City Puts More Restrictions On Occupy Baltimore Protesters

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The city has placed more restrictions on the protesters occupying McKeldin Square downtown.

As Mike Schuh reports, those in the Occupy movement are reacting with a shrug.

No one, not city politicians, police or the protesters at McKeldin Square, want to see what happened at Occupy Oakland happen here in Baltimore.

“We want to avoid trouble, no one here wants to cause trouble,” Tye, an Occupy Baltimore protester, said.

So, hiding in plain view near the Inner Harbor, it’s now into its second month. It’s a safe enough place that Garrison School students and teachers arrived for a field trip.

But like the fly on the lion’s back, City Hall tolerates this expression of free speech, while cataloging where it is running afoul of city law.

The latest is a safety violation. Too many electric appliances, computers and chargers were plugged into city power poles.

So while the power of free speech is still evident, the free power from the city is gone, unplugged and turned off.

“Honestly, it’s not going to have that much effect on us, we only used power for coffee, microwave, Internet,” Tye said.

“I think it was childish,” protester Damian Nichols said.

“We can find other ways to power those that don’t make us dependent on a city that we may come in conflict with,” Tye said.

The extension cords are gone, but streetlights still light up at night.

Some residents support the city.

“Bums can’t hang out anywhere they want, set up a tent and just relax,” he said. “They should have to come back everyday just like any other protest.”

The city says they’re still looking at this day-to-day. The protesters say they’re not leaving anytime soon, unless they’re forced out.

The city can’t say how long, or if they will, overlook the other health and safety violations their inspectors found at the protest.

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