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Rawlings-Blake Won’t Say How City Will Deal With Occupy Protesters

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Occupy Wall Street movement causes chaos from Baltimore to the West Coast. In downtown Seattle, police used pepper spray to break up a rowdy protest, injuring an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant woman. It’s one of many violent confrontations around the country as protesters take over public parks and busy streets.

Derek Valcourt spoke with the mayor about the future of the movement here in Baltimore.

From New York to Portland to Denver, police have been cracking down on Occupy campsites. The crackdown comes after mayors from 18 cities took part in a conference call to discuss challenges with Occupy protests turning public spaces into small tent cities.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was on the call.

“This is an international and national movement. This is their tactic. We are trying to get the movement to move on, literally, to something differently than encampments,” Quan said.

A spokesperson for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declined to say whether she was one of the mayors on that conference call but the mayor has expressed concerns about this encampment, which has now been here for more than six weeks.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, the mayor acknowledged protesters are ignoring rules prohibiting camping at the Inner Harbor site but she would not specify how the city plans to deal with the Occupy encampment.

“I’ve asked that the tents be removed and we are going to deal with it at a time of our choosing,” she said.

“Probably the time is coming that they are going to take some action. I actually talked to the mayor last night and thanked her for keeping out of this so far and she told me it won’t be forever and the tents have got to go,” said Jenny Gaeng.

Occupy Wall Street protests are also planned in Spain, Belgium and Germany.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • MD VOTER (D)

    Move them out. In this country we do not pick and choose which laws we obey. The law states there is no overnight camping in the park. Then protest from dawn to dusk, leave and return the next day. They certainly have the right to protest, but not disrupt the lives of others. If they cannot abide by the rules then they must move to another location (possibly private owned land) or be arrested. Now come on O’Malley liberals have your say.

  • T


  • Working Poor

    If we followed the rationale of “we don’t get to pick and choose which rules to obey”, then we would still live in a country under British rule, with slavery, segregation, women without rights, and numerous other social injustices that we take for granted in the 21st century.

    Like it or not, this is how things happen in a democracy. I don’t live in McKeldin so they aren’t disrupting my life and I fail to see how they are interrupting other people’s lives. They are bringing recognition to the economic injustices in our country that our politicians are unwilling to acknowledge or act on (Dems and Republicans).

    Our education systems are failing, unemployment is rising, consumer debt is at an all time high, and yet American Corporations are still making record profits. At this rate, in another generation our economy will start to look like Mexico where 99% of the wealth is held by 1% of the population and we will all be climbing the fence trying to sneak into Canada looking for work.

    • tylerjake

      Hey “Working Poor”, what about all the businesses that have lost revenue down there at the harbor, because of the “Fleabag Occupiers?!” GET A CLUE! We have the right to assemble in our Democracy. It’s not “The right to move in, take over and squat!” I forgot though, rules aren’t for Liberals. They rule by MOBS!

  • waheid

    The American Revolution, Women’s Suffrage, and the Civil Rights Movement were won by people had the courage to break the law. Laws are made by people in power who intend on staying in power. The laws that you hold so sacred have enabled the 1% of this country to shift the tax burden away from themselves, to put people out of work and then to foreclose on mortgages that have left thousands (if not millions) of American families homeless. Many thousands of recent college students are saddled with enormous debts and no hope of finding employment. And the Mayor Rawlings-Blake is worried about a ‘vulnerable population’! Give me a break!

    • tylerjake

      Give me a break waheid! What about people taking responsibility for their OWN actions? Now everyone is a victim, that’s the Democrats calling card with anything. The mortgage crisis also involved banks being forced to give loans to people that had no business getting one in the first place! As the other post said, if they want to protest move it to the White House and Capitol Hill. After all that’s where the laws are made! DUH!!

  • Sheila

    You liberals get your head out of the sand. We all see what is going on in this country. Protesting is a right, but why aren’t they camped outside Congress, the White House and the State House this is where our problems started. Laws are made by Congres. If they want the change the tax laws then go to Congrss. Go after Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, Reid, Van Hollen, Hoyer and all the Republicans.

    • tylerjake

      THANK YOU SHELIA!! You are 100% right!!

  • Joanygirl

    The first amendment to the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACEABLY TO ASSEMBLE, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The protesters aren’t a violent mob. They have peaceably assembled in a public space. It is unclear why they must be moved. The Constitution doesn’t allow free speech as long as it doesn’t inconvenience businesses and government officials.

  • Full steam ahead!

    I am a moderate Democrat who has leaned closer to becoming a conservative Republican. However, such a move requires me to make a deal with the Devil which I simply cannot do. I hear you on that opinion where America is headed with an economic system like in Mexico. I don’t want to cross the border into Canada. It’s too cold up there. Therefore, I’ll remain a mderate Democrat to join and support the 99% movement. However, we must all leave business districts of our major cities and camp out on Capitol Hill! Also, it’s time to do civil disobedience sit-in’s in the lobbies of big banks. Keep the spirt of this great movement moving ahead. Don’t loose your momentum.

  • inmyopinion

    I support the OCCUPY movements. Why you ask? They are protesting the fact that corporate america will layoff workers because they only made one million dollar profit instead of five million dollars. They are also protesting the fact that, even though corporate america fires their workers to make up for lost profits, corporate america will give the CEOs and management million dollar bonuses. The protesters are also protesting the fact that if a corporation files for bankruptcy and fires most of the employees, the CEOs still receive their golden parachutes and bonuses.

  • stealth

    You all need to read uor Constitution. It strictly prohibits the interference of ANY protest over grievences with the government.It is also very clear that the right to protest shall be protected.Mayor across the country who use police force against the protestors are clearly violating constitutional rights.Anyone that does not see that is a fool.Even Thomas Jefferson had written about the effects of govt interference in govt grievance protests and he concluded that it will force the protesters to resort to more violent measures.Rules of ANY public park or place do not ever supercede our constitutional rights,EVER!Alot of complaints from the protests have been conjured up by politicians,police,and people who are uneducated about this movement.There are big problems in this country and we already know what happens when we do nothing about them.We get to where we are now with unemployment at a historical high,over 15 million children now living in poverty,and a growing wealth inequality.So,if you want to complain about people rightfully exercising their constitutional rights you should educate yourself first to know what you are really complaining about.

  • marybeth

    What are the mayor and the city waiting for, not speaking to those protesters and let them know we are listening and we do care wheres the leadership

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