Notes From the Inside: Not Quite 99% Accurate
Five myths about the occupiers at Camp Coyote
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
They’re not cooperating with UNM. The protesters, to the best of their knowledge, followed UNM’s instructions to the letter. When they were asked to move from Tight Grove on University and Central to Yale Park at Yale and Central, they did so two days before the University’s deadline. The demonstrators who were removed by police from Yale Park in the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 10, were not aware they were in violation of University policy.
They’re not doing anything for the community. The protesters offer free food to anyone who’s hungry and blankets to anyone who’s cold. Several people who would otherwise have nowhere else to go have been able to sleep at the Center for Peace and Justice on Harvard and Silver since the University informed demonstrators they can no longer sleep on campus.
They’re just a bunch of unemployed, pot-smoking hippies. Some occupiers are unemployed, sure—but that’s exactly the point of the protest. The September statistics have the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.1 percent and underemployment at 18.5 percent. Occupiers don’t want to be unemployed any more than anyone else. As for the pot: Alcohol and illegal drugs are strictly banned at Camp Coyote.
They’re destroying the campus and forcing UNM to clean up after them. UNM asked the demonstrators to move from their original location because the area has historical significance to the university and the administration feared damage to it. The protesters promptly moved, cleaning up their trash as they left.
But still, they’re dirty, right? I heard some pretty nasty things about the state of Yale Park. UNM Spokesperson Karen Wentworth said during a press conference that the administration had received complaints of “excrement” in Yale Park. A quick look around reveals that there’s no excrement in the grass or on the sidewalks. If a dog poops in the park, occupiers say it’s usually cleaned up quickly. The protesters are serious about keeping the area clean and maintain recycling for several types of materials.
Andrew Beale has been following the Albuquerque group since the beginning of the occupation.
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