On Friday afternoon, Feb. 19, 2016, under freezing temperatures, social justice activists conducted a spirited rally in front of Margaret Brent Elementary P.S., located on St. Paul St., in Charles Village, in Baltimore.
They expressed concerns about the fact that students at the school have “not be able to drink from water fountains because of lead in the water.” A union activist, and UAW member, from Michigan, Martha Gravett, spoke, via a phone connection, to the demonstrators. A parent, who has children in Margaret Brent, also spoke, along with Elder C.D. Witherspoon and Sharon Black. The rally was hosted by the People’s Power Assembly.
Backstory: As a result of the scandalous conditions surrounding high levels of toxic lead found in the drinking water in the city of Flint, MI, demonstrations in solidarity have been called for Feb. 19th, around the nation. The lead poisoning, in Flint, a city of 100,000 appears to be systematic. A Federal probe is ongoing. One pundit said that city and state bureaucrats have built a “wall of lies” to cover-up their massive wrongdoings. Criminal charges may be filed. Filmmaker, Michael Moore, a native of Flint, said that the water crisis is a “version of Manslaughter” and demanded the Michigan government fix the problem, now.
Historical Note: On May 15, 1991, the People’s Power Assembly, aka, All People’s Congress, participated in a huge protest action at the now-defunct Baltimore Memorial Stadium on 33rd St. The Baltimore Orioles were playing the Oakland A’s.
The occasion: Queen Elizabeth II was in town, with her hubby, to watch a major league baseball game. Led by Irish-American groups, the demonstration garnered wide national and international publicity because of the presence of the Royals. At the opening of the game, a children’s chorus sang: “God Save the Queen,” while protestors deliberately turned their backs on the Queen and her snotty entourage. It wasn’t a good night for Orioles fans either. The A’s won by a score of 6 to 3.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1