The Baltimore #NMOS14 vigil/march/rally (because it was really all three) was peaceful, beautiful, eye-opening. The rally at 5:30 PM started with about 20 people, then grew to about 100 people as we marched from the courthouse to police headquarters a few blocks away. After more speakers, we marched to the Inner Harbor for the 7:00 PM vigil and actually joined another rally that no one seemed to know about taking place outside city hall (it was really funny— one of the organizers was convinced that rally was a police decoy to scuttle our demonstration. I think this rally may have been college students because our march suddenly got younger and more attractive). At that point, we were about 200 strong, converging on the Inner Harbor, stopping traffic (not in a bad way— the police were actually out to help direct traffic), and chanting:
"Hands up! Don't shoot!"
"No justice! No peace!"
"What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
And a long, complicated one about lies that I've mostly forgotten, ending with "Michael Brown didn't have to die!"
After another rally and march through the Inner Harbor, we marched back to the police station. Where there was another rally (we had a lot of rallies). There were onlookers all along the way, filming us, giving us thumbs up, and honking their horns in support. It felt really empowering and positive to be marshaling this much notice for an issue we've gotten far too complacent about.
There were several mothers who spoke at the rally who had lost sons to police violence, one whose son at age 14 was shot and killed right in front of her. Many young and middle aged men talked about being stopped for no reason, harassed, arrested, or roughed up by the cops.
While Michael Brown was the ostensible reason for the vigil, the name that was probably mentioned just as often was Tyrone West. Tyrone West was a Baltimore resident who was beaten to death last year for resisting arrest. The officers in that incident were not charged: