In the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 8, Baltimore police officers arrested seven protesters taking part in a month long sit-in at Garland Hall against Johns Hopkins University’s $1.5 million ICE contracts and newly-authorized private police force.
7 protestors were arrested after an over month-long sit-in at Johns Hopkins against the university’s $1.5 million dollar ICE contracts and newly authorized private police force. pic.twitter.com/MYToQXXpky
— Jaisal Noor (@jaisalnoor) May 8, 2019
The university had warned protesters they were subject to arrest after they took over and chained themselves to the building on May 1. Just days earlier, activist Tawanda Jones, whose brother was killed by police in 2013, was threatened with legal action over her participation in the protests (https://therealnews.com/columns/baltimore-activist-threatened-with-legal-action-over-participation-in-hopkins-protests). In a statement, the university cited “grave concerns about the unsafe circumstances in and around Garland Hall and followed multiple offers of amnesty from university officials and warnings from the police if the protesters left the building.”
But protesters argued the university’s actions put vulnerable populations and students, faculty, and community members of color at risk. The protest received support from a number of groups, including a statement from the Homewood Faculty Assembly on April 8 which called on the university to withdraw its plans for an armed private police force.
Earlier this week the Homewood Faculty Assembly at @JohnsHopkins called on the University to withdraw its plan for an armed, private police force, and urged it to work with stakeholders on a new plan. Awaiting a response from Johns Hopkins admin. pic.twitter.com/ikKjNRUFEn
— Jaisal Noor (@jaisalnoor) April 10, 2019
Protesters also note that university officials gave $16,000 to disgraced now-former mayor Catherine Pugh before she backed the bill that created the armed private police force. The donations were first reported by The Baltimore Brew.