Freddie Gray demonstration(s) 2015-09-10: Change of venue hearing

Freddie Gray demonstration(s) 2015-09-10So upset about Cecil

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Freddie Gray demonstration(s) 2015-09-10: Change of venue hearing

10:48 Thursday 2015-09-10

The Peoples Power Assembly is a front for the Baltimore chapter of the Workers World Party.  They have sought the highest possible media profile throughout the Freddie Gray demonstrations, in order to gain followers.  At the risk of violating Free Speech Handbook Guideline #5, it’s safe to say they represent practically no one.

Westley West has been a publicity-seeker also.  His church is tiny, and there was no evidence of any of his followers at the demonstration last week.  He was arrested last night:

Pastor who led Freddie Gray marches arrested for blocking traffic
Baltimore Rev. Westley West arrested Wednesday night

My eyebrows rise at the timing of this arrest.  I had not known there was any such crime as “attempting to incite a riot,” and I doubt that that charge will stand.  As to blocking traffic, the facts and evidence reported in those articles appear conclusive.

As usual this morning, I was at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 200 E. Lexington Street, across from the courthouse and adjacent to the intersection of Calvert and Lexington, from 6:30 to 9:30.

As of 8:00, City workers had blocked off northbound Calvert Street in front of the courthouse in anticipation of people being in the street there later on.

Four lawyers were lounging in Dunkin’ Donuts.  I’d only seen these individuals once before, on the morning of last week’s demonstration.  From their conversation, I gathered they were “legal observers” there to watch for any violation of demonstrators’ civil liberties.

As of 8:30, basically no one was around outside — except for a dozen TV cameras lined up in the street in front of the courthouse door.

At 8:45, a man began shouting into a bullhorn.  I could not make out a word he said.  The demonstrators had arrived, but I was occupied with my own business inside and could not go out to look.

At 9:00, I did.  There were a grand total of about ten demonstrators — and forty media people.

At 9:30 I left for the library.  Perhaps twenty onlookers had joined the crowd.  City workers were putting up barricades in the crosswalk along the north side of Lexington Street, in front of the courthouse, as if there was anticipation that the crowd would attempt to block Lexington Street.

11:20.  Have just learned of judge’s ruling against change of venue.

12:09.   The man with the bullhorn was C. W. Witherspoon.  He was prominent at the demonstration last week also.  I have no idea who he is.  I find no other information about him online.

So it appears WJZ alone had three reporters on the scene.

Friday 2015-09-11

I have sought and not found a clipping wherein Malik Shabazz named Westley West as the person who “asked” him to come to Baltimore.  I did find these items of interest from April:

City Paper, April 28 – The Fight for Freddie Gray: Dispatches from last week’s protests
Mentions infighting among different groups seeking to pose as leaders.

Sun, April 30 – Black leaders say protest group used their names without permission

Sun, April 30 – Shabazz plans rally for thousands Saturday
It didn’t happen.

Sun, May 1 – Malik Shabazz defends activism; criticized as an ‘interloper’

One of these identifies “Rev. Cortly ‘C.D.’ Witherspoon” as “an organizer for the Peoples Power Assembly.  So the previously mentioned “C. W. Witherspoon” may be this man.

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So upset about Cecil

I am no fan of big game hunting, and I specifically oppose trophy hunting.

However, what do these people think lions eat?

Related:  Polar bears aren’t teddy bears

Originally posted 2015-09-14.

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