What we’re reading: Baltimore edition


While most of BlogDH’s content focuses on Brown (and RISD), we acknowledge it doesn’t take an on-campus event to send this community reeling. This special edition of our “What we’re reading” column aims to provide students with a roundup of the coverage of the recent issues in Baltimore, Maryland that we found particularly enlightening, as we did with articles on the events in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year.

If you are new to the topic, The Atlantic provides a concise, thought-provoking summary on what we know to have happened to Freddie Gray. Gray was arrested on April 12th when he made eye contact with a cop and ran away. On April 19th, he died of a spinal injury that was not present before his time in custody. As of this morning, the Maryland state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, charged 6 Baltimore officers in Freddie Gray’s death. The details on how this injury was sustained have not been unveiled. You can watch a video of the initial arrest here, and you can also read about the extensive record of police brutality in Baltimore (5.7 million dollars worth of lawsuits sxtince 2011) through this Baltimore Sun expose on undue force.

On Monday, a funeral was held for Gray. A few hours later, some of the protests turned into riots, and the National Guard was called in. Major news outlets have worked with the angle that the violence of the protests was premeditated. Many of you probably saw the headline, “Rival gang leaders agree to come together to take out police officers.” However, MotherJones, through on-site interviews at Mondawmin Mall, catalogues a different story. In “The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think,” witnesses account a scene where police, in full riot gear, prevented many children from returning home from school, and using traffic barricades, potentially escalated the situation themselves. Continue Reading

Activism on the Main Green Today 10-2!

A table is set up outside of Sayles in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, urging students to sign a letter to persuade President Obama to make the right decision and discontinue the plans for the pipeline. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a planned pipeline extending from Canada to Texas, carrying tar sands to be refined and exported for oil. Tar sands are a super unconventional oil source that require shit tons of energy and water to extract. Not only would the pipeline cross and cause risk to a major aquifer, but it also carries the risk of leading to a major oil spill and increased gas prices for Americans. If Obama approves it, he’ll be letting down the environmentalist population in a huge way and risking their support in the 2012 election.

Stop by the table to hear more about it! If you don’t have the time but really care, visit tarsandsaction.org for more info and call the White House @ 202-456-1111 to speak your mind!

DREAM Act demonstration on the Main Green

Students call senators in support of the DREAM Act.

On the Main Green? Wondering what the signs and bullhorns are all about? You probably caught the Brown Immigrants’ Rights Coalition noon demonstration in support of the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation that would provide a path to American citizenship for undocumented students. They’ll be there all day, asking students to call their senators in support of the Act.

Check out tomorrow’s Herald for full coverage.

A Thousand Words: Rally for BDS

Nearly 200 students, Brown Dining Services workers and members of various civic groups from Providence gathered in front of University Hall Thursday to rally for health care reform.

Concerns about negotiations on the renewal of the BDS workers’ contract, which expires Oct. 12, brought the groups together on the Main Green in support of the workers. Representatives for the workers and the University have met to bargain over health care and pension benefits. Cuts to workers’ benefits have been discussed during negotiations.

The ralliers also called for health care reform on the state and national levels and marched to Whole Foods after speeches on the Main Green.

Rally1 Nick Armstrong-Sinnott

See more photos after the jump. Continue Reading

You Tell Us: Where should campus groups focus their efforts?

This is a space for you, the readers of BlogDailyHerald, to contribute your own opinions to the campus conversation. Contributions in the form of a less lame name than “You Tell Us” are also welcome.

Today’s topic: Should campus groups which organize around social justice, such as Students for a Democratic Society, agitate for change on-campus or off?

Continued after the jump. Continue Reading