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The Dripby Brew Editors8:26 pmFeb 17, 20120

“Demolition by neglect” protest set for noon tomorrow

Above: Read’s Drug Store, in the 1960s, along a bustling Lexington Street.

The Baltimore Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Occupy4Jobs Network are calling for a protest of the poor condition of a city-owned building in west Baltimore where a historic 1955 civil rights sit-in was staged.

The protest will start at noon tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 18) at the corner of Lexington and Howard streets in front of the former Read’s Drug Store. The building is part of the “Superblock” redevelopment project championed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

After protests last year, Rawlings-Blake agreed to preserve the exterior walls of the Read’s building and install a suitable commemoration of the sit-in by Morgan State students that desegregated the drug store chain.

Last month, The Brew reported that the roof of the Read’s building had collapsed – and a promised temporary roof wouldn’t be installed for months. The story quoted several members of the city’s preservation commission worried that the building might collapse.

Tomorrow’s protest is aimed at pressuring the city administration to put on a roof to ensure that the building is preserved.

“Saving Read’s and elevating the history of this period is relevant to the urgent struggle for jobs and justice, education, housing and health care,” say the protesters, which include members of Occupy Baltimore who were evicted from their camp at McKeldin Square by the city in December.

See here for more on the “Campaign to Save Read’s Drug Store and Defend Baltimore’s Black History.”


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