Allow Occupy Albuquerque to collectively assemble on UNM/public property.
This petition made change with 120 supporters!
Hello President Schmidly and Chief Guimond,
We the undersigned are sending this notice to each of you demonstrating our support of the group that is 'camping' out at the corner of University and Central avenues on UNM/Public property. This group of mostly students is rallying in support of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement that is entering its 3rd week in New York City and is part of hundreds of groups from around the globe standing in solidarity with the original protestors. Most of these groups involve students from their own communities and many actions are taking place on college campuses across the U.S. as well as in other nations.
In listening in at the group's last two General Assemblies, it was clear they are aware of the fact that they could be kicked off of campus grounds at any point in time. They are also aware of potential UNM concerns such as crowd control, trash, landscaping, etc and seemed to be well versed in how to deal with those issues in such a way as to be seen as good stewards of the land. Many of the 'campers' have been trained in conflict resolution, dialogue/organizing techniques and non-violent resistance which will hopefully put the university at greater ease as to the potential for trouble from within this gathering.
As observers of this group, we can confidently say that the message of 'what they want' is in process at this time. Each 'occupation' is developing their own message over the coming days. A sample of the message from Wall Street can be found here: http://nycga.cc/category/news/official_ga/. Please note that it took two weeks for the message to be worked out by the group in New York. We expect the Albuquerque group to come up with a similar statement.
Last, and possibly most important, this group of students and community members feels 'safe' on campus grounds. Given our communities recent history of how the Albuquerque Police Dept. (APD) has inappropriately dealt with protestors near UNM and the fact that there have been 18 APD officer related shootings involving the use of deadly force in sometimes questionable circumstances over the past 2 years, the people who have been gathering in the General Assemblies are quite uncertain about camping out in front of any bank buildings in town. As a publicly funded institution we hope that you allow this kind of democratic action to take place on university grounds.
We hope that you see the importance of allowing this group to collectively assemble in the above mentioned location as they express the angers and frustrations of a growing percentage of the population both in the U.S. and abroad. If you have questions about what they are up to or concerns that you would like to have addressed, they are holding daily general assembly meetings at 6PM.
The letter was originally signed by:
Dr. Les Field - Anthropology/Peace Studies
Dr. Jenny Moore - UNM Law School
Dr. Felipe Gonzales - Assoc. Dean of Coll. of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Sarita Cargas - Lecturer in Honors/Peace Studies
Dr. Steve Bishop - Assoc. Professor of Linguistics
Desi Brown - Peace Studies Advisor/Instructor
Renee Wolters - Peace Studies Instructor
Jeminie Shell - Supporting Academic Comm. Member
Dr. Cristian Correa - Visiting Scholar - ICTJ
Aaron Marks, Grad Student
Brianne Bigej, Law Student
Sophie Lane, Law Student
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