Union Pickets Baltimore's City Paper Demanding Reporter's 'Resonation'

Back in November, Baltimore’s City Paper ran a rather lengthy story about the corruption of Baltimore’s Local 333 of the International Longshoremen’s Association. It was a good piece, filled with colorful examples (like the one below) of the characters who load and unload containers from ships in Baltimore’s port.


Of these 379 members, 219—almost a quarter of the union membership—have been convicted. By removing from the list of convicts those who were ruled guilty only of relatively minor charges—things like traffic offenses, cable-television fraud, open container, disorderly conduct, housing violations, leaving the scene of an accident, etc.—the list is whittled down to 194 members with serious criminal backgrounds, more than one-fifth of Local 333’s roster.

So far this year, 21 members of Local 333 have been convicted of serious crimes. All but one of them have prior convictions. Their 2010 convictions include: armed robbery, possession with intent to distribute drugs, drug dealing, attempted drug dealing, drug possession (five counts), firearms (three counts), sex offense, escape, theft (two counts), and assault (three counts).

[Apparently, Janet Napolitano’s DHS is more concerned with scanning and groping non-felonious men, women and children than the security at our nation’s ports—but that’s a story for another day.]

In December, the City Paper also did a short follow-up to its November story. As could be expected, though, the union hasn’t taken too kindly to having light shed on its otherwise tarnished reputation. So, on Monday, the union did what unions are known to do when they find themselves under scrutiny: The union attacked the messenger, taking their message about “human rights” to the sidewalks outside the City Paper.


So this happened: A group of protesters picketed in front ofCity Paper’s Park Avenue offices today. They have taken offense at the paper’s coverage of Local 333 of the International Longshoreman’s Association, as published on Nov. 24. Both past Local 333 President Riker “Rocky” McKenzie and Local 333 member Kenny Jackson were on hand.

Now, while the story of a felon-ridden union picketing a newspaper is humorous by itself, what makes it even more entertaining is the pickets the picketers were waving [view photo here] which were adorned with such statements as:

  • Human Rights for Ex-Offenders; and
  • We Demand Van Smiths Resonation
Photo by Frank Hamilton
Photo by Frank Hamilton

Now, since resonation is described as:

…the process by which the basic product of phonation is enhanced in timbre and/or intensity by the air-filled cavities through which it passes on its way to the outside air. Various terms related to the resonation process include amplification, enrichment, enlargement, improvement, intensification, and prolongation, although in strictly scientific usage acoustic authorities would question most of them. The main point to be drawn from these terms by a singer or speaker is that the end result of resonation is, or should be, to make a better sound.


One can only presume that the union picketers are hoping for the stories on their union to be amplified, enriched, enlarged, improved, intensified and prolonged. If that’s the case, we’re glad to help with the resonation process!


“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”  Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


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