V.22 No.22 | 5/30/2013
Hundreds of Santa Feans just say no to Monsanto
By Luis Peña [ Tue May 28 2013 1:29 PM ]
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 |
The Daily Word in transgender rights, twisters in the US and an arrested "Worm"
By Mark Lopez [ Mon May 20 2013 10:13 AM ]
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
Freedom of Assembly
Preaching to the Prez
Christian groups shout mixed messages at the White House
By Maren Tarro
A coalition of Christian groups goes to Washington, D.C., to protest prayerfully.
V.21 No.34 | 8/23/2012
Igor Tuchin CC 3.0
The Power of Pussy
By Marisa Demarco
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
Free Pussy Riot
By Marisa Demarco [ Tue Jul 31 2012 4:41 PM ]
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
Video from the Chicago NATO protests
By Marisa Demarco [ Tue Jun 19 2012 4:38 PM ]
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
By Andrew Beale
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
From the Foxhole
Preach the Gospel Always
If necessary, use words
By Alex E. Limkin
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
Protest against APD shootings today at 4 p.m.
By Marisa Demarco [ Wed Mar 28 2012 10:34 AM ]
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
Wear Your Hoodie Wednesday
By Marisa Demarco [ Tue Mar 20 2012 4:54 PM ]
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.
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
Thousands of websites to protest SOPA tomorrow
By Marisa Demarco [ Tue Jan 17 2012 3:24 PM ]
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.
The BBC broke down the controversy for us.
Here’s an explanation of how SOPA and its Senate twin PIPA could affect you.
V.21 No.2 |
The Daily Word in Bigfoot's right to free speech, Robert Anton Wilson week, and (Un)-Occupy Albuquerque in Santa Fe
By Geoffrey Plant [ Sun Jan 15 2012 12:44 PM ]
(Un)-Occupy Albuquerque will be protesting in Santa Fe next week.
What happens to stuff dropped off at Santa Fe recycling stations?
It is Robert Anton Wilson week!
Here is a different way of evaluating NFL teams and games.
"If you need a brassiere, wear one" and other dating tips for women circa 1938.
Too fat to fit in the CT-scanner? Try the one at the zoo.
Court finds state violated Bigfoot's right to free speech.
V.20 No.44 | 11/3/2011
On being arrested
By Andrew Beale [ Fri Oct 28 2011 6:11 PM ]
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,
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.
A second arrest?
By Nathan Coffing, fearless intern [ Fri Oct 28 2011 5:53 PM ]
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.
Yale Park: The Catalan Indignation
By Alex E. Limkin [ Thu Oct 27 2011 4:51 PM ]
There is no indignation like that of a Catalan. Yesterday, I brought my mother to Yale Park. At 71, having grown up under the fist of Gen. Francisco Franco, she knows what a totalitarian regime feels like.
For the last several weeks, supporters of (Un)occupy Albuquerque have been gathering at the park, situated on the grounds of the University of New Mexico, for general assemblies. They took out a permit, as the university requested, that allowed them to be on the grounds during business hours—7 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Monday, supporters were informed that the university, citing safety issues, would not be renewing the permit.
My mother and I arrived at the park on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to take part in the general assembly. Since the meeting was called well in advance of the park's closing, no one was concerned about the police. However, the meeting never had a chance to get started.
A Lt. Peck approached the group, backed by a squad of university police subordinates, and informed everyone that the university had opted, as of that afternoon, to make the grounds of Yale Park off-limits. I was incredulous. "That's impossible," I shouted. "That's unconstitutional! This is a public space. We have the right to free assembly!"
But even my indignation, which was a fury, was no match for my mother's. She came to my side just a few feet from the mustached gendarme and became apoplectic. "What is it?" the police lieutenant said, addressing her directly. In her state of indignation, all that she could summon, all she could manage was: "What is it, you!"
In her heavily accented English, this sounded a little crazy, but I knew what she was saying. I knew that indignation had tied her tongue so completely that she could not speak, could not think. As the police moved against the small group assembled in the park, my mother stood her ground. "I am not leaving!" she said. "I have a right to be here!" The police ignored her, moving past both of us but pushing the other members of the small group towards the sidewalk.
We remained there for a few more minutes, standing, as people chanted "Shame! Shame! Shame!" The police arrested one young man who did not vacate the park. Then officers remained with their backs to us, as though we did not exist. After a few minutes, seeing that the general assembly was now taking place across the street, my mother and I left the park but not before approaching the police lieutenant who rousted us.
"I served in Iraq. I was given the bronze star," I said. I wanted his full attention before continuing. "And your actions today make me ashamed to be an American." His companion turned to me, saying nothing, a slight smile on his face. "Alex Limkin! You hear me! You make me ashamed to be American!"
My mother, having had a few minutes to calm herself, contributed: "I know you are just following orders, but you are wrong. This is a public park. You should be ashamed!" And she was right, my mother, the brave Catalan who stood her ground and would not be bullied. I was still trembling when we got to the car.
Alex Escué Limkin served in the U.S. Army for 15 years, including a tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. He penned a previous column about his duty as a soldier to stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
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