On the 29th of April, a huge Baltimore Uprising solidarity march issued forth from Chinatown. This march visited the Wilson Building (DC’s city hall) and the White House. A new demand was the removal of all DC cops from Baltimore. Police Chief Lanier whined in December that the Ferguson protests “cost too much money,” yet DC cops to to Baltimore for more! At the White House, the security lights behind the fence were turned on for the duration of the protests, something that used to be exceedingly rare and reserved for things like fence-jumpers and suspicious packages.
At the starting rally, one of the speakers called on Obama to stop spending his time pushing the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership and instead support three bills already introduced in Congress to stop racial profiling and demilitarize US police departments. Previous trade deals like NAFTA are a major reason Baltimore has been deindustrialized and has so much unemployment.
At the Wilson Building, Mayor Bowser was denounced for having said protesters were “just a hashtag” when she was at the Lincoln Theater for her State of the District Address. Meanwhile the DC Council proposes to zero out all funding to repair public housing, spending the money instead on demolition plans such as “new communities.”
At the White House two different protests came together: the marchers and a protest already there demanding justice for Rekia Boyd, murdered by Chicago police in 2012. Her family received a $4 “settlement” and a judge found the cop “not guilty” in the criminal case. Strangely, the judge suggested that had the charge been first degree murder, the verdict would have been guilty! Officer Dante Servin opened fire on Rikia and two young men named Antonio Cross and Marteece from his car after becoming infuriated because the young men “talked back” to him. He fired from his car in their general direction, one round struck Rekia in the head and two more hit her.
As for Obama’s answer to demands for justice in any of the police murder cases, he has done nothing to support the bills in Congress to rein in killer cops, and two nights in a row has snubbed protesters. On April 28 the whole area around the White House was barricaded, on April 29th the security lights were on as though the protesters had thrown something over the fence like cops accused Occupy of doing in 2011. I overheard someone using the word “Oreo” to refer to Obama.