While violence erupted a couple of weeks ago in Baltimore, a group of men called the 300 Men March walked through the streets of the city trying to quell the violence.
During the unrest 300 Men March members found themselves standing between the police and those protesting the death of Freddie Gray. The group was founded in 2013 by Munir Bahar, a tax accountant and fitness enthusiast. At the time he created the group Baltimore was going through a very violent summer. According to the 300 Men March website:
We are a movement of men and women across the entire City of Baltimore united to press the issue of everyday gun violence in our urban neighborhoods. We do not protest, we do not blame others, we are not a prayer group. We are citizens, fed up with current accepted patterns of violence in our community. We exist to fulfill our mission. Our mission is to decrease gun violence.
The rioters had rocks and bricks. The police, dressed in military gear, had guns.
The 300 Men March had black T-shirts.
As chaos broke out across Baltimore last week, dozens of men from the grass-roots group walked violent city streets, breaking up fights and inserting themselves between angry young men and the police.
“They did a fantastic job,” said the Rev. Louis Wilson, pastor of New Song Community Church in Sandtown-Winchester. “Any time you have a number of men stepping up, I think it has a significant impact.”
Community members say the 300 Men group, as well as other volunteers who patrolled tense neighborhoods, played a key role as peacekeepers amid the lawlessness.