Action: Noon – Thursday, March 8th at the UNM Bookstore (Central & Cornell)
UNM is witnessing a growing threat to free speech and assembly. The university has not only condoned violations of free speech, but also actively participated in repressing people’s freedom to express themselves.
Some UNM students were violently attacked last week for exercising their freedom of speech in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Students who were seated and peacefully reading a statement in support of the Palestinian people were attacked and physically assaulted. An undergraduate student became an immediate target of violence, ostensibly because she is a woman of color and was wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh. Attackers singled her out and screamed anti-Muslim racial slurs as they threw punches that caused her to lose consciousness. Other students who were with her were also targets of bodily violence with one woman suffering a concussion. These students have been met by indifference by both the UNM police and administration offices.
Later that week, two UNM students, an alumna, and a Civil Rights lawyer were arrested at Yale Park when they tried to participate in a weekend of teach-ins about colonization, white privilege, and growing economic disparity. (un)Occupy Albuquerque, which had organized three days of teach-ins, was denied accessed to Yale Park by UNM police. On Sunday afternoon, a member of Occupy Santa Fe who arrived to attend the #OWS Statewide General Assembly sat in the park as an act of civil disobedience and was arrested. UNM police, who became increasingly aggressive, then arrested three bystanders, charging one student for obstruction after he was hit by a police car and another for not moving quickly enough back to the sidewalk.
As members of the University community, we are deeply disturbed by the growing incidences of intolerance on campus. UNM has not only failed to address these issues but has actively participated in violating people’s rights to a peaceful assembly. We cannot abide by a university that condones hate crimes and assault against women and those who are exercising their right to peaceful protest.
Join us on Thursday, March 8, at noon in front of the UNM Bookstore (Central & Cornell) for a protest march and demonstration to coincide with International Women’s Day. Bring signs for the protest to show solidarity with UNM students, staff, faculty and community members who have been victimized by UNM’s repression of freedom.
Please dress in red & black, international STRIKE colors, and consider making a sign to reflect the following messages:
- UNM must offer EQUAL PROTECTION to all students.
- UNM must not condone violence.
- We reject the authority of a university that condones woman-beating.