About a dozen acts of vandalism were committed on the University of New Mexico campus last week by at least one suspect. Several buildings and a popular sculpture were spray-painted with anti-Trump slogans last Tuesday night, following the presidential election. Ortega Hall, Zimmerman Library, the College of Education and the public sculpture “Center of the Universe” were defaced. In a statement released after the incident, UNM President Robert Frank wrote, “There are times when emotions run high, but there are never times when it is appropriate to deface our buildings and monuments, waste university resources, or create an atmosphere of intimidation.” Most of the graffiti made reference to President-elect Donald Trump and appeared to be politically motivated. Swastikas and references to fascism appeared in many of the cases. According to UNM's Public Information Officer Dianne Anderson, the university suffered a significant loss in material costs and labor to remove the offensive material. University officials ask that anyone with information regarding the identities of the vandals come forward.
City Might Waive Bus Fares Along Central
A City Counselor is proposing a plan that he says will help businesses along Central who have been negatively impacted by the Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction. City Councilor Ken Sanchez wants to waive bus fares for four bus routes along Central for the duration of ART construction. His plan would make fares free on weekends and from 4:30-9pm on weekdays. Opponents say the plan could cost the city nearly $200,000 in fares this fiscal year, and possibly more if construction lasts longer. Sanchez says the money should be seen as an investment that will support local businesses as well as attract new riders. Sanchez says he is currently talking to the mayor about implementing the idea. If the mayor is unwilling or unable to do so, City Council will be able to vote on the issue in December.
Downtown Sees Protests Following Election
Protesters spoke out against the election of Donald Trump last week in downtown Albuquerque. On Wednesday, Nov. 9, around 5:30pm, a group of demonstrators gathered on First Street and Central in what organizers were calling an “emergency protest” against Trump, whom they described as “a vile racist, sexist and bigot.” Several of those gathered were wearing the popular Guy Fawkes mask adopted by hacktivist group Anonymous. Protesters carried signs and chanted, “Fuck Trump.” Some of the protesters were filmed spray painting some buildings along the route. As a group, throughout the next few hours, the demonstrators marched east toward UNM, returned to Central and then went east again. Around 9pm, a portion of the group blocked I-25 at the Lead/Coal exit, where officers from local and state police agencies in riot gear quickly dispersed them. The group then headed toward UNM, followed by police SWAT vehicles. Around 11pm, the crowd dispersed after a standoff between officers and protesters at Yale and Central.