Text by DAVID CORREIA; Photos by EVERYONE
The march on APD HQ yesterday, called by Anonymous days earlier, turned into an eleven-hour standoff between protesters and various APD tactical units and units of the New Mexico State Police, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and the Rio Rancho police.
APD riot police assembled near Central and Yale yesterday, interrupting the (Un)Occupy GA assembly. Eyewitnesses report police aggressively attacking protesters who yelling back at police in riot gear.
As marchers moved downtown, the protest swelled and by the time it reached APD HQ, more than 500 people chanted and waved signs protesting the APD shooting death of James Boyd on March 16 and the other 22 people killed by police since 2010.
APD tactical units moved in and pushed protesters east. A tense standoff lasted nearly an hour, as APD tanks, mounted units and military-equipped units backed-up a line of APD officers in gas masks and riot gear.
Rather than confront APD, protesters retreated back east and briefly seized Interstate 25, with some people lying down in order to block cars. The interstate was briefly closed before protesters flooded back onto Central where they moved east toward UNM campus.
Once there protesters briefly blocked the intersection of Yale and Central. As night was falling, APD tactical units reassembled along Central, backed up once again by military-equipped units that many people assumed to be National Guard. Mounted Units herded people off the sidewalks, while APD in gas masks and riot gear began deploying tear gas.
After 10 hours of protesting, Central was finally clear. But protesters had reassembled at APD HQ for another confrontation. Again APD tactical units quickly moved in and for the second time used tear gas on protesters.