Men At Work — Baltimore magazine
In a move designed to add a new layer of protection for artists who get kicked out of spaces deemed to be in violation of city building codes, Mayor Catherine Pugh today issued an executive order allowing officials to let artists remain in their buildings, so as long as their safety isn’t threatened.
Dozens of artists who have been working out of the Bell Foundry space in Station North are in need of new studios and supplies after being suddenly evicted on Monday afternoon by city officials.
If you’ve ever been the victim of a self-help eviction — in which your landlord locks you out of your apartment with little or no notice — it might have felt downright medieval. And in fact, it is. Last year Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that a 600-year-old English law affirming a landlord’s ability to make a tenant homeless in the blink of an eye still holds. But now there’s pending legislation to catapult our state’s eviction laws from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
According to the stalwart protesters in Baltimore’s McKeldin Square, the city has refused their request for a permit and set a deadline to clear the square. And that deadline is tomorrow.
Well, it’s not a total eviction — two people can stay. Which doesn’t make for much of an occupation, according to organizers:
The city suggests that the demonstrators agree in good faith to
maintain only one overnight tent with just two people. Occupy
Baltimore counters that anyone who wants to stay in their space is
allowed a safe place to stay, out of the elements and with enough food
to eat. Furthermore, Occupy Baltimore has a complex infrastructure
already, with media, food, direct action, outreach, security, and
other working groups, which couldn’t possibly be contained within two
What will happen tomorrow? That remains to be seen.