UNM Director of Student Affairs Debbie Morris ordered Yale Park shut down for the third day yesterday in an attempt to keep unoccupyABQ members from carrying through with teach-ins, trainings, art, poetry & music in the park. Morris told the group Friday morning that because they had not made a reservation, they would not be allowed in the park. She said the reservation was necessary because other people might be “planning to use the park as well.” When asked if any other groups were planning to use the park as well, Morris replied, “No.” A dozen UNM police then stepped in to hear the unoccupy group mic-check their reservation.
“We are here today as responsible members of our communities. We are peaceably assembling to connect with each other and to have important dialogue about the issues facing us. We live in a time of abundance, but a growing number of people suffer from poverty, homelessness, malnutrition, and disease and are subjected to the worst environmental disasters. What deepens this crisis is that the richest one percent has a stranglehold on the world’s wealth. It is not surprising that xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, class-based discrimination, and other forms of oppression continue to thrive in our society. We are participating in direct democracy that will enrich our social lives and make us better-informed members of our communities as we create the world that we want to live in.”
The police instructed the group to leave the park in 30 minutes or be arrested.
Thirty-five minutes later, unoccupyABQ began their day’s events along the 3-foot wide strip of concrete between the dirt that is the southern boundary of Yale Park and the city bus lane on Central Avenue.
“Four months to the day since we were forced out last fall,” one Unoccupyer said, “And it is happening at #OWS sites all over the country. Freedom of speech is a dangerous thing.”
“I don’t think we need to make any more reservations,” another member said. “My people haven’t been doing so well on the ones we already have.”
Up to 18 police were stationed in the park the rest of the day to keep it cleared of people. One unsuspecting young man entering Yale Park from the north side was quickly approached by three police officers and ordered to leave. “This is ridiculous,” the man said. “I’m a student at this university and you’re telling me I can’t sit in the park to eat my lunch? I don’t have anything to do with what’s going on over there.” Police threatened the man with arrest and after a heated exchange, he did as he was told and left the park.