Harbor peace gathering sees arrest of activist

March 02, 1991|By Frank P. L. Somerville | Frank P. L. Somerville,Religion Editor of The Sun

A dozen Roman Catholics quietly demonstrating for world justice and peace yesterday at Baltimore's Inner Harbor insisted their methods as well as their goals were lawful, but city police did not see it that way.

Brendan Walsh, leader of the group, was arrested at noon as he prayed on his knees in front of the World Trade Center on East Pratt Street. He was charged with violating a park rule that prohibits "advertising without a permit or license" in the downtown waterfront area.

One of the purposes of the demonstration, Mr. Walsh said, was to urge Lenten fasting "as a prayer and a moral force." He said Christians upset by the loss of life and the damage in the Persian Gulf war should fast or make other sacrifices in solidarity with millions of Muslims who will begin observing their monthlong Ramadan fast later this month.

He and John Oliveri, one of the demonstrators, said they were starting a 28-day fast from all solid food. Mr. Walsh is founder and co-director of Viva House, a 23-year-old West Baltimore soup kitchen on South Mount Street. He was arrested when he objected to police officers' orders to disperse.

Mr. Walsh is founder and co-director of Viva House, a 23-year-old West Baltimore soup kitchen on South Mount Street. He was arrested when he objected to police officers' orders to disperse.

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