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This powerful footage of over 100 clergy arm-in-arm through Baltimore shows the power of community.

See the powerful scene on the streets of Baltimore as over 100 clergy members marched right up to a row of cops.

As years of understandable pent-up frustration with the police boiled over in Baltimore last night, there was one scene that really stood out.

"Over 500 Pastors out here declaring God and Peace on North Ave, what sight. The people have joined in this army to reclaim our streets. We love our City, Bmore!!!"
Posted by Antoine Burton on Monday, April 27, 2015

Hundreds of faith leaders marched down the streets of Baltimore, praying and singing loudly.

Watching the men and women walk down the street, their crowd growing by the minute, was a bit of stunningly powerful imagery when put up against scenes of violence that seem to be on a loop.

In what started as a small group, they grew in number as people from the sidewalks filed in.


The group marched arm-in-arm in the direction of some of the city's most intense riots.

Periodically, they would kneel in the streets and pray together.

They marched right up to a police blockade. Peacefully, they stood in front of the police, before turning back.

They came to an agreement with the police, who needed to move forward up the street to other areas of the city. The clergy led the police back up the street peacefully.

Whether you're religious or not, this is reassuring to see.

According to a report from 2012, just 30% of Baltimore Police Department employees live inside Baltimore city limits. And according to Baltimore's projected 2015 budget, the city plans to spend $8.6 million on SWAT and ESU (Emergency Service Unit), compared to $148,639 on "Police Community Relations."

When you see footage like this of community leaders calming and leading the crowd in ways that the police can't, you can't help but wonder if perhaps those numbers shouldn't be quite so unbalanced.

It was a beautiful, moving display of peaceful protest designed to show solidarity and help diffuse the situation.

The peace within so much chaos is moving and encouraging. It's their way of pushing for change.

People express their anger and disappointment and frustration in different ways, and that's understandable. But in so much of the coverage of the Baltimore protests, we've only seen a single form of that expression, with many networks focused on showing scenes of violence and looting.

This footage added a much-needed layer of nuance and hope to what was being reported in Baltimore.

Watch the crowd gather and march in this video from WBAL:

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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