As Friday started, we were still reeling from the overreaction of the police at Penn-North intersection Thursday evening. We set out to find a local restaurant where we could work and grab some breakfast when entering a local market we saw that the majority of the workers were gathered around the TV. City Attorney Marilyn Mosby had started her press conference to announce that charges were being filed against six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.


 
While there was an intense quiet in the market as Mosby began to lay out the charges against the officers, there was a visible sense of relief from the locals after the charges were announced.

We decided to head to Penn-North to see what the reaction would be on the ground. When we arrived we were greeted by a jubilant crowd who took over a lane on North Avenue with signs and dancing, and passing cars honking their support and excitement. However positive the reaction of the public, there continued to be a large police presence. I overheard a few officers speaking about the charges and they were not pleased by some of the charges announced.

The overwhelming mood was of hope and continued resistance, demonstrators were singing and dancing in the street. There was a sense of defiance over the cops, the crowd was chanting “No justice, no peace, no racist police” as well as breaking out in song and dance. Marilyn Mosby was receiving a lot of good will from the people in the streets and there was already talk of wanting her to run for mayor.

#BaltimoreDispatch 4:09pm

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“We’ve come this far by faith” singing at Penn-North #BaltimoreDispatch #TWIBnation

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#BaltimoreDispatch 4:21pm

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“We are finally being heard.” #BaltimoreDispatch

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Celebratory mood at Penn-North

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The relief and feelings of justice spread over to the “Shut It Down” solidarity march, by far the largest demonstration in our time here. People met up in McKeldin Square in the Inner Harbor and there were speakers to start off the rally. One mother told a powerful story about what happened to her son during the riot earlier in the week. We then followed the march through the city from the Inner Harbor throughout downtown passing through both affluent and rundown neighborhoods seeing the stark contrast in living conditions Baltimoreans deal with. In the middle of the march, we passed by the correctional facility where inmates were audibly cheering on the protesters and chanting in support through the windows.

#BaltimoreDispatch 5:23pm – This happened on Monday.

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#BaltimoreDispatch 5:21pm

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5:32pm #BaltimoreDispatch

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6pm #BaltimoreDispatch

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#BaltimoreDispatch 5:45pm cops trying to head off protest.

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6:26pm #BaltimoreDispatch

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This car tried to drive into the protestors 7 minutes ago. #BaltimoreDispatch

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The solidarity march continued through the city and we were running low on batteries so we decided to regroup back at our car and figure out the next move. We met up with loyal member of #TWiBnation @CoquiTalksTrash and decided to head to dinner before curfew and figure out where the next actions would be. Twitter started to take off about arrests and human rights and legal observers having their passes revoked. With these reports streaming in, our break was short-lived as we ran back out to City Hall to get a look at what was happening on the ground. As with everything else we’ve seen since arriving in Baltimore the police presence was overwhelming.

City Hall was overrun with police, we heard reports of them sweeping through the lingering demonstrators moments after curfew and arresting people after a small skirmish that began with a sit-in of about 100 protestors. We decided to return to Penn-North where we had been greeted with an optimistic and celebratory scene earlier in the afternoon. The intersection was fully inhabited by law enforcement. Initially we assumed the large empty city busses were to transport detained protesters, but realized that they were full of out-of-town police and National Guard. The number of police moving throughout the city was staggering and even when we were in the quiet neighborhood of Federal Hill where we were staying, I would routinely see trucks full of police.

Police hall #BaltimoreDispatch #TWIBnation

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Police presence in front of City Hall Friday night. 53 people where arrested on Friday #BaltimoreDispatch #TWIBnation

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Just cops. #BaltimoreDispatch

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We have left Baltimore, but there are still plenty of actions planned on the ground. A large rally is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, the curfew is in effect throughout the weekend and the large police presence in the city remains. This story is far from finished. Though the officers will be prosecuted we still do not know all of the evidence and there is no guarantee that they will be convicted. It will be interesting to continue to follow this case since it is one of the few instances of police shootings where charges have been filed. While the scene in Baltimore was reminiscent of Ferguson in some respects there were also large difference and with the news about #AlexiaChristian coming out in the midst of the #BaltimoreUprising this fight is far from over.

NOW. #BaltimoreDispatch

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