Occupy Baltimore: Right or wrong, it’s no place for an infant

Occupy Baltimore's deadline of evacuating McKeldin Square is looming, and with it, looms the future of the city's offshoot of the movement. The city has asked the group to reduce its presence at the square to two people overnight. In exchange, they have offered to provide 10 pop-up shelters for daytime use. I've been down to McKeldin Square about a half-dozen times since they first set up on Oct. 4, and each time it has been different — in the mood and in the setting. On Tuesday morning, I noticed something I hadn't seen before: a small child, maybe 2 or 3 years old. She was hanging around a group of Occupy Baltimore participants playing a game of chess. She was also wearing a bag of Utz Salt'n Vinegar chips on her sleeve, removing her arm every few minutes to eat a chip. It was not clear who the child's parents were. I spent some time watching this group and the child. When one of the chess players stepped away to go to the food tent, the child — with her Utz bag in-tow — took his place and curiously began reaching for the pieces on the board. As she did, a young woman, also sitting around the table reached out with a broom handle and began to prod and lightly whack the child's hand to keep her from ruining the game. About 100 feet away, in the small village of camping tents, Whitney Saraglou and Cody Parsons (who both appeared in this video) were waking up and climbing out of their tent — which was donated to Occupy Baltimore. The two had been living on the site for five days, and both said they would be willing to go to jail for the cause. Both are unemployed, and Saraglou said she had been sleeping under an overpass until recently.