Sebastian Pais and Kristen Gandy announced tonight the end of the hunger strike that began last Tuesday when UNM President Schmidly refused to reconsider the eviction of (un)Occupy Albuquerque encampment from Yale Park. Though Schmidly did not attend tonight’s (un)Occupy Albuquerque general assembly, UNM Provost Chaouki T. Abdallah was on hand to field protesters questions and listen to this statement read by Sebastian:
“I am happy that the provost of UNM has taken the leadership to come meet us tonight at Yale Park and during our assembly. We know it is unusual for the UNM administration to meet with such a large gathering of people not precisely wanting to pad their backs. We acknowledge the effort and respect you.
We also recognize that the other thing unusual is our movement itself. A movement created by people from different paths of life, different ideologies, but with very similar struggles. We came together because we know that we can and it is our duty to strengthen our democracy and seek change in an economic model that is increasing the inequalities among equals. We fight for accountability in all levels of government. It saddens me that President Schmidly decided not to come tonight and be an example to all other public servants. While it saddens me, it allows me to see that we are on the right track. That accountability is missing and must be achieved at ALL levels in our public institutions.
It is my strong believe that this proves that he is not able to fulfill the requirements of his position and I voice again my vote of no confidence and recommend his resignation.
We know many in the administration are the ones truly in power and after Schmidly is out, they will remain, and the structural problems will also remain. We will talk about UNM’s accountability, its budget, and where the benefits of professors are going, in a different occasion. Just keep in mind that we may forgive but we won’t forget.
But tonight we want UNM to hear our proposal. Something that I believe we can all agree on:
UNM observes our right to exercise our first amendment rights anywhere on campus.
UNM will not request a permit from us for holding working group gatherings (of any of our current or future groups or teach-ins)
We will not have a kitchen on Yale Park
UNM and the assembly will open an ongoing line of communication.
Our Assembly meetings will be respected and allowed through a permit on Yale Park between 5pm and 10pm Monday through Friday, Saturdays and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
As in any place in the state security forces ought to defend community members from anyone or anything that may cause harm to individuals or groups. Assembly members will not hesitate to contact local authorities if they feel their security is at risk.”
2,070 people signed the change.org petition to end the hunger strike and calling for UNM President Schmidly to respect freedom of speech and assembly. Read the reasons people signed at: http://www.change.org/petitions/unm-president-respect-unoccupy-albuquerques-rights-to-free-speech-and-assembly
[ALL_UNIVERSITY-LISTSERVE] President Schmidly’s Monday Morning Message
Office of the PresidentMonday Morning Message – November 7, 2011 Reply |Office of Monday Morning Message – November 7, 2011
(Un)Occupy Albuquerque Update
Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet with several members of (Un)Occupy Albuquerque protest movement to exchange ideas and address concerns that have arisen over the past month. I feel that the meeting was positive, and as a result have written an open letter to the UNM community that provides an overview of our conversation as well as my thoughts on the matter. I invite you all to read the letter at http://www.unm.edu/president/documents/2011/presidents-letter-unoccupy-abq.pdf.
(Other UNM business included here)
Have a good week.
David J. Schmidly