore, about 8PM 5-11-2013

Just south of Baltimore, about 8PM 5-11-2013

5-11, Day 1
The first day of the 41 mile march was marked by two incidents. A Burger King in Baltimore refused to allow marchers who had already bought food to use the toilets, causing the entire march to get up and walk out.

In mid-afternoon, the march diverted off of Route 1 to protest poverty wages at a Wal-Mart on the outskirts of Baltimore. Police diverted the motorcade and were aggressive towards the marchers. Somehow a serious confrontation was averted, and this ended in the Wal-Mart protesters dancing in victory.

The first of a series of thunderstorms rolled in at about 6PM, forcing the marchers into a Subway to wait it out and rest. By the time the storm was over, it was 7:45PM, and the march was only 15 miles into a 30 mile Day 1 planned distance to College Park. As a result, the majority of the marchers had to pile into the suppport caravan and drive directly to College Park, where welcomers expected them.

A smaller contingent continued on foot-and 13 of them made it all the way to College Park, arriving at about 5:30AM. It rained and thunderstormed most of the night. They got about two hours sleep before setting out for Hyattsville, where the rest of the march was preparing to set out on the 10 mile leg to Freedom Plaza.

The whole march back together again,morning of May 12, heading towards DC

The whole march back together again,morning of May 12, heading towards DC

The Poor Peoples Campaign’s march from Baltimore to DC reached Freedom Plaza at 3:13PM, only 13 minutes off their 3PM scheduled time of arrival, after what for the 13 marchers who went the whole way on foot was a brutal 9 and a half hour night march, and a much easier 4 hour mid-day march with the now much larger group.

One of the speakers at the closing rally was a woman from all the way out in Oakland whose sun was shot by Oakland cops after running from an incident that did not involve him in any way. According to her, his last works were “why did you shoot me?” She is demanding that the cop who murdered her son be sent to prison, saying a 25 year sentence would be about right.

She warned Obama to do something about killer cops in Oakland, and the Oakland Mayor to do the same, or they would both lose their jobs the way the Oakland police chief and his deputy police chief both did.

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