Riot

Yasmin Khan / KUNM


 

Dozens of people braved the 100-degree weather last Sunday in Roosevelt Park to remember the Chicano-led rebellion against police brutality and racism that was sparked there on June 13, 1971.  The rebellion is a key, but often overlooked moment in New Mexico’s Chicano history.  Fifty years later and in the context of the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising, the rebellion serves as a reminder of the long record of police violence, resistance, and collaboration by Black and people of color in the state. Chicano community elders Richard Moore and Joaquin Lujan, formerly part of the Chicano rights organization the Black Berets, recounted how the rebellion started.  Lujan explained that besides police repression, the rebellion was triggered by widespread racism against the Chicano community.

AP Wire

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of a Rebellion at Roosevelt Park. It began on June 13, 1971 after a young Chicano man was reportedly arrested for selling a joint to an undercover narcotics agent. As the situation escalated the Black Berets, a Chicano community organization, were called in.

The Berets tried to move people out of the park and speak with police, but were fired upon. This blew up into a riot fueled by decades of racism and police abuse against Albuquerque’s Chicano community. Eventually, the National Guard was brought in.

The violence took place just blocks from the KUNM offices and reporters at the scene gathered sound. As we mark this anniversary, KUNM volunteers Kent Paterson and Ali Liddel share audio from that day.