Protest

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Demonstrations against racism and police violence continue around the United States and here in New Mexico. KUNM’s team has been to nearly all of them in Albuquerque and reports that protesters are pretty much always peaceful. On Thursday, Aug. 6, organizers with the Black New Mexico Movement gathered Downtown to speak out against what they said is biased news coverage about them and an inadequate police response to militia threats.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Rallies and marches for racial justice have drawn thousands to the streets of New Mexico’s largest city this summer, but protest looked different for one 67-year-old Black resident of an Albuquerque suburb. Every weekday for a month, Elizabeth Ward stood ­­– and sometimes sat – with a Black Lives Matter sign on a dusty street corner in Rio Rancho. The sprawling city’s population is whiter and more conservative than Albuquerque’s, with an all-Republican governing body. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had officially outlawed slavery. Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Juneteenth in Albuquerque this weekend, filling Roosevelt Park with music, dancing and barbeque. 

Arianna Sena / KUNM

In episode 77 we dive into the state’s special legislative session that started today. The primary reason for the emergency meeting is to address the unexpected budget shortfall brought on by COVID-19 and the decimation of oil and gas markets that provide much of New Mexico’s public funding.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In episode 76, we discuss criminal justice reform, from policing to prisons. We get a preview of the Albuquerque mayor and a city councilor plans to remake the public safety system. A criminal justice reporter tells us about COVID-19 in state prisons and reminds us that there is little race or ethnicity data to show us who is affected. But first, YNMG Executive Producer Marisa Demarco tells us what it was like to be at a protest this week where someone she knows was shot by a man trying to protect a statue of a genocidal Spanish conquistador. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM News

People out in the streets protesting police brutality and systemic racism face the health risks of being in large crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. Health officials recommend wearing a mask, keeping your distance and getting tested regularly if you're attending mass gatherings. 

Megan Kamerick

George Floyd was laid to rest in Houston this week, and protests calling for an end to racist police violence are continuing around the country and here in New Mexico. These are usually pretty loud, but one that took place in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill  on Wednesday, June 10 was quite different.

UNM Center For Southwest Research

On Friday night, June 5, Amelia Brown says they and their friend were shot at by two unidentified men outside Presbyterian Hospital on Central at 9:15 p.m. Brown helped coordinate supplies for a Black Lives Matter protest on June 1 in Albuquerque, and has attended several marches in the last couple weeks. On Friday evening, they were walking to a vigil at UNM, from the site of another demonstration at Civic Plaza downtown that they say had ended before they arrived. Brown says they don’t know who shot at them, but that they are one of several local black activists being targeted and surveilled by both police and groups of armed civilians in recent days.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 

Every day for over a week, masses of people in Albuquerque have showed up in public to condemn state violence against black people and call for systemic change. Though national narratives have characterized Black Lives Matter protests as volatile and prone to violence, Albuquerque saw thousands of people all week peacefully marching, mourning individuals killed by police, celebrating black culture and speaking out. The events this weekend had different organizers and drew different crowds. City administration made it harder to get to many of them, blocking access to most of the Downtown area with concrete barricades starting Friday.

Nash Jones / KUNM

Most of the demonstrations calling for justice and an end to racist police violence in New Mexico over the last two weeks have been in Albuquerque. On Saturday morning, the more conservative, western suburb of Rio Rancho held its own demonstration with about 100 people gathering on the steps of City Hall. 

Yasmin Khan / KUNM

 

Hundreds of masked protesters in white coats, green scrubs, and street clothes gathered six feet apart for a "die-in" yesterday outside the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library to highlight anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism embedded in the health care system. Protesters honored the memory of George Floyd, denounced police brutality and white supremacy in medicine, and demanded change in their institution.

still from video by Shaun Griswold

Just blocks from a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Albuquerque on May 28, two black teenagers and two Hispanic teenagers were pulled from a car by Albuquerque police officers in riot gear. They say they were threatened by police— until some protestors arrived on the scene. The youth were taken into custody but released hours later without being charged. Police say they suspect them of firing shots near the protest, an allegation they deny. APD reports they recovered no weapons at the scene. KUNM's Khalil Ekulona spoke with 18-year-old Noah Tapia about his run-in with militarized officers.

Weekend protests drew crowds across the country including in the Mountain West, from hundreds in Boise and Reno to thousands in Denver. Some city leaders now worry such gatherings could lead to new outbreaks of COVID-19.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Sunday that the city will be offering free tests to demonstrators. 

Shaun Griswold

Joining national protests against racist police violence, hundreds of people in Albuquerque participated in a Black Lives Matter car rally Thursday evening, May 28. Near the end of the rally, the Albuquerque Police Department deployed their riot teams, with military-grade equipment, and took into custody four teenagers of color after gunshots were fired nearby. They were not charged and were later released. Their detainment sparked a police altercation with demonstrators. The escalated police response to unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters stands in contrast to the lack of visible police presence at an anti-shutdown demonstration that included armed white protesters on Civic Plaza last month.

Bryce Dix / KUNM

Around a thousand people walked out of classrooms and workplaces in Albuquerque Friday as part of the global climate strike to call for action on climate change. KUNM caught up with the strikers at Robinson Park.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A sea of red hats and red shirts surrounded the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho last night as Trump supporters gathered to chant and shout their patriotism. When he came three years ago, headlines highlighted the violent reaction to his visit to Albuquerque, though hundreds had protested peacefully for hours before that went down. This time, his campaign painted New Mexico as a winnable swing state, saying he had growing support among Hispanic voters. 

Bryce Dix/KUNM

Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday in downtown Albuquerque to demand an end to inhumane conditions in detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border. It was part of a nationwide response to federal immigration policies that have separated family members, led to migrant deaths in detention and sought to limit who can seek asylum in the U.S.

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

A high schooler from Carlsbad organized the Stand for the Second movement Wednesday for students who support the Second Amendment.

Not All N.M. Schools Supported Student Walkouts

Mar 14, 2018
May Ortega / KUNM News

 

Some local schools encouraged their students to protest on Wednesday. But Rio Rancho High School was not one them.

Elaine Baumgartel/KUNM / KUNM

Hundreds of people protested in downtown Santa Fe Friday, Sept. 8, calling for an end to a controversial Fiestas event called La Entrada. It's a re-enactment of Diego de Vargas' reconquest of the city after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. 

Native American activists and their allies see it as a celebration of genocide and have protested the event repeatedly over the years. This year marks the third in a row.

Indigenous Rights Power Repeat Protest Of Spanish Entrada

Sep 8, 2017
Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

In downtown Santa Fe Friday Sept. 8, protesters will gather to call for an end to the annual re-enactment of the reconquest of the city by Spanish conquistador Diego de Vargas after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. La Entrada is one of the events at Santa Fe’s annual Fiestas celebrations. 

Iraqi Chooses Sanctuary In The U.S. Over Deportation

Jul 13, 2017
Sarah Trujillo via KUNM

An Iraqi man chose to seek refuge in a church in Albuquerque today rather than report for deportation.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the country, questions about law enforcement and free speech are coming to the fore as police clash with demonstrators. Scores of officers were sent to the Milo Yiannopoulos event at UNM in January where hundreds protested the extremist speaker. We made multiple public records requests, and now, months later, we know the total cost to taxpayers. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  

When extremist speakers come to town, free speech advocates argue it’s their right under the First Amendment to say whatever they want. But what does it cost to have an event like that on a university campus? Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos' event in January sparked protests, KUNM's been trying to find out. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People around the nation packed major airports this past weekend denouncing President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and—temporarily—immigrants from seven largely Muslim countries. The same was true in New Mexico. A huge and diverse group of demonstrators descended on the Sunport on Sunday.   

Thousands Rally In Solidarity With Women In ABQ

Jan 21, 2017
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

As more than half a million people turned up to the Women’s March in D.C., here at home, demonstrators gathered around the state. In Albuquerque, hail and wind did not deter thousands from streaming into Civic Plaza Downtown, in what has to be one of the biggest women’s rights-centric events ever in New Mexico. The message was inclusive of civil rights, protections for immigrants, health care and more. The massive crowd was jubilant. 

Albuquerque Protests Trump Presidency

Jan 21, 2017
Marisa Demarco/KUNM

In Downtown Albuquerque, street lights reflected off wet asphalt as a couple hundred nonviolent demonstrators called for political revolution. Their ranks swelled, and at first, there wasn’t a police officer in sight.

UNM Students Walk Out On Trump Inauguration

Jan 20, 2017
Anna Lande/KUNM

The sky was grey as scores of students at the University of New Mexico gathered today to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Speakers took turns at a microphone, promising scrutiny and resistance to his administration. A handful of patriotic pro-Trump students turned up, too.

During the murder trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a man with mental illness, video and audio of James Boyd ranting and threatening police officers was played by the defense. The neighbor who called the police on him took the stand to say that he was afraid of the man, who was homeless and camping nearby in the Sandia Foothills. Boyd might not have had a lot of other options.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It wasn’t the biggest anti-police violence demonstration Albuquerque has seen—fluctuating between around 50 and 100 people. But tensions were high, especially when law enforcement seemed to outnumber protesters.

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