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V.22 No.33 | 8/15/2013
Anti-abortion activists protest at Southwestern Women’s Options on Lomas on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013.
Barron Jones

News Feature

Teenage Protest Pilgrimage Arrives

Young adults bused in to reinforce local pro-life movement

Barron Jones reports on out-of-state teen and young adult anti-abortion protesters and their graphic, controversial nine-day campaign to raise pro-life awareness in Albuquerque.
V.22 No.22 | 5/30/2013
Luis Peña

Food

Hundreds of Santa Feans just say no to Monsanto

My family and I loaded into the family van on Saturday for a trip. Instead of heading out on a picnic or camping in the woods, we headed to Santa Fe to participate in the March On Monsanto. The event was coordinated globally through social media in over 400 cities. As farmers and seed savers, we are well aware of the dangers posed by genetic modification.

To my surprise, there were over 400 people at the demonstration on the Santa Fe Railyard. This coincided with the Saturday Farmer's Market, which created a perfect audience among the Market's mostly green and liberal crowd. After a few speeches by local activists, the group marched to the state capital—waving signs, banners and carrying puppets that warned of the dangers of genetic modification. The protest culminated in live music and rants of various types. It wasn’t your typical family outing, but it was a great day for being alive nonetheless. Siempre en la lucha.

Editor’s note: Scroll on for more photos and a poem by Beata Tsosie-Peña.

Message to Monsanto

I am my own nation, with self-determination, a voice, and my own boundaries

You cannot encroach your mad science here

There will be no splicing, dicing, forceful injections to sterilize THIS free will

Your campaign of violence will never silence,

The power and song of sovereign landscapes

Your campaign to dominate

Remaining pockets of land-based beauty will fail

Your twisted esteem has yet to see

The power of ecology, boomeranged back at you with all the breath and balance

Of pure, reciprocal pollinators

Its funny the audacity, that monoculture mentality

For it’s in our inherent biodiversity

That the hungry will be fed

It’s the garden of truth in our hearts

That will keep our encoded memories

From being bled, carried out in sterile labs

Where viruses are shot with intentional precision

Enacting double helix holocausts on seeds we are supposed to protect

Your poisoning of generations is a toxic war crime

Carried over from your shameful days

Of bombarding veterans and civilians with an an agent called orange

Whose children with disabilities have yet to see

Justice or healthcare in their daily sunrise

Your poisoning of future generations will go no further

For while capitalism feeds you

And sneaky Protection Acts shield your diabolical crew,

Well protect this Monsanto, I am boycotting you

Watch as consumers change this tide

And the world community will no longer abide

No one will care when your abominations are set ablaze

And this place will rejoice

As Indigenous seed weathers its last era of tyranny

Our desert beauty genetics are as strong as our memory

And only we know how to tend and mend,

This land where our spirit is rooted, deeper than you know

We must keep growing our own food, saving heirloom seeds

Keep demanding these basic rights

And at the very least,

change for mandatory gmo labeling is now in sight

Nature has our back, is creating round up resistant seed

Being classified by your people as a super weed

Immune to your poison, is a plant called amaranth

That has fed us through centuries of colonization

What a relief and realization

That we are indeed a living civilization

Adapting and growing amidst such violent supremacy

You can rage into oblivion, drowning in your own greed

Unless you accept your deep need

To be retaught lessons of balance with technology, that does not have to bleed

It is time for this first crop of a movement to flourish

For collective action to harvest truth on hallowed ground

Sweet fruit we inherited

Through natural law that cannot be patented

Spirit beings of all that is alive

Help us get through these times

And we’ll return to our sacred promise

Our rightful place, as stewards of creativity and land-based grace

We remember now, when it is time to become warriors

When our seed is threatened and you have hurt our mother

We’ll stand our ground,

Carry solid intention as we walk in mass

For this is our nation

With self-determination, a voice, and boundaries,

Where only those with souls

In the end shall pass.

—Beata Tsosie-Peña, 2013

V.22 No.20 |

news

The Daily Word in transgender rights, twisters in the US and an arrested "Worm"

The Daily Word

Weather experts warn that more devastating weather can be expected on Monday after tornadoes ripped through the U.S. from Texas all the way to Minnesota on Sunday, May 19.

Yahoo buys Tumblr, promises not to "screw it up."

Kim case adds focus to how the feds probed a working journalist.

Miranda Pacheco, who killed a bicyclist three years ago, is in jail again for reckless driving.

DEA claims that marketing heroin to teens is making Albuquerque's drug problems worse.

Protest to take place on Monday morning for Damian Garcia, a transgender student at St. Pius High School, over which cap and gown he will wear on graduation day.

"Worm" arrested for alleged assault and throwing a rival's moped into the ocean ...

V.21 No.41 | 10/11/2012
Taking a break from the rigors of protesting
Maren Tarro

Freedom of Assembly

Preaching to the Prez

Christian groups shout mixed messages at the White House

A coalition of Christian groups goes to Washington, D.C., to protest prayerfully.
V.21 No.34 | 8/23/2012
Pussy Riot
Igor Tuchin CC 3.0

Aural Fixation

The Power of Pussy

Thanks, Rioteers

Five punk women took on the state, took on the church and they won. Because even though they're paying for it with two years in jail, their ideas lit people up around the globe, inspiring action.
V.21 No.31 | 8/2/2012
Play Youtube Video

Culture

Free Pussy Riot

On the altar of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, five masked women prayed. They prayed for an end to President Vladimir Putin’s rein. They prayed for the virgin to become a feminist.

The February protest aimed to highlight the ties between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church that put him into power. The words convey the weird tangle of church, culture and state. Scope the full text.

Three women were arrested days after the prayer—five had participated in the minute-long event—and have been held in prison ever since on charges of hooliganism. There was a time when this would have seemed more outrageous to free speech-prizing Americans. But we’ve gotten used to arrests after political protests.

Their trial began yesterday and they could do seven years in prison. Two of the defendants have young kids.

The women’s lawyers say they’ve been deprived of sleep and not fed. And though polls indicate most Russians think seven years in jail is too severe a punishment, they seem to agree Pussy Riot should do some time.

Still, internationally, Putin’s looking ever more the fool.

Musicians like Tobi Vail of Bikini Kill and JD Samson of Le Tigre stood in solidarity with Pussy Riot from the start. Hannah Lew of Grass Widow wrote that she feels spoiled as an American musician, and U.S. performers should be inspired to engage in nonviolent protest.

Madonna, Sting, Peter Gabriel and the Red Hot Chili Peppers jumped on the bandwagon today, too, showing support for Pussy Riot.

Freepussyriot.org is keeping track of the collective’s allies.

V.21 No.24 | 6/14/2012

opinion

Video from the Chicago NATO protests

In this week’s opinion slot, Andrew Beale recounts his trip to the City of Wind to film and participate in the protests against NATO. He argues that biased mainstream media accounts are part of why more people get their news from Internet sources and from shaky cell phone videos posted to YouTube. Online, Beale’s piece “Don’t Believe the Hype” includes video footage he shot at the demonstration.

Occupy the Alibi

Don’t Believe the Hype

The image of veterans flinging their medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where the summit was held, provided an incredibly strong statement that our columnist will never forget. As powerful as that was, the act was far overshadowed by the violence immediately afterward, he writes.
V.21 No.22 | 5/31/2012
Chuck Hosking prepares to ride to Kirtland Air Force Base.
Rebecca Belletto

From the Foxhole

Preach the Gospel Always

If necessary, use words

Chuck Hosking is an American marvel, as close to a homegrown prophet as you’re likely to come across.
V.21 No.13 | 3/29/2012

news

Protest against APD shootings today at 4 p.m.

There were two fatal shootings by Albuquerque Police Department officers last week. On Monday, March 19, officer Martin Smith killed Daniel Tillison, who rammed two vehicles as he tried to avoid arrest, according to police. On Wednesday, March 21, SWAT officer Russ Carter killed Gary Atencio near Laguna Pueblo. Police say Atencio fired shots at his wife on the Westside of Albuquerque then led officers on a chase down I-40.

On Friday, the Albuquerque Journal revealed that the police union cuts checks for $300 or $500 to officers who’ve shot people. They money is intended to help officers and their families get out of town for a while, according to the union. Mayor Richard Berry and Police Chief Ray Schultz weren’t happy about it, with Berry saying he was “shocked” and Schultz calling the practice “troubling.”

This afternoon, the families of those who’ve been killed by APD will be joined by local activist organizations on Civic Plaza. The rally will start at 4 p.m., and demonstrators will demand the federal Department of Justice examine Albuquerque’s police force. Citizens have long been calling for such an investigation, and though the Council passed a measure requesting one last year, the mayor vetoed it.

Organizer Mike Gomez’ 22-year-old son Alan was shot and killed by police in May 2011. Alan was holding a plastic spoon. “We will bring signs and photos of loved ones,” says Mike Gomez in a news release. “We will let everyone know we still want justice. We have them on the defensive. We must continue the pressure.”

V.21 No.12 | 3/22/2012
Play Youtube Video

news

Wear Your Hoodie Wednesday

A friend who moved here from another part of the country told me he calls the hoodie the Albuquerque raincoat. I’d argue it’s our suncoat, too. And our hanging-out-at-home-coat or going-to-the-opera coat. Hell, put on two or three, and that’s blizzard-ready gear.

Well, tomorrow folks can break out the 505 all-weather, all-eras jacket of choice to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin.

Martin was walking home from a convenience store in Florida, talking on his celly with his girlfriend, when he started to feel like he was being followed. He was approached by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who shot and killed the African-American teen.

In a 911 recording, Zimmerman was advised not to follow Martin despite his suspicions. He did anyway. Zimmerman hasn’t yet been charged with a crime and says he was acting in self-defense.

People around the country are outraged and demanding the gunman be arrested.

Tomorrow demonstrators will gather in Union Square and march to the United Nations. Wednesday also marks the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

In solidarity, you can wear your hoodie, and upload a picture of yourself to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #millionhoodies. Or you can sign this petition on change.org, which was started by Martin’s parents.

V.21 No.3 | 1/19/2012
The good kind of sopa. Let us not allow this other suspect SOPA to tarnish its good name.
The good kind of sopa. Let us not allow this other suspect SOPA to tarnish its good name.

WWW

Thousands of websites to protest SOPA tomorrow

You’ve probably heard that Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, Mozilla, TwitPic, WordPress and others will go dark tomorrow. Politico estimates about 7,000 sites will participate in the blackout.

Google will put a button on its homepage directing users to information about Stop Online Piracy Act, the bill these Internet giants are protesting.

The BBC broke down the controversy for us.

Here’s an explanation of how SOPA and its Senate twin PIPA could affect you.

V.20 No.44 | 11/3/2011

opinion

On being arrested

Dear UNM Administration,

Thank you for arresting me Tuesday night. Thank you for dragging more than 30 of my comrades with me to the Metropolitan Detention Center. Thank you for providing a continuing show of force at Yale Park, arresting two more people Wednesday afternoon and, now, closing the park to the public indefinitely.

Thank you for calling in the State Police and APD Tuesday night, with their riot gear, their helicopter and their SWAT team dressed in military fatigues. Thank you for sending so many police cars they formed a line literally as far as the eye can see. Thank you for your decisions that led to a gray-haired older woman being handcuffed, while hundreds of people yelled “Shame! Shame!”

Thank you, also, for informing us ahead of time that you would be arresting those of us who chose to continue exercising our First Amendment rights, allowing us to alert the public and ensure heavy exposure of your injustice. I heard the arrests were broadcast live, via Internet in Palestine, Libya and Egypt, adding legitimacy to our assertion: “The whole world is watching.”

You may think my thanks are insincere. I’d like to assure you that I am writing this in earnest. I truly thank you for your ridiculous authoritarian display of the power of the state.

The reason for my gratitude is this: You have revitalized our movement and added more to our numbers in one night than we could have in weeks. All the people that came out of Brickyard and the other surrounding businesses got a firsthand view of the violent suppression of free speech. The students, faculty and staff that have stopped by the last few days and wondered why there are so many police in Yale Park have been given a quick education in the way the First Amendment works in this country—“You have the right to free speech, as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it,” as the English revolutionary Joe Strummer so eloquently put it.

Perhaps a little explanation of what actually happened that night might make this clearer. As I said before you, as a faceless, corporate entity—that is, the administration as a whole—decided to stop the protesters from staying overnight and distributing food on campus. You basically cited the rationale that the rich, respectable Popejoy patrons and UNM foundation donors don’t want to look at homeless people any more.

It may be that a lot of people agreed with you in that decision. But I expect you will find far less support in your decision that there is absolutely no expression of the First Amendment right to free assembly allowed on campus.

Spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair personally explained to me on Monday that the protesters would still be allowed to gather on campus during “normal business hours,” they would just have to remove their semi-permanent structures and leave at 10 p.m.

“If they want to come back during the actual day and be in that area with their signage, they’re still welcome to do that,” Blair said during her meeting with me and Alibi news editor Marisa Demarco.

But on Wednesday, during the general assembly meeting, UNMPD’s Sgt. Trace Peck arrived at the general assembly meeting and told us we had five minutes to be out of the park or we would be arrested.

The group moved across the street and held the general assembly meeting in front of Schlotzky’s. The next day, we gathered on the sidewalk directly in front of Yale park.

This creates an interesting spectacle for anyone passing by. They can clearly see an organized group peaceably assembled being closely watched by over a dozen police officers. They can see for themselves that the paddywagon parked on Redondo Drive is completely unnecessary. They can see for themselves what it looks like when those in authority are terrified of the power of the people’s voices and simply don’t know how to react.

The arrests served another purpose, too, as they made those of us who were arrested aware of the incompetence and waste of the jail system. Most of us were released on our own recognizance in under 24 hours, but we got a brief glimpse of the inside of the prison-industrial complex.

I had my documents lost by the clerks at the jail, meaning I had to repeatedly agitate in order to be processed instead of being left to sit indefinitely. It quickly became clear to all of us that no one among the police and correctional officers had a clear idea of what they were doing. First in the paddywagon, and then in the cell, officers came by seemingly every 15 minutes looking for someone they had already moved or who was never there to begin with. The fact that there were two Andrews arrested also seemed to present a huge problem for all officers involved, and I quickly learned to ask “Andrew Beale?” every time they called my name.

We also saw firsthand the mean-spirited callousness of your system. A man who, apparently, was simply walking his dog through the area and stopped to see what all the fuss was about was arrested with us. His dog, as it turns out was a service dog, a fact that didn’t stop the police from carting him off to jail simply for trying to walk through the park. Many of us, myself included, witnessed several corrections officers literally laugh in his face when he asked for nutritional information about the food they served us—information that was critical to him, as he is diabetic.

I suppose we were lucky that no one was seriously injured. At the same time you were attacking our peaceful assembly, police in Oakland fired a rubber bullet into the head of Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen, who is now in critical condition in the hospital with a fractured skull and brain swelling. We realize that next time, you may elect to use force like this, and we are prepared to take that risk. We know you can beat us with brute force, but we will win more hearts and minds every time you do.

I would like you to know, as well, that you have not broken the spirits of anyone you arrested (except, perhaps, the guy we shared a jail cell with who was there to shout at us to go home and ended up arrested himself). To the contrary, in fact, we sang “Solidarity Forever” in the paddywagon and passed the time laughing and joking in the holding cell. Several people are still in jail for various reasons (including prior records that caused them to have elevated bond amounts) but we are raising a bail fund for them and will soon get them out, and they will immediately rejoin our struggle.

So again, sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have picked an ill-advised and unnecessary fight with us. It is a fight that you cannot win. You cannot win because you are simply wrong. You cannot win because every move you make against us only adds to our numbers and makes it clearer that any system that deprives people of their right to free speech is doomed to fail.

As folk singer and labor organizer Utah Phillips said, “The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears.” Thank you for reminding so many people of that fact.

In solidarity with oppressed people everywhere,

Andrew Beale

Alibi contributor Andrew Beale has followed the occupation since it reached Albuquerque. His opinions are solely his own and do not reflect those of the Alibi or the (Un)occupy group.

Play Youtube Video

news

A second arrest?

After protesters and reporters crossed Central to re-organize, another person was cuffed in Yale Park on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The criminal? A student reading a book.

The police closed off the park to everyone—not just people associated with (Un)occupy Albuquerque. I watched several officers approach a student who did not appear to be related to the protesters sitting at a park bench on the edge of Yale Park.

After the first arrest that other news outlets reported, this student was not causing a disturbance or even attempting to be noticed. He was reading quietly and unobtrusively. But he apparently refused to leave the park, at which point officers surrounded the bench.

The student was handcuffed and put into the back of a squad car.

UNM's Police Department recorded two criminal trespassing incidents on their report log on Wednesday at the same time. But when Alibi attempted to contact the department to discuss the second detainment, we were told the department was behind on their reports due to workload. We filled out a request form, but an officer assured us it would take us several days to receive the police report to confirm the details.

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