Youth Curfew Ordinance Protesters at UB School of Law at Charles & Mt. Royal

Youth Ordinance Protesters at UB School of Law at Charles & Mt. RoyalI’m moving this week, just up the street, but still my anxiety is through the roof–you’d think I hadn’t moved at least every three years of the last twenty. Oh well–I’m doing what I can, and on Tuesday that meant taking the bike out to meet a friend for a walk, riding over the the gym for step aerobics (never changes!), and then riding all over running self-care errands. Yeah, it was slightly better than sitting in the house, waiting for it to pack itself. Oh, I love this town–its trees, its cheap haircutteries, its community acupuncture and friendly eyeglass shop! The ride was an excellent reminder that I may be moving, but I’m not starting over–I get to stay in Baltimore this time! The ladyfriend had an even better idea for our evening. Rather than staring at the TV amidst our own filth, why not take the bikes down to the University of Baltimore for the mayor’s community forum on the new youth curfew ordinance? We were met by a group of folks protesting the ordinance, drawing attention to the ways it might criminalize youth (and parents) of color, and the part where it doesn’t address the real problems facing families in Baltimore: poverty, racism, a lack of affordable housing, and all the other social problems that grow best in these conditions, problems like drug addiction and crime that are too often (and again, with this ordinance) blamed on individual pathologies. It was a frustrating forum where it was obvious the guys in charge wanted to contain any kind of real dissent. They knew there were angry folks in the audience (and angry for good reasons), and they were not interested in hearing it, using the ol’ “civil discourse” cudgel to threaten those who dared speak out of turn. It was disturbing, and then it was time to leave. We got back on the bikes and headed home for a second-to-last night in the apartment. The second floor neighbor moved out already, so we only had to carry N.’s bike up one flight of stairs. Ah, the privilege of getting to end on a good note!

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