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Thousands In ABQ Peacefully Protest Racist Police Violence; Organizers Hand Out PPE

Nash Jones / KUNM
Protesters marching along Route 66 in Albuquerque, May 31, 2020.

Thousands participated in a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Albuquerque Sunday night in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Organizers handed out bags of donation-funded supplies to help participants feel safer demonstrating during the pandemic. 

Protesters gathered Sunday evening on the westside of the University of New Mexico campus on Central Ave. with signs that read, “Black Lives Matter” and “White silence is violence.” The group chanted, “say his name: George Floyd” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”

Organizer Hossanna Scott fundraised online to provide protesters with baggies of supplies, including PPE, water and snacks. She says she raised over $4,000 from community donations. “Mobilizing and organizing during a pandemic is a whole new thing, it’s a whole new ballpark,” said Scott. “But I just wanted people to feel safe. That’s the reason I got these masks, hand sanitizer, gloves on deck. Because, I just know it’ll be hard for some people, but I just want people to show up.”

Credit Nash Jones / KUNM
Bags of community funded supplies for protesters included masks and snacks. Volunteers handed them out along the protest march route, May 31, 2020.

People showed up. The group eventually grew to thousands, marching along Route 66 to Downtown Albuquerque, where they gathered on a roundabout on 8th St. by Robinson Park for a moment of silence.

Protesters then headed back up to the UNM area before marching to Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza, where speeches were given.

Following that gathering, most protesters went home. Later, violence and looting broke out when only one or two hundred people remained downtown. The Albuquerque Police Department says they were shot at outside the KiMo Theatre. No injuries have been reported.  

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays, 5-7 p.m.). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.