Protests in support of George Floyd continue Saturday throughout Baltimore region

Sunny skies and hot weather on Saturday drew thousands of Marylanders out into the streets to lift their voices against racism and police brutality, marking the ninth straight day of protests in the Baltimore region.

In Baltimore, thousands gathered at two separate demonstrations on North Charles Street and at Morgan State University.


“No justice, no peace! No racist police!” the group chanted on North Charles, as a police helicopter buzzed overhead.

“We are ready! We are fired up!” the Rev. Annie Chambers shouted into a megaphone to cheers.


The group, organized by the People’s Power Assembly, set out on a march. People in the crowd, which skewed young and white, carried signs with slogans such as “White Silence = White Violence.”

“Black and white together,” remarked Duwan Bates, 69, who began to trudge down Greenmount Avenue with protesters after getting stuck in traffic.

Asked what she thought of the scene before her, she responded: “I think it’s dynamite, don’t you?”

Margaret Scott stood on her rowhome stoop with tears in her eyes as she watched the marchers down Greenmount Avenue declare: “Black lives matter!”


“It shoulda been done from the get-go everywhere,” said Scott, 33. “It’s sad.”

Vanessa Simon, 31, said the protest was one of the biggest crowds she’d seen this week. The presence of so many white people in the crowd of thousands did not escape her notice.

“Do I appreciate them being out here?” she asked. “Hell, yes. At the same time: Where have you been before now?”

Eventually, the group made its way to police headquarters downtown where they were led in a chant: “How many more?” “No more!”

Baltimore Police officers lined the front of the building and stood impassively.

Demonstrations around the nation have coalesced since the death May 25 of George Floyd. A Minneapolis police officer had pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Though protests in some U.S. cities have turned violent, Baltimore’s assemblies have been largely peaceful.

At Morgan State, a crowd rapidly grew to several hundred people.

Wesley Hawkins, an organizer of the protest, took a megaphone and led the crowd.

“If you’re standing here right now, you know black lives matter,” Hawkins said. “And we’re tired. We’re tired of police brutality. We’re tired of injustice. We’re tired of the system being against us because of the color of our skin.”

The crowd kneeled for five minutes. Then they set off for the first stop on their march, the Northeast District station of the Baltimore Police Department.

As they walked through the Hillen and Northwood neighborhoods, they shouted the names of recent victims of police brutality in a call-and-response:

“Say his name!”

“George Floyd!"

“Say her name!"

“Breonna Taylor!”

Lead organizer Allahsha* Farmer, who graduated from Morgan last year, said she was astounded to see such a large turnout at the historically black university.

“I know us being an HBCU, we needed this for our Morgan community, our families and the lives that have been taken away,” said Farmer, 22.

Morgan State University President David Wilson joined the march and said he was proud to see so many students and alumni speaking out to say, “Injustice is not something we will embrace.”

Wilson said Morgan was founded on those same principles 153 years ago.

“When a student matriculates here at Morgan, we expect them to understand history. We expect them to be strong advocates to change the world and remake it to the way it is supposed to be,” Wilson said.

After the two Baltimore marches disbanded, another protest of a few hundred people popped up downtown at City Hall in the early evening. Participants chanted: “Say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud!”

After nightfall, the group set out from City Hall on an impromptu march through city neighborhoods, including Little Italy and Fells Point. They stopped on South Broadway in the heart of Fells Point, where a man with a megaphone led chants: “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! These racist cops have got to go!"

Demonstrations were held in the suburbs, too.

In Middle River, a crowd formed outside Vince’s Crab House after social media posts from operator Vince Meyer that many considered to be racist circulated online.

Demonstrators called on him to shut the business down and said people shouldn’t patronize his business. Many of them then continued on to another Vince’s Crab House location 20 miles away in Fallston.

A group of about 200 people gathered outside Havre de Grace City Hall and listened to speakers. For eight minutes and 46 seconds they kneeled in honor of Floyd.


Hundreds of Bowie residents marched Saturday afternoon from City Hall to Allen Pond, and more gathered there at 4 p.m. for a vigil for Floyd and other victims.

The vigil was a joint effort between the city and two Bowie families, and young people were central to the event.

“Those are the voices we want to hear because those are the voices who will make sure racism stays out for the other generations,” said organizer Tameka Washington.

Meanwhile, in Pasadena, hundreds of people turned out to a park to rally and march through the community.

Anne Arundel County Police had been on alert after catching wind of rumored violent counter-protests.

A man in a pickup truck drove by a demonstration yelling, “Donald Trump! Donald Trump!”

Protesters cheered as he turned and drove away.

"I will be rising above the people that will be hating on what I am trying to do, which is also within their right,” organizer Shelyia Brown told the crowd.

She encouraged fellow demonstrators not to engage opponents and to instead focus on their message.

“Scream what we’re trying to scream louder,” she said.

Baltimore Sun Media reporters Alex Mann, McKenna Oxenden, Rachael Pacella, Olivia Sanchez and Matt Button contributed to this article.

This article has been updated. An earlier version misspelled Allahsha Farmer.

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