Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Around 50 protesters are into the second week of peaceful protest by camping in a small park right across from the Inner Harbor.
Mike Schuh went to Occupy Baltimore to better understand what the group is seeking. He reports there is no single answer.
There is no way to exactly define what this is. Every person has a different agenda. Every person has a different reason for being here.
“I speak for myself,” said Asher Strauss, Occupy Baltimore protester. “It’s difficult to speak for us as an entirety.”
There are protesters at 1,500 Occupy locations. The uniting theme is that corporate influence in government is too great.
Why McKeldin Square? One protester says it’s here where they are in the shadow of extreme wealth.
Occupy Baltimore provides a “voice to the voiceless,” Strauss said. “We don’t have a voice these days.”
For some they can clearly define why they’re here.
“I’m here for reasons like I work a full-time job, but I can barely afford to pay rent,” said Andrew Peverly, Occupy protester.
A college grad, Peverly can’t find work in his field. He’s now waiting tables. He has been protesting for 16 days but just spent his first overnight.
“The misconception that the media’s had is that it’s real vague and there are no list of demands and all this,” Peverly said. “Well, that’s because we’re not saying that we have all the answers. We are open to ideas to what might be a better solution.”
But frankly others communicate in a way that is difficult to comprehend. It’s very hard to put the comments of protester “Trippy Hippy” into any sort of context.
“I, as independent, like to think of an independent ratio that brings us together travelling always together, equally, soundly, peacefully and of course, with pride. That’s cool,” Trippy Hippy said.
So far, it’s has been peaceful. All the city has asked is for the sidewalks to be kept open and the square kept tidy.
One thing is clear, until the city decides this encampment is no longer welcome, Occupy Baltimore has the resolve to continue to make McKeldin Square its home.
The group has applied for a permit with the city. A spokesman for the mayor says since the protest has been peaceful, the city is taking a hands-off approach and will take measures as appropriate.