Mobtown Blues

The Baltimore Riots: Crowds filling the streets, burning and looting local businesses, and confronting the police and the National Guard.

Crowds formed on such streets as Gay St. in East Baltimore; windows were smashed and cars burned. Police moved in. People began to report fires after 6 pm. The mayor and police were unable to respond effectively. Soon after, the governor declared a state of emergency and called in troops from the National Guard. Reports describe a crowd, which moved north on Gay St. up to Harford Rd. and Greenmount Ave. Rioting and looting spread, breaking out on Pennsylvania Ave. and elsewhere across the city.

Only this describes the Baltimore Riots of 1968. Exact same streets, and neglected blocks. Same actions. Same response.

Very little has changed in nearly 50 years.

Except one thing: Social media fueled recent mobtown violence, with a call yesterday to loot Mondawmin Mall, a la the lawlessness featured in the film The Purge.

Progress, anyone?

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Check out these pics and tweets via USA Today.

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