A group of Baltimore activists is planning a demonstration in McKeldin Square after the jury returns a verdict in the trial of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who is accused of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin.
The Baltimore People’s Power Assembly is calling on people to meet at the corners of Pratt and Light streets in central Baltimore the day after a verdict comes back, according to a Facebook page announcing the protest.
The Sun later goes on to say:
81 people had accepted the invitiation [sic] to join the demonstration Saturday morning. The organizers could not immediately be reached for comment.
It appears the Sun needs to invest in copy editors based on that last excerpt.
The actual Facebook event page is here.
As the article mentions, the event is sponsored by the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly. There is very little about them on their actual web page other than they participated in the Poor People’s March in May. Some anti-Wal Mart activism is also mentioned.
If you go to their Facebook page a truer picture emerges. They have a “Solidarity Center” on North Charles Street just north of West North Avenue where they have some of their events. In fact one of these events this weekend is a birthday party for two activists:
Two very good reasons to party – Andre and Shauna’s birthdays! Andre Powell, who is a long time union and LGBTQ activist, Workers World Party organizer, and New Wave singer along with Shauna, a new Peoples Power Assembly activist, are celebrating their birthdays this month.
They are asking for donations at the party:
The Solidarity Center is suffering from the “summer lack of money blues” to pay its rent. As many of you know the Center has housed organizing for the Poor Peoples Campaign and many other campaigns. The Solidarity Center has opened its doors to a variety of different groups who have met and planned activities including Occupy Baltimore, SCLC, UPP, WWP, the Green Party and the families and victims of police violence.
Additionally, the only “Like” that the Baltimore People’s Assembly makes on their page is the Facebook page of the Baltimore Worker’s World Party. The Baltimore WWP lists it’s physical address as the same location as the People’s Assembly Solidarity Center. They also have their website listed as the site of The Daily Worker.
The WWP has traditional socialist and communist imagery on their Facebook page including a cover photo of mass murderer Che Guevara:
The Workers World Party split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1959. The split was partly because of the SWP’s support of Henry Wallace in the 1948 election and because the SWP was supporting Mao Zedong in China. Since then the WWP has supported Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Jong-Il. They also supported the Chinese crackdown on democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. Additionally, WWP supported the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground.
One of the other groups affiliated with the People’s Power Assembly in Baltimore is Occupy Baltimore. Occupy Baltimore made the news for many things – including discouraging police reports of sexual assault. Baltimore Brew reported in November 2011 that:
In group meetings, though, members have been venting about their frustration dealing with drug addicts, drug users and assorted troublemakers at the site and questioning whether the Occupation in its present form can continue.
This post was written to provide background that Ian Duncan of The Baltimore Sun didn’t provide on these protests.
Duncan is back with an update to his original story that quotes event organizer Steven Ceci. Steci and his mother Sharon Black-Ceci have been written about before in the pages of Workers World. Of course, the typo of “invitiation” from the original story is still there after the update.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.