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Occupy Baltimore Protesters Rally Outside City Hall

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Occupy Baltimore protesters are rallying Friday night with a demonstration near City Hall. This comes days after the group clashed with police.

Mike Hellgren has the latest protest and the potential for more arrests.

Occupy is not giving up. Protesters are rallying again at War Memorial Plaza outside City Hall and vowing to make their voices heard at the mayor’s series of budget hearings.

They’re ending a week that began with explosive protests, which landed six members of Occupy Baltimore in jail overnight as they clashed with police in riot gear while trying to occupy an abandoned lot in East Baltimore, the proposed site of a new youth jail.

The demonstrators believe the facility is a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars–money that would be better spent on recreation centers and educational programs.

“We’ve got so much press for the issues that we’re concerned about. We want to save the rec centers. We want to save our youth. I’m a former teacher. I understand how crucial education is,” said Beth Emmerling, Occupy Baltimore.

Occupy has called this a week of agitation, in contrast to the lack of arrests and confrontations since the group formed.

But local Occupiers have managed to gain attention from City Hall and beyond.

In one incident at Johns Hopkins, they heckled former Republican presidential advisor Karl Rove.

The group has been met lately with a massive police response. But organizers say they aren’t intimidated and have no plans to go away.

“Of course we’re not afraid of it. We’re going to embrace it seeing as though we’re making an impact in the city,” said Nicole Cheatam, Occupy Baltimore.

No one was arrested when the city raided their encampment at McKeldin Square by the Inner Harbor last month, where many had been living for weeks.

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