April 20 Solidaritry action, Albuquerque

Bob Anderson citizen at comcast.net
Thu Apr 25 22:58:09 MDT 2002

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, April 20, around 500 - 700 people
gathered Saturday near the Wal Mart at Zuni and San Mateo to march a mile to
Kirtland AFB demanding our city leaders shut down the war machine located
here in Albuquerque.  The protesters themselves did shut down a part of
Kirtland AFB and Sandia National Lab for a couple hours Saturday.

The Albuquerque war base is crucial, as Thomas Friedman of the New York
Times says for global corporations like McDonalds and Wal Mart to exploit
the poor countries of the world.  We are told this war machine is necessary
to fight terrorism (the target used to be communism and then drugs and then
human rights violations) but the truth is that the profits of the global
rich would not be possible without the high tech weapons researched and
developed here in Albuquerque, often with the help of UNM faculty, too.

At present the immediate goal of the military-industrial complex that Dwight
Eisenhower warned us about in 1961 is to capture the Mid East oil fields,
even if it means the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  Every day we witness
high technology US weapons supplied to our surrogate army in Israel killing
unarmed civilians.

The march speakers asked is this what we want our tax dollars being spent on
when we have pressing needs like education and health care at home?  At the
rally Saturday many people said No to this war and killing for profit and
marched for peace with justice.

In addition, Saturday, the peace advocates pointed out how this base is a
key part of the illegal, immoral and evil plan for the militarization of
space with laser weapons and for nuclear attacks on other countries under
the new Bush doctrine.  As these messages were peacefully carried along San
Mateo the police responded with a line of shotguns, tear gas cannons and
horses on Gibson Blvd.  Inside the base other armed guards formed to prevent
the peace message from getting close to the war base.

Some speakers pointed out how our rights as citizens to protest their
government were being trampled on by the new laws supposedly crafted to
combat terrorism and how this looks more like a police state than a
democracy.  It is true that empires are not democracies and the American
people must chose which we are creating here.

At one point the police tried to stop Ch 7 news from reporting live 5 pm
coverage of the speakers.  This is how far along we are into a police state
in Albuquerque when the police feel free to disappear dissenting speech.
(The Daily Lobo nor KUNM and the city newspapers were apparently not on hand
to witness these troubling events and report them to you.)

The citizens taking this action were marching in solidarity with a national
demonstration in Washington DC and San Francisco of over 100,000 people
calling for an end to the war in the Mid East for oil and the exploitative
practices of the World Bank and IMF.  This day of action was part of the
growing global response by the people of the world to the escalating war
plans coming out of Washington by the Democrats and Republicans.

The march on the Kirtland war complex was a historic event... a large mass
protest of city citizens peacefully stopped a part of the war machine at
Kirtland AFB and Sandia National Lab for a short time.  This has not been
done on this scale before and more must be done if we are to prevent more

The citizens march called for the city council and mayor to end to this evil
war work in our city and especially for the immediate destruction of the
nearly 3,000 nuclear weapons at the base which could used by a  rogue
administration such as we have in power.  The speakers also pointed out how
these weapons are a threat to us now if terrorists or an aircraft were to
crash into them.  It was pointed out that instead of removing these nuclear
warheads from a city of half million people, Senator Bingaman plans to spend
almost $100 million to hide them with camoflauge and deception.  If there is
an accident with these bombs we can say good by to Albuquerque.

The protesters delivered thier message despite the problems and returned
home in the evening to plan their next action for when President Bush comes
to town on Monday, April 29 at 11am.  Those who would like to help, call

Bob Anderson
Albuquerque, NM
citizen at comcast.net

One participant wrote this about the event:

Hello everyone!

Wonderful march on Saturday... The image burned in my mind is that of
everyone's feet lined up on the curb as the police stood there with horses
and tear gas.  All those feet lined up together, as a group - no one backing
away, one unit.  A wonderful thing to see.

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