Five people protesting rape and other violence against women were arrested last night after a confrontation with police on North Charles Street in Baltimore.
Officers moved in about 8:30 p.m. after about 20 protesters marching down North Charles Street began stenciling "Rape Free Zone" in red spray paint on sidewalks in Mount Vernon Place. Police said they approached the protesters to stop them from blocking traffic and arrested those who would not move, charging them with resisting arrest.
The protesters, a loose group of friends who had no permits for their march, apparently hadn't been prepared to be arrested.
One woman cried hysterically as police tried to subdue her. A man being arrested shouted, "You are hurting me. I am a non-violent protester."
The march was intended to mark the first anniversary of the killing of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique, the engineering school at the University of Montreal. A note in the killer's pocket indicated his hatred of women, particularly feminists.
The protesters, who began their march at 29th Street, said they also were protesting the prevalence of rape in Baltimore, particularly along the Charles Street corridor where most of them work or live.
Police "never warned us to move," said protester Jake True.
Officer Chuck Walker had a different story.
"They were making lots of noise, they were spray-painting all the way around the base of the [Washington] monument, they were obstructing traffic," he said.
Arrested were: Erica Ana Freudeserger, 23, of the 3100 block of Old Court Road; Sue Akerman, 41, of Upperco; Harry Chambers, 46, of Gorsuch Avenue; Damon Norls, 27, of the 300 block of Park Avenue; and Julie Anne Fayhey, 24, of the 200 block of East Preston Street.