Baltimore City Hall sit-in has precedents
BALTIMORE (AP) — More than 30 members of the Baltimore Uprising coalition occupied a balcony at the Baltimore City Council chambers Wednesday night to protest at a committee’s vote in favor of making the interim police commissioner permanent. After some protesters left, police arrested 16 people early Thursday.
The following is a sampling of other incidents involving demonstrations at government buildings and spaces around the country:
— 2011, Madison, Wisconsin: Tens of thousands of protesters upset about Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to end collective bargaining rights for most public workers demonstrate at the state Capitol. The protests go on nonstop for several weeks, with some protesters sleeping in the Capitol’s rotunda. Walker’s plan, Act 10, ultimately passed.
— 2000, Tallahassee, Florida: Two black lawmakers protesting Republican Gov. Jeb Bush’s repeal of state affirmative action policies refuse to leave the office of Florida’s lieutenant governor, Frank Brogan. The standoff lasts some 24 hours, until Bush agrees to slow efforts to end affirmative action in state university admissions. During the incident, Bush is caught on videotape saying “kick their asses out.” He ultimately apologizes, saying he was talking about the media.
— 1981, New Orleans: Nine protesters blow whistles and pull fire alarms as they enter City Hall to protest the killings of four black men in two days. The men were shot during a police investigation into the shooting of a white policeman, Gregory Neupert. Mayor Ernest Morial, the city’s first black mayor, refuses to meet with the demonstrators, and they sit in his office for three days, though their numbers diminish when two go home sick and a third, a 19-year-old, is confronted by his mother and goes home. Seven officers were ultimately charged and three convicted in a civil rights probe of the citizens’ deaths.
— 1968, Annapolis, Maryland: More than 200 students of a historically black college are arrested after they refuse to leave the State House in Annapolis by its 5 p.m. closing time. The Bowie State College students were demanding to see Republican Gov. Spiro Agnew to discuss complaints about dormitories and underpaid faculty. The students sat down in the lobby of the State House, opened textbooks and had a “study-in” for more than three hours.