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   Sun Strays Off the (Peace) Path; Read the Facts Here

MEDIA CRITICISM:

Sun Strays Off the (Peace) Path; Read the Facts Here

by Alice Cherbonnier

First, the Facts of the Case:
The peace group called Women in Black organized a Peace Path event to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on September 11 to mark the anniversary of that tragedy and show solidarity for peace and take a stand against the use of armed conflict to solve problems.

From the Inner Harbor north to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore County, many blocks of Charles Street were "occupied" by folks of all description holding up signs calling for peace. Sometimes the coverage was sparse; other times there was a crowd. Even before the 4 o'clock starting time, a number of signs were sighted along the stretch across from Johns Hopkins.

The signs showed varying levels of artistic skill, and they weren't just in English. For example, in the 5100 block-where over 100 participants lined both sides of the block-messages were brandished in German, Korean and French in addition to English. Four clusters of Baltimoreans staked out the corners of the busy Northern Parkway intersection, with additional people fanned out in all directions. The Lake Avenue intersection was claimed, too.

This was the second Peace Path commemoration; another was held last year on the same date. Participants in this year's event reported that many of the motorists driving by showed support by honking, making the peace sign with their fingers, flashing their lights, and yelling supportive comments. "It was just amazing to see how the people had a need for supporting us," said Christa Martin, 21, a visitor to the US from Germany who held a sign reading "Frieden"-"peace." "I thought it was amazing how much support we got from people in their cars. I hadn't expected that. It gave you a sense you were doing the right thing." Ms. Martin is an intern with the Chronicle.

Now for the Report from our Paper of Record:
In the Fri., Sept. 12 issue of The Sun, there's a story, "Remembrance: From church services to a firefighters' toast at a pub, the area remembers Sept. 11," with a kicker reading "Diverse memorials mark anniversary of attacks". The author, Andrew A. Green, has only this to say about the Peace Path-which was by far the largest single manifestation held here to mark the 9/11 anniversary:

"...A dozen people, ages 3 to 71, assembled at the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon to wave peace signs at commuters in the 5:30 traffic crush. Organizers had hoped to draw a long line of peace activists along Charles Street from the waterfront to Baltimore County. But with a slim turnout on both sides of the white marble Washington Monument, that hope was not realized."

To call this a failure of community journalism would be too kind. We are embarrassed that our fellow newspaper has made such a misrepresentation. Oversight? Incompetence? Intent to trivialize? We cannot say. We leave it to you, dear reader, to be the judge.


Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on September 12, 2003.
  
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