Left: Heckler with (un)Occupy movement about to strike retiree.
UNM has handled the Occupy disruption at the Nonie Darwish talk at UNM in February very badly from the beginning until now. UNM is prosecuting a guest at the talk, Paul Chacho, for helping to restore order, while refusing to charge any of those who instigated the incident. UNM did not provide the normal police presence at the talk.
To make things worse, UNM then protected the aggressors while prosecuting one of the 200 victims of their aggression for trying to restore peace and continue the talk. Even the UNM police detectives prosecuting the case admit that on studying the videos closely, they see nothing in the videos that show grounds for criminal charges against Paul Chacho. The videos don’t support the claims of the two students. They admit he was simply singled out by UNM as being the most prominent non-heckler in the videos of the disruption, and the one targeted by the Occupy students and Students for Justice in Palestine.
All of the videos taken of the event are on Youtube:
our video of the disruption
the whole talk
video posted by a guest at the talk, a different angle
the Q & A at the talk
video taken by SJP president, Danya Mustafa, at stairway out of the auditorium
start of the disruption, posted by Danya Mustafa
The attached letter of protest has been sent to the UNM Board of Regents, the UNM president, the Bernalillo County District Attorney, Governor Martinez, Albuquerque Mayor Berry and the NM attorney general. The legal ramifications of UNM’s actions are listed in the Global Frontier Justice Center letter, which was also attached.
Paul Chacho’s next hearings on the two assault and battery charges are on July 2 in Albuquerque at the Metro Courthouse. We expect a large group of supporters to be at the next hearings. In May, supporters packed the gallery in the courtroom for the two hearings, spread the word to hundreds of their friends and associates, and sent $1800 for Israel Alliance’s Chacho Legal Defense Fund. The opposition will continue grow from there.
A large number of activists from different groups are following and working on this. There will be protests against UNM’s politically motivated prosecution near the next court date.
The university was founded for the good of all the citizens of New Mexico and is funded with our taxes and donations. The public should not be prosecuted to serve the politics of UNM. We will do our best to improve UNM’s behavior in the future, for the sake of our future pro-Israel projects and for the peace and safety of everyone who expresses an opinion on campus that some at UNM might disagree with.