Baltimore protest welcomes Haitian refugees, slams Border Patrol racism

SLL photo: Andre Powell

On Sept. 29, Baltimore activists joined the Emergency Week of Actions for Haitian Refugees by staging a protest at City Hall. Russell McClain from the Peoples Power Assembly facilitated the rally. Rev. Annie Chambers opened up with a powerful and rousing message in opposition to the Biden administration’s racist deportations.  

Dr. “Doc” Cheatham, who represents the Henson Neighborhood Association in police victim Freddie Gray’s community, presented the group’s demands. Next, Bill Goodin from BlackMen Unifying BlackMen and Leon Purnell, director of the Eastside Men and Families Center, pointed out the disparity in the treatment of Black immigrants. 

Union activist Sharon Black, who traveled to Haiti, explained why the movement demands reparations for the Haitian people. Then came Dick Ochs from Baltimore Peace Action, who spoke against U.S. military intervention.   

Socialist Unity Party representative Andre Powell and Joyce Butler of Peoples Power Assembly and Prisoners Solidarity Committee concluded the rally with rousing chants.

What became a “people’s assembly,” representing both West and East Baltimore, called for the mayor and City Council to pass a resolution welcoming Haitian refugees, condemning the racist violence by the Border Patrol, and denouncing Biden’s deportations and plans to imprison refugees at Guantanamo.  

Everyone exclaimed, “We the people of Baltimore welcome Haitian people to our city.”