Albuquerque Picks Up The Pieces After Trump Blows Through Town

May 25, 2016

Community begins healing after hateful, divisive Trump Rally

Over the last year we’ve all heard Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive and often violent speech aimed at much more than half of the population as he campaigns to be president. We’ve also seen a rise in racism, xenophobia and misogyny from a small but significant segment of Donald Trump supporters, in what many have called a resurgence of white nationalism.

Last week Donald Trump announced that he would bring his violent hate speech to New Mexico, a state with the largest per capita concentration of Chicano, Latino, Immigrant, and Native people in the country.

Local community and civic organizations understood quite well that Trump’s decision to come to Albuquerque would provoke protest, anger and division in our state. Our answer was to step up and provide leadership when no one in the City of Albuquerque seemed ready to do so.

Our governor and mayor stayed away, maybe afraid of any political consequences. Albuquerque’s police department marched forward with their usual confrontational attitude toward people exercising their 1st amendment rights.

We opened our offices to organizations and local residents of all colors, young and old, to create a space for everyone to celebrate our communities, and to say ‘no’ to the violent, hateful, divisive rhetoric of this presidential campaign.

Our message was simple: “We’re better together.”

To our dismay and surprise local police departments and the secret service seemed to stage the controversial event to provoke confrontation between protesters and rally attendees. Community members against hate were penned in the middle of the street with no shade, and bottlenecked rally attendees to walk down a path down the side of the pen.

On multiple occasions the peacekeeping team organized out of these efforts diffused situations that could have led to more serious confrontations, particularly when local police departments failed to provide security for peaceful, lawful demonstration and rally attendees.

We are proud of our peacekeeping efforts. We are proud of our city for standing up against divisive hate speech, racism, misogyny and patriarchy. As community organizations with long lasting ties to communities in the city and across the state, we felt that creating a message and space for New Mexicans to peacefully demonstrate against Donald Trump was the right thing to do. While we would never condone any type of violence, we are also not in a place to provide policing for the city of Albuquerque. That’s APD’s job.

 

George Luján

george@swop.net, 505-400-6403 , 505-400-6403

 

SouthWest Organizing Project
211 10th St SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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