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Protests In Baltimore Joined In Solidarity in Chicago, Oakland, Elsewhere

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Originally published at MintPress News.

While the recent protests in Baltimore began soon after the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, the mainstream media has only recently arrived on the streets. Similar to their coverage of Ferguson and other protests in the wake of recent police slayings of black Americans, the focus remains on violent clashes between militarized police and angry citizens.

On Tuesday, after the first night of a citywide curfew was met with arrests and tear gas, two tweets were being widely shared which seemed to ironically highlight the ways police routinely lie about the situation on the ground:

Yet even before the curfew went into effect on Tuesday at 10 p.m., a more complex story was playing out in the streets than CNN would lead viewers to believe. Members of the protest, including gang members, were working to de-escalate the situation:

More importantly, in focusing on violence or property destruction and the curfew, mainstream media reporting has tended to overlook the thousands of other protesters who haven’t lit any fires or broken any windows.

Ben Hancock | Facebook

Some activists sought to bring attention to other cases in Baltimore, such as Tyrone West, whose family is suing Baltimore Police Department after West died in custody in July 2013.

Others expressed solidarity in their mutual struggles, whether in other cities or as far away as Palestine.

This picture is worth well over 1,000 words

— MorningStar Angeline (@starshineexx) April 28, 2015

One widely circulated image shows a young protester burning a sage “smudge” stick in front of a row of police in riot gear:

The practice, which has Native American origins, signifies the belief that the smoke ritually “purifies” people or places, and it’s become popular in some protests.

Despite the widespread images of burning buildings, activists and community members actually gathered to clean up the site of a highly publicized drugstore fire:

Only to be later driven away from their efforts to help by more riot cops:

Community efforts to celebrate or reflect,

were disrupted time and again by police, as if police were determined to escalate the situation:

But the mood varied far more than many might realize:

Solidarity events have also kicked off in other cities around the country. Ferguson and Oakland both marched on Monday:

New York City joined in with a rally on Tuesday:

Also on Tuesday, protesters estimate a thousand or more joined #chi2Baltimore, an unpermitted march through Chicago that lasted for hours.

Chicago protesters blocked intersections:

At the time of writing, events in Minneapolis were just about to get going:

And protests are expected to erupt in more cities on May Day, from a return to the streets in Oakland:

to a call for protests in Austin, Texas, where 300 people have already responded to a Facebook event:


Austin plans for Friday! Share this around

— Bengar Gengar (@Doppelbengar) April 28, 2015

It seems that many throughout the nation are looking to the #BaltimoreUprising as a chance to continue the work that so many began in Ferguson — and a natural extension of the civil rights struggles of so many generations.