I woke up to sleet pelting the windows in my toasty warm house this morning and wondered what the turnout would be like for the Bank Transfer Day rally/protest at the Bank of America in Uptown, Albuquerque NM. Fortunately, as is typical with New Mexico weather, it quickly passed. The day was cold and blustery, but spirits were high as I arrived at the pre-arranged location on Uptown Blvd. Several people already had arrived and were in various locations on both sides of Bank of America as well as along Louisiana Blvd After approximately an hour of sign waving, hand waving and thumbs up’s to the cars honking as they went by, the group then marched from BofA to Louisiana Blvd and south down to Indian School Rd where the destination was the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union paying them respect for all they do.
Occupy / (un) Occupy Albuquerque protesters put on a wake Saturday in honor of the death of our First Amendment rights to Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly after the UNM denied renewal of their permit, and Administration banned the group from protesting on the campus – else face arrest.
UNM will open the park from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 11:00 AM to 3 PM Saturday and Sunday.
After President Schmidly, UNM, declared they would not renew the permit that has allowed Coyote Camp to function, several of the protesters formed a circle and stood their ground. There were too many Albuquerque Police, State Police and SWAT team members that arrived to count. Fully armed on unarmed, peaceful protesters. The circle was peacefully arrested, but later in the night, the police used their “strong arm” to break up the 99% crowd which refused to leave.
Here is some footage from last night. The first video is the circle singing before the arrival of the police. The second video is the group chanting “Down with Schmidly.” Then the next two are the police and SWAT team which arrived and pushed the crowd back into the street. Next, originally uploaded by WallStreetZombies, looks to appear to be the police pepper spraying the crowd in the street. Last video, by MichaelFilmaker, shows the arrests of those in the circle.
Update: Wednesday afternoon, October 26th, 2011: Occupy Albuquerque has been told today by UNM that we are NOT allowed to protest on the UNM campus else face arrest. Not even during normal hours of 7 AM to 10 PM.
After a very emotional today on the UNM campus, President Schmidly officially denied the permit to allow the Occupy Albuquerque protesters to remain on campus. Just a short while ago, State Representative Brian F. Egolf, Jr. penned a letter to President Schmidly requesting that he allow the protesters to remain on campus. Reply from Schmidly has not yet been received at the time of posting.
Here recently in Albuquerque, quite a bit of problems have erupted over the term “Occupy.” Last week, there was a lot of talk of changing the name to “Occupy Wall Street Liberate Albuquerque.” Many people were in favor of this change. Then, on Sunday, a rather rogue move was made – without proper announcement to all on the “Official” Facebook Page – many attending the General Assembly made a sneak attack and came to a consensus to change the name to “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque”. If I had been aware of this, I would have made it to General Assembly and blocked this move.