Here’s an update sent to The Brew from Lisa Klingenmaier on last night’s Beds Not Benches Sleep-out at War Memorial Plaza in front of Baltimore City Hall.
Organizers (Klingenmaier was one of them) had obtained a permit to be there from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Bottom line: unlike last year’s sleep-out, when a large number of police ejected activists from the spot in an aggressive manner, there was a smaller police presence this year and they were more civil:
“We did get moved, although in a much more respectful way than last year. Three SWAT officers came around 11:05 p.m. They let us know our permit ended, and said they’d give us a 1/2 hour to clean up, and anyone left after would be arrested.
But they were very polite & thanked us for our efforts to raise awareness, but said we couldn’t stay due to laws about sleeping in public.
We moved to the University of Maryland Baltimore, and they were amazingly accommodating and supportive. Their police kept an eye on us all night.”
For those interested in other Baltimore events around the issue of homelessness, the annual Homeless Person’s Memorial Service is scheduled on December 21, at 5. p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, at the corner of Pratt and Calvert streets.
It’s organized by the SHARP (Stop Hunger and Reduce Poverty) coalition and the date of the event, as always, coincides with the longest night of the year. Typically, the names of city residents who died this year while homeless are read aloud.