‘(Un)Occupy Albuquerque’ gets new permit thanks to ACLU
The University of New Mexico on Tuesday renewed “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque’s” permit to protest at Yale Park after the American Civil Liberties Union intervened on behalf of the demonstrators.
More than a dozen “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque” protesters were arrested last week when the university refused to issue them a new permit and the protesters refused to leave the park. In response, the protesters held a “March for the death of First Amendment rights” over the weekend.
The new permit is valid through November 6, and allows the protesters to use the park from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
“We are pleased that the university and the (Un)Occupy protesters have reached an agreement that upholds the people’s First Amendment right to use public space to assemble and protest the government,” said ACLU of New Mexico Managing Attorney Laura Schauer Ives. “The ACLU of New Mexico will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure that these rights remain intact.”
The protest against the consolidation of economic and political power began on October 1.
The protesters later changed their name from “Occupy Albuquerque” to “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque.”
A protester writing on the liberal blog Daily Kos explained that the group changed its name because the word “occcupy” was problematic for indigenous people.
“For New Mexico’s indigenous people, ‘Occupy’ means 500 years of forced occupation of their lands, resources, cultures, power, and voices by the imperial powers of both Spain and the United States. A big chunk of The 99% has been served pretty well by that arrangement. A smaller chunk hasn’t.”