Breaking: ABQ Warriors for Police Justice Barbara Grothus, 12 Others Arrested at Sit-in at Mayor’s Office

From the ABQ Journal (h/t: ChéPasa):

One woman chained herself to an art case. Others strung up crime-scene tape and shouted for the firing of the police chief.

It all happened inside the mayor’s suite on the top floor of City Hall this afternoon, just two hours before the City Council was to meet on a variety of bills centered on the Albuquerque Police Department. Mayor Richard Berry was out of town, but his top administrator, Rob Perry, watched and later confronted protesters as they continued their sit-in.

The demonstration ended with the arrests of 13 people charged with criminal trespassing, unlawful assembly and interfering with a public official or staff. One person was charged with pushing a member of the mayor’s security detail.

Police quickly cut the chains that protester Nora Tachias Anaya had looped around a display case.

“All we asked is to talk to the mayor,” she said just before officers cuffed her with plastic ties.

The confrontation came just four days after an autopsy report revealed that police had shot a homeless man in the back in March. The shooting — of James Boyd, who struggled with mental illness — triggered street protests throughout the spring, some of which ended with police dispersing tear gas.

“We want answers,” Mary Jobe, whose fiancee was also shot and killed by police, said in an interview. “We’re tired of the mayor hiding from us.”

The sit-in lasted about 90 minutes and triggered a lockdown of City Hall. The council canceled its meeting. [snip]

Gilbert Montaño, the mayor’s chief of staff, said one of the protesters, David Correia, pushed his way through the interior door as other people were going in.

Correia “rammed through the door and pushed one of our officers,” Montaño said.

Barbara Grothus, one of the people arrested, said protesters didn’t have to force their way into the mayor’s suite.

“There was no lock,” she said. “We just opened the door and walked in.”

The protest continued outside at one point this afternoon. Protesters from the Coalition Against Police Brutality and the Answer Coalition, among other groups, gathered beside City Hall and blasted the mayor for not meeting with them.

“We need answers and the police chief and the mayor does not give them to us — they hide, they hire people to do their talking for them. Where was the mayor for eight days after James Boyd was shot? He couldn’t face anybody because he’s a coward,” said Mike Gomez, father of Alan Gomez, who was fatally shot by police.

Montaño said Correia had been charged with battery on a police officer.

(I ‘m indisposed by an ooky headache, so I won’t likely be back to answer questions. Anyone interested: please help. I can’t afford the time online to give you background, but you could read this post ‘ABQ Citizens Show What Democracy Looks Like, and a Fine Sight It Is’ from May 9.)

I haven’t seen names of all those arrested, so I don’t know if FDL’s LeMoyne or other denizens were, who’s out on bail and who’s not. You might find more on Russell Contreras’s Twitter account; I’ll paste in some of his Tweets and video coverage.

Update: KRQE news is reporting that David Correia has been charged with felony battery on a police officer. If so, think: Cecily McMillan.

The city council meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for June 9 at 5:00 due to ‘security concerns. See more video of the arrests at KOAT TV news; watch as Barbara Grothus is hauled off. You go girl!

Be sure and put a candle in the window for Barbara and the others, so they can follow the light home. Stay safe, all. We’re all in your debt for being courageous in the name of justice for all citizens everywhere whose police departments can murder citizens at will for being poor, brown, homeless, or even ‘peeking through store windows in a suspicious manner’.


(cross-posted at

17 responses to “Breaking: ABQ Warriors for Police Justice Barbara Grothus, 12 Others Arrested at Sit-in at Mayor’s Office

  1. michaelcavlan

    Right On

    Love-Respect-Solidarity from MinnesotaAs a member of CUAPB Communities United Against Police Brutality.

    Keep an eye on Minneapolis on this issue in the next few months. We think we may have found a partial solution to the whole police brutality issue.

    I will keep you all updated.

  2. I hope this morning finds you feeling a bit more chipper.

    Thanks for all the attention you put into this. Our Gannett outlet would likely not even cover the story (even trying to dis the protestors) as they are pretty much ignoring the State Legislative Fiscal Bureau assessment that Walker is costing 80K WI working poor, an extra $1M dollars a day in increased medical costs and higher ACA premiums (which the poor cannot afford) for refusing Federal money too expand BadgerCare.

    Just killing us softly, (except for gun deaths and injuries in Apartheid Milwaukee) defund public schools, defund inner city transportation to the burbs where jobs might be found, come up with $billions$ to attempt to fracture another city neighborhood with freeway expansion so the white folks in Waukesha can drive in 30 seconds faster to their government jobs downtown, and open up rural parts of the state to mining, water grabs and the unregulated industrial farming (pollution).

  3. Many thanks, wendye. This was a brave action indeed. Albuquerque jails are not fun places to be, even briefly. I would have missed the story, as I cannot bear to even check the weather news these days. Blessings on bgrothus and the others taking this stand. It will be noticed by Friday’s ‘In Focus’ program, which I usually don’t watch but will this time.

    Yesterday up in Santa Fe shopping I was approached by a sweet young thing doing her duty asking me had I voted yet. I replied,( kindly I think,) ‘I am a Green and I’m mad at everyone!’ loud enough to startle the cashier. It wasn’t exactly a protest, but it is not too far from that to likeminded in the store taking up a chant of ‘we’re not going to take it any more!’ – at least in my own mind that’s how it felt. And she had the grace to respond eagerly, ‘Oh, I respect that!’

    Looking forward to your piece on the Zapatistas!

  4. how interesting to hear you all may have found a partial solution, michael cavlan. things in oaktown seem to be marginally better with the new chief (formerly internal affairs), but even with the DoJ report and suggestions, the APD and city council seem to be dug in for the duration. i do hope that it won’t take another assassination to provide the incentive for a great turnout on their June 21 protest. passive verbiage, perhaps by koat, but:

    ’46 things the DOJ wants APD to change’!T3fTP

  5. whoosh, nonq: ‘chipper’ seems to be in the future; this one’s really kicked by bum around a few blocks, even more stomach wonkiness this time, eeep. yeah, i wanted it up that night, so i kinda cut corners, figuring people could find out more at the link/s if they cared to.

    life in walkerstan reminds me of detroit now; too many egregious punishments for everyday people: where will it end? is the question. i do always wonder if turning all the protests in madison toward electoral politics was the right way to go, ya know? by now, people are spending all of their waking hours just fighting for their survival, which of course, ha been part of Teh Plan for a long time now.

    but ‘sell off the commons’, commit urban renewal writ large, dissolve the social safety net, lower wages, tank pensions, and oh, my: give it all the the privateers and wall street folks who are having a heyday with ever more rent-seeking ploys.

    in our house, we keep coming back to the necessary shift in consciousness as key, and as is said by the indigenous to be under way. it of course includes the shift to recognizing the importance of our inter-relatedness that really IS the basis of the Love that mlk and so many sages have said is the only way out of this hell. i’ve been collecting notes for a post since cecily mcmillan’s support team penned their statement with that element, but…waiting is, i reckon.

    so many stories to tell, so many ideals to imagine. and for now, i can only be on the computer in snatches, but i am getting some gardening done when i escape…The Power of ‘the Screen’. :) best to you.

  6. don’t they call it ‘the albuquerque safety center’, juliania? ironic, if i’m remembering correctly.

    oh, yes; they are and were such estimable warriors! a long road ahead, and we can only hope that more folks join them, and that the city council actually comes up with true solutions soon, not just the cosmetic ones to date.

    good on you for speaking out so publicly! there are times that anger is very productive, eh? even in a checkout line; i love it. mr. wd rabble-rouses in walmart with the employees all the time, sends them some of my posts after asking for their email addresses. so hard to strike, of course, when so many are working so hand-to-mouth…or worse.

    ché put up the now online may 30 ‘nm in focus’ over yonder; i’ll embed it, and it’s good to hear that their next one will also cover the issue. (i haven’t watched it yet)

    ah, i am looking forward to trying to write the new zapatista story, and i may have read too many variants on what’s afoot, but when i’m chipper’, lol, i will give it a go because i *may be* zeroing in on a coherent version of it. how much history to tell is always the conundrum. the two or three i’ve written in the past have almost been 2L2R, as they say. :)

  7. hi

    State violence against peaceful citizens is really common now.

    The way people protesting peacefully are treated, is horrifying. Everywhere in the world. Peaceful protest against violence with violence. Remember the cop pepper spraying the people who at the time, were on their knees?

    Looking for a rogue cop in LA, try to mow down two cleaning ladies.

    kid with hands cuffed behind their back shot, then ruled suicide.

    guy sitting in his own apartment, doing nothing, gunned down and killed.

    nun in her eighties walks into nuclear weapons plant, gets jail time.

    people chaining themselves to pipelines… jail.

    woman molested by cop… jail for her

    then there’s all the random shootings and killings by police. Not to mention less lethal violence we never hear about.

    on the us border with mexico, if a person shoots across the rio grande and kills someone in Mexico, the US law will not charge and will not send the person to Mexico.

    I read somewhere, you might not notice your chains, if you don’t try to move.

  8. “you might not notice your chains, if you don’t try to move.” that sums up the massive acceptance of the propaganda state (and keep them hungry as hell) underpinning the failure to resist en masse, mafr.

    yes, to the search for ‘rogue cop dorner in LA, officer pike at UC davis, officer anthony bologna at zuccotti park (and the nypd ‘white shirt’ bosses, gads, i even wrote about the guy in raleigh handcuffed in the back of the cop car, and made DEAD; i can’t remember his name. shoot, we seldom hear of many of the blacks and browns murdered extra-judiciously every day, do we?

    mexican border; oh dear; the tales the good folks down in tucson and elsewhere tell…. guess what happened to good officer pike who suffered emotional trauma from what he did to all those brave students?

    jeffrey kaye had a long post up recently on the report within reports and omissions of reports…concerning the gitmo ‘suicides’ reported at camp x-ray. remember? rags stuffed down their throats, hands tied behind their backs, but they hung themselves? and we keep tolerating this evil. one day the chickens will indeed come home to roost, reverend wright; you’re so right.

    sigh; i need a song… (and nice to see you, my friend)

    (swapped out the live 25th anniversary one on accountta low volume)

  9. hi, thanks….

    thanks, I saw Kaye’s article, meant to read it, then it’s gone.

    here’s another song

  10. lovely voice, thank you. here’s jeffrey kaye’s piece for reading when you can stomach it.

  11. thanks, will read.

    a man with guns shot five rcmp in moncton new brunswick, killed three.

  12. thank you; i’ll read it soon. looks as though they have bourque. i’d been wondering, but it seems as though moncton was on a ‘virtual lockdown’, not a military-style imposed one like watertown.

  13. No need to read that, actually nothing new there. many of the same names;

    unlike Boston, people looking out their front window, saw Bourque walk up to and shoot and kill a policeman, there’s video, I can’t watch it, but people would have been scared witless…having this murderer walking around with guns, and more than happy to be either staying in their house, swarming with police. and some people, if they could, left.

    Doubt he would have survived this in the USA. The guy you mention in Los Angeles, they simply burned down the house he was in. Remember the audio?

    The Canadian police arrested Bourke.

    These two countries are quite different.

  14. i read it anyway, and it delved into prison deaths, so i was glad i had. i watch here and there, too.

    no, he would have been a dead one in the US, i reckon. i do remember those tapes and radio sheriff (iirc) communications, oh my. grisly as all giddy-up.

    i made something the other week that i thought you might like a recipe for, but now i can’t quite remember. it might have been the lemon-garlic-tahini-garbanzo bean dish… come on, brain… not falafel, those are the little balls one fries up and stick in pita bread. jayzus, i had to google it: hummus.

  15. thanks, I can make hummus, and one other chick pea thing.

    if you ever need a break, here’s an interesting documentary about a guy from carolina, who moved to remote 1912, and homesteaded in the wilderness for most of his life.

  16. it sounds delightful, mafr. would that i could spend my available computer time in this chair on something like this. i know some folks play things thru their teevees, but i can’t.

    with all the extra gardening and other spring.summer chores i have, i can’t imagine having the time. but i do hope others will take advantage of it. i think i told you, the canadian border guards wouldn’t let us into canada so we could travel and experience the many splendid wonders. :)

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