Below is a chronology of events that began on Oct. 1, 2011 as compiled by the University Communication and Marketing Department to document events as the University of New Mexico tries to balance the rights of free speech and the issues of a safe and supportive campus environment.
A protest group has a demonstration march on Central in sympathy with the "Occupy Wall Street" protest. The march ends at the University of New Mexico, where some protesters decide to stay overnight at Tight Grove, a historic landscape on the UNM campus.
The Protesters hang an "Occupy Albuquerque" sign between trees in the grove. UNM police visit the protesters and ask them to leave at dark. People at the site readily agree to leave and then stay overnight.
UNM administrators including the president's chief of staff, the interim dean of students, the interim director of Health, Safety & Risk Services, the director of the Student Activities Center, the UNM chief of police, a UNM attorney, and two communication officers meet as a group to talk about the protesters and to begin to outline a course of action.
No one in the protest group had completed an outdoor activities request, something normally done through the Student Activities Center for any activity taking place on the campus. In the afternoon, the interim dean of students, the Student Activities Director and a member of the communication staff visit the camp, talk to people there and give them a card outlining the way the group can apply for a permit.
People at the gathering, which now has signs hung from a railing on the street proclaiming it "Camp Coyote" say they will apply for a permit. The interim dean of students also tells the group they cannot stay overnight.
UNM police receive a letter late in the day signed by several faculty members asking them to be kind to the protesters.
The next morning the group still occupies the grove and landscapers at the UNM physical plant are beginning to worry. The pine trees in the grove were planted there by the university's third president, William George Tight and students who went into the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque and dug up pine trees. The trees were planted at the southwest corner of the campus in a small grove in 1904.
The protesters post more signs along the railings at University and Central. Food and sleeping bags are now visible at the site.
The president's chief of staff invited the director of the Peace Studies program to a meeting, as he had been one of several UNM faculty to sign a letter asking the President and Chief of Police to allow the protesters to remain encamped on campus. He comes, along with another member of the Peace studies staff and a UNM graduate student who is a member of the "Occupy Albuquerque" group. He is asked to put together a teaching evening and involve the faculty members who signed the petition. He is also asked whether he could convey a message to the protesters not to stay overnight on campus.
Also present at the meeting is the university landscape architect who speaks about landscaping problems campers pose for Tight Grove. The landscape architect explains that many people walking around on the roots of the pines would cause compression of the roots and might kill the trees. She mentions that Yale Park, the traditional place for protesters on campus would be a much better place for a protest. The Peace Studies representatives say they will take the idea of moving back to the group, but stress that they cannot speak for the protest group.
The protesters apply for a permit online, but the application is for a conference permit rather than a request for outdoor activities. The director of the Student Activities Center asks them to do a request for outdoor activities. The president's office receives 23 petitions like this.
The director of the Student Activities Center goes to the camp, accompanied by two members of the UNM Communication and Marketing staff in the late afternoon to ask them to move from Tight Grove to Yale Park. The protesters are again asked to apply for outdoor activities, and are given permission to stay each day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The protesters voluntarily move to Yale Park. They conduct a march down Central Ave. Albuquerque Police form a moving blockade in an effort to keep them on the sidewalk. The protesters return to Yale Park where they set up a food tent and a tent with sleeping bags.
(Un)occupy Albuquerque protesters request permission to hold an outdoor activity. The request is granted for Oct. 9 - 18. Protesters request permission for 24-hour activity, but time limits are imposed by the university. A 10 p.m. end time is chosen for the end of daily activities because that is the hour that night classes end.
UNM police are told to clear the park at 10 p.m. Police move into the park at midnight with backup from New Mexico State Police. The park is cleared without conflict. The protesters move to the sidewalk. No one is arrested.
The protesters are extremely unhappy. Some protesters volunteer to spend the night walking along the sidewalk in front of the park. They stay awake to keep an eye on the portable kitchen they have set up, and on the pile of sleeping bags. Their permit says they can return to the park at 7 a.m. so at daylight they go back in. Police report they are drawing transients to the park.
UNM police again ask them to leave the park at night. There are some problems because the protesters do leave when they are asked, but return to the park to sleep once the police leave. The police return to the park to request them to leave at intervals throughout the night.
The protesters stage a rally, walking down Central Ave. to the nearest branch of Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo closes its branch. Police report that a Greyhound bus carrying out-of-town protesters arrived at the corner of University and Central in the morning.
During this protest action, some people would sprint ahead of the group and run into a business to shout at people. One protester apparently spit on a person at Walmart. Albuquerque Police come to Yale Park after the protester and arrest one person for the spitting. Media reports indicate the protester said he had been kicked out of NM Tech and came to Albuquerque to protest authority.
The standoff continues. The protesters remain at Yale Park, and UNM Police continue to push them out of the park at night. Peace Studies organizes a series of "Teach-Ins" in the atrium of the Student Union Building. Several professors speak about the issues underlying the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. The sprinklers go off in the evening at the park.
Some protesters rally at the City Council meeting in support of a proposed resolution in support of the Occupy movement. The resolution fails but is signed by three councilors.
Protesters string clothes lines from tree to tree and hang their underwear out to dry. Student Activities extends the permit for one week. At the evening general assembly meetings there are fewer complaints about Wall Street and corporate greed, and more complaints about UNM. The permit is extended at the request of the protesters for Oct. 19-25.
The director of the Student Activities Center tells the protesters who applied for the permit that the existing permit expires at 10 p.m. on Oct. 25. A serious incident at Yale Park occurs when a man who says he is a former student goes to the park with a knife and tries to stab several people. He was apparently very drunk. Protesters call the police and Albuquerque police arrest him before he hurts anyone. He tells the police he is trying to protect the university.
Some of the protesters had gathered at Broadway and Cesar Chavez for a "stop foreclosure education event," 4-6 p.m. Police and paramedics respond to a call at the bus stop bench near Yale Park. A woman died after having seizures. It's not completely clear, but she did not appear to be one of the protesters. The man who reported that she was not breathing to police said he came to the park to get some of the free food the protesters were handing out, and that she walked over to him and said she wasn't feeling well and that she had just completed a gallon of vodka.
Five police reports are filed over the weekend for various incidents at Yale Park. UNM Police report that the composition of the Occupy Albuquerque group is changing. There are fewer of the original protesters at the park and more transient and intoxicated people. UNM administration decides not to renew the protesters' permit.
The president's chief of staff calls the mayor's office. University Communication and Marketing staff members call Albuquerque city councilors to notify them that the protester's permit will not be renewed. The councilors are asked for suggestions. No one has any immediate suggestions.
The media reports extensively on the looming 10 p.m. deadline for the protesters to leave the campus. By 10 p.m. several hundred protesters filled the park, and the Albuquerque Police Department helicopter hovers overhead. KOB, KOAT and KRQE TV have live reports. At 10:50 p.m. the UNM Police and the N.M. State Police walk into the park and herd protesters toward the sidewalk on Central Ave.
A small group of protesters sitting in a circle has chosen to be arrested, and state police tap them on the shoulder one by one, handcuff them with plastic handcuffs and take them to a prisoner transport van at one corner of the park. Approximately 35 arrests are made. The police officers who arrest the protesters wear their normal uniforms. The Albuquerque SWAT team came to the park to prevent protesters from re-entering the park. They wear their normal SWAT uniforms and stand in a line in front of Yale Park so that the protesters could not re-enter, but do not interact directly with protesters.
Slide show of police clearing park
In the morning a group of protesters go to the UNM president's office. There is some advance notice so the office is locked. They chant, beat on the doors and hammer on the windows outside. They also accost everyone who walks in to and out of the office.
The protesters gather at Yale Park at 6 p.m. UNM Police, backed by N.M. State Police deny them entrance to the park. The protesters stand on the sidewalk and chant, then move across the street. One protester announces he is on a hunger strike.
Slide show of protesters
The protesters gather at Yale Park at 6 p.m. UNM Police, again backed by N.M. State Police deny them entrance to the park. Police are forced to evict a woman reading a book on a bench and media begin to question why park is closed to everyone. It rains, and the protesters move across the street to the Satellite Coffee patio.
The protesters again gather at Yale Park. This time UNM Police give them a small part of the southeast corner of the park while they hold their general assembly. Several UNM professors speak at the assembly, but the rhetoric is mostly against UNM rather than against Wall Street greed.
Some protesters talk about meeting with Albuquerque Mayor RJ Berry who told them they can go to a city park, but they cannot stay overnight or cook in the park. He asks them to bring their own Porta potty.
Some of the protesters had gathered at Broadway and Cesar Chavez for "stop foreclosure education and outreach," 4-6 p.m.
Protesters hold a march from Yale Park to Civic Plaza. They carry a coffin and mourn the death of freedom of assembly at UNM.
This afternoon the protesters request and receive two separate permits. The first permit is for Nov. 1-4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The second permit is for Nov. 5-6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. UNM Police feel they can deal with the protesters with their normal shift manpower. This permit specifically says no food or electricity or amplified sound can be used during the hours the protesters are in the park.
A man is found on campus just west of Popejoy Hall with a severe head injury. Arnold Woods at one time tried to live in Popejoy Hall. He was eventually banned from campus. The police carefully explain that he does not appear to be part of the (un)occupy protest.
The protesters gather as usual. The interim provost goes out to speak with them. He is very well received, and hugs the protester who was on the hunger strike. Protester decides to eat again.
Slide show of protesters
President Schmidly meets with protester on hunger strike and other members of the group. The protesters say they feel they have been heard and that they have opened a dialogue.
UNM Police report that protesters are clearing Yale Park by 10 p.m. in accordance with their request for outdoor activities.
Working with the ACLU, (Un)occupy protestors obtain new permits for Nov. 7 -11 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and for Nov. 12-13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A second teach-in is organized. For more information visit: UNM Hosts "Occupy Wall Street/Unoccupy Albuquerque" Teach-In.
Graduate and Professional Students pass a resolution supporting (Un)occupy Albuquerque movement.
UNM Conservative Republicans hold a teach-in at the Student Union Building.
UNM faculty member Sarita Cargas organizes a two day teach in so faculty members and students can discuss their perspectives on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
(Un)occupy Albuquerque applies for and receives a new permit for Nov. 14 - Nov. 18 on the same terms as the previous weekly permits.
(Un)occupy Albuquerque members have applied for and received permission from the director of the Student Activities Center for outdoor activities at Yale Park on these dates.
11/19& 20 11am-5pm
11/26 & 27 11am-5pm
The movement has apparently decided to go virtual for the winter. They have not applied for any new permits. See you in the spring.