After a morning sitting in front of Scholes Hall, representatives of (Un)Occupy Albuquerque met with UNM President David Schmidly this afternoon to discuss the university's decision to not renew the protesters' permit for another week. Following his meeting with the (Un)Occupy Albuquerque representatives, President Schmidly met with university law enforcement and members of the UNM administration to discuss the permit extension request. After these meetings, President Schmidly decided not to grant the permit extension request.
President Schmidly's complete statement is below:
This afternoon I had the privilege of meeting with two representatives of the (un)Occupy Albuquerque protest group to discuss the University's decision to not approve their permit after 25 continuous days of occupancy on UNM campus. The rise in increasingly threatening and violent incidents has raised our level of safety concerns.
I wholeheartedly support their rights to freely express themselves and peacefully assemble. I also must ensure the safety of the entire University and uphold the University's policy regarding freedom of expression and dissent, which articulates the University's commitment to "tolerate all peaceful speech activities carried out upon the campus unless those activities destroy or materially damage property, materially disrupt other legitimate University activities or create a substantial health or safety hazard."
Representatives of the University have been in contact with various members of the group throughout the past month. While there has been dialogue and a willingness from many protesters to comply with various aspects of their permits, the prolonged and unique nature of this protest and continuous encampment have evolved beyond the capacity for either the protesters or the University to ensure the safety of the participants as well as our students, employees and visitors.
In consultation with campus law enforcement and University leadership, we have decided to uphold our decision to not grant another permit after the current permit expires Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m.