Resolution: Right to Free Speech and Assembly

WHEREAS the Occupy Wall Street movement is a non-violent movement against vast and increasing economic inequality, with its resulting threat to political democracy, that began in the United States on September 17, 2011 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City; and

WHEREAS (un)Occupy Albuquerque began its non-violent, peaceful assembly of students and community members at the University of New Mexico campus in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and We Are The 99% movement on October 1, 2011; and

WHEREAS, (Un)Occupy Albuquerque has complied with UNM requests to reapply for appropriate permits; and

WHEREAS, the protesters have complied with restrictions imposed by UNM concerning the permissible hours for protest activities at Yale Park; and

WHEREAS, universities have historically been vibrant public spaces for political debate, civil protest, and intellectual discourse; and

WHEREAS, (Un)Occupy Albuquerque consists in part of individuals from the UNM student body; and

WHEREAS, for democratic life to thrive and for society to flourish, political and intellectual dialogue must be forever protected and cultivated;

Now therefore be it resolved that the UNM Faculty Senate affirms the right of (Un)Occupy Albuquerque to peaceful assembly and protest, and supports the continuation of its activities on university grounds, to be limited to the minimum extent necessary for reasonable provision for the safety and security of protest participants and members of the University and wider communities; and

Let it be further resolved that the UNM Faculty Senate calls upon the University administrative leadership and Board of Regents to take all steps necessary to assure that the University permanently retains a campus climate conducive to vigorous intellectual and political dialogue and non-violent protest.