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Hundreds protest again in ABQ

Protesters march past the boarded-up windows of the KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque on Tuesday evening. The venue’s windows were smashed by rioters Sunday night. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

On Tuesday night, again it rained. And again, they marched.

For a third straight night, hundreds took to the streets in the university area to protest the death of George Floyd – a black man killed by Minnesota police.

Similar demonstrations have played out from New York City to Los Angeles, with many turning violent as authorities use everything from tear gas and curfews to the National Guard to quell the crowds. Videos of widespread looting and police brutality against crowds have become a mainstay of social media.

However, the protests in Albuquerque have remained largely peaceful.

And Tuesday was no different as more than 300 demonstrators walked down Central Avenue through a driving rain, chanting George Floyd’s name and waving signs condemning police brutality, before stopping at the steps of the Albuquerque police headquarters.

“There is a rebellion sweeping the entire country, and we are a part of that, and you should be proud of that,” Satya Vatti, with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, yelled through a megaphone atop the steps. “What’s happening in Albuquerque is not isolated. This is part of a larger movement – against police brutality; it’s a larger movement against this entire (expletive) racist system.”

Afterward, the group headed back toward the University of New Mexico past the boarded-up windows, graffiti and charred dumpsters from a destructive Sunday night.

A man, who did not want to be identified, said he had a message for those in leadership roles near and far: “We don’t need you for our change.

“Our leader of the nation is a coward, who cowers in a bunker; we cannot have that at local levels,” he said. “They must stand and they must lead, or they will be replaced.”

The man said the Albuquerque Police Department also has a part to play in stopping what is happening in its own backyard.

“APD is a policing unit,” he said. “They must police out racism. If they see something, they say something.”

He said the destruction Sunday night was not part of the protests but undertaken by “outside agitators.”

“Rage will always be a part of our movement, but we will temper rage with our love,” the man said.

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