The Baltimore Free Farm put out a call for help from nearby communities to help cook for the protests and marches against the murder of Freddie Gray. Acornistas, Twin Oakers, the Wingnut Collective, affiliates of New Community Project, The Keep, and several other collectives responded by sending several cars and vans crammed to the gills with people, food, equipment, donations, and prepared food from those who couldn’t go.
As we entered the city of Baltimore, we were greeted by the foreboding sight of the M&T bank stadium serving as a stand in military base, with army jeeps, military personnel, helicopters, and jail buses filling it. We also passed several burnt out businesses, such as this CVS, only heightening our state of apprehension.
Once we landed BFF, we immediately begun hauling in our goods and set to work cooking. We cooked hotel pan after hotel pan of vegan food to bring to the marches that afternoon. With our food lined up and ready to serve, throngs of hungry demonstrators came to refuel.
We got word that there were at least a hundred cars stopped in the road about a quarter mile away. Soon thereafter, the streets started to pour with protesters in a march. Lots of solders with automatic weapons.
As we marched through baltimore, people congregated at their stoops or out their windows, some looking, some cheering on. Cars honking, drivers raising fists, eliciting renewed cheers and pumped fists to the air from marchers. A Boltbus drove by honking wildly, followed by a dump truck drive, similarly showing solidarity.
So many people responded to the request to help cook bring so much food that all the ovens on site plus the wood fired pizza oven have been in use almost nonstop. We even set up additional counter space and some propane cookers, as seen above. Today we have already served meals four times, with one more serving for curfew breakers later on tonight.
Above, people have gathered once again the raise their voices in chants, at the corner of North and Pennsylvania, the site of former racial profiling and police brutality.
Below are a few signs that caught my attention.