If the eviction of the Occupy movement from McKeldin Square was as peaceful and respectful as described in The Sun ("Occupy Baltimore seeks new goals," Dec. 14), then Mayor
I visited the site several times in the early days of the protest. In my experience, the police officers were always respectful of the protesters' rights. In contrast to protests in New York, Oakland, and elsewhere, Baltimore has had no police harassment or violation of the Occupiers' freedom of speech and of assembly. The city left the Occupiers undisturbed for 10 weeks.
Although I support the goals of the movement, I was saddened to read recently of alleged crime at the site, and I think that the decision to ultimately evict the protesters is defensible. The handling of the eviction itself was admirable. The city made no arrests, made arrangements for homeless people living at the site, and respected the protesters' property.
The Occupy movement formed to address causes that are far more important than the right to squat on little squares of real estate in America's cities. I hope that they will continue to fight for economic justice and that Baltimore will continue to respect the rights of protesters.