About 150 people gathered Sunday night to begin planning Occupy Baltimore, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that started in New York two weeks ago and have now spread to other cities.
Meeting at the 2640 Space on St. Paul Street in Charles Village, people there talked about logistics for an event — visibility and social significance among them.
When a Baltimore Sun reporter told organizers she was there, the group asked that she leave.
The planning meeting came a day after 700 protesters in New York were arrested for marching in the car lanes of theBrooklyn Bridge.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has garnered the support of celebrities such as filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon, are protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts.
In Los Angeles, more than 100 protesters camped out in front of City Hall overnight Saturday. Occupy Wall Street organizers say they hope to see such protests spread across the country.
The arrests in New York followed a peaceful march to police headquarters on Friday by more than 1,000 people to protest the arrest of 80 members of the Occupy Wall Street movement the previous week in the Union Square shopping district.
During that march a few women were doused with pepper spray which was captured on video and viewed widely on the Internet.
The group has garnered support from some union members including the United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100. — The Baltimore Sun and Reuters