[Baltimore Sun] Stand up for freedom? Start with protests pegged to Arizona Diamondbacks. | READER COMMENTARY

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Freedom “manifests itself throughout history in countless struggles for liberation” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s part-owner Armstrong Williams recently (“Armstrong Williams: What is freedom?” April 7). We could all advance this struggle for freedom by using the upcoming May 10, 11 and 12 weekend visit of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to dramatically protest a recent and shocking Arizona all-Republican court decision banning abortion, justified by being based on 1864 Arizona legislation (“Arizona can enforce an 1864 law criminalizing nearly all abortions, court says,” April 9).

While a fan, team and statewide boycott of those three games in protest would be most vivid, it unfairly penalizes a brilliant young Orioles team, new owner David Rubenstein and the economic benefits of three days of downtown baseball. Instead, a weekend of “It Is Not 1864 In Baltimore” orderly demonstrations, ceremonial manifestations at the ballpark, instructional seminars, concerts, plays, public statements by our owners and players and more can demonstrate Baltimore’s thinking has progressed far, far beyond the Civil War era.

This should not be used to disrespect the visiting team, even though it represents a state with ominous threats to the freedoms Armstrong Williams so strongly supports. The 1864 legislature the Arizona court draws on to limit women’s rights in health decisions and imprison medical professionals also says no “black or mulatto, or Indian, Mongolian or Asiatic shall [be permitted to testify] against any white person,” bans interracial marriage and sets the age of consent for sexual activity at age 10.

We could even add a local celebration that weekend. Maryland’s third state constitution, which abolished slavery, went into effect in 1864.

— Stan Heuisler, Baltimore

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