Reports On: ABQ Police Violence, Water Diversion in Santa Fe, Privatized NM River Access, and an Election Guide for Activism

We revisit last week’s posts, plus include a preview of our Health Security Act Zoominar next week & a link to an interview with two civil rights attorneys discussing the ABQ police dept. Finally we revisit an April post, “What If Trump Wins Again?”

On a daily basis, Trump and his cohorts remind us how much is at stake on November 3. I don’t really need to tick off an updated list of his daily tweets, quotes or executive actions. By now, we all get it. But because of the importance of the election just four months away, I do want to stress once again, how all of us must devote considerable time to being engaged and active in the presidential election. And so, I strongly recommend your getting to the bottom of this post to review “An Activist Guide to the 2020 General Election,” as it lays out what is at stake and, more importantly, how you can have a substantive impact on this race. And once you’ve read it, please share it. We have much work to do. As more motivation, a post from April 16 follows.

What If Trump Wins Again?

On April 16, exactly 200 days from the November 3 general election, Retake published a post “What If Trump Wins Again?” That post has been read by more people than anything we have ever published. I offer it up for your review again, along with a quote from Rebecca Solnit that anchored that post. The quote and the post offer some insight into why Retake feels it so important to swallow our principles, get over Warren or Sanders not being our standard bearer, and do all we can to defeat Donald Trump. That is why last Saturday’s post listed at the end of this post is so important, as it offers you the tools to jump in and make a difference. Consider this from Rebecca Solnit:

“When you vote for someone, you are not voting for them because you believe in them, like them, trust them or feel they share your priorities. You are voting for the conditions under which you want to fight for your priorities.”

Rebecca Solnit

What is Wrong with the ABQ Police Dept & Other Police Departments Throughout the US?

On Saturday, KSFR aired a 30 minute Retake interview with two prominent NM civil rights attorney’s Laura Ives, who is representing Scott Williams, the peaceful protester who while attending an ABQ protest was shot four times in the back by Steven Baca, a vigilante. Prior to shooting Williams, Baca had body slammed three female protesters. Jeff Haas was the other attorney that I interviewed. Jeff has been a civil rights attorney for the past 50 years, famously representing the family of the Black Panther Fred Hampton who was murdered by the Chicago police in 1969. He and his wife Mariel Nanasi had written an analysis of the police culture in ABQ, a piece that Retake published as a guest post last Tuesday (see below).

In the interview, we discussed the root causes to police violence, how police cultures support racist violence, how police unions protect “bad” cops and how police and district attorneys often conspire to implement policies and practices that are overtly racist. While much of the conversation focuses on the ABQ protest and the police response, with that stage set, we moved on to discuss how the same kinds of racist police practices are common throughout the US. Finally, we also spoke about the epidemic of vigilantism spreading across the nation. This was a great interview and well worth your time.

A Week In Review

A tumultuous week filled with promising election returns in NY, VA, and KY, along with a report on police violence in the US & ABQ, with a focus on the ABQ police department culture and its failure to provide transparency or accountability. We also offered two reports on issues related to water, one on Santa Fe’s effort to secure more water to support continuing development by diverting Rio Grande water intended for agriculture south of Santa Fe. Finally, and more importantly, we offer our guide to how you can be effectively active in the 2020 presidential campaign. Of all the reports from last week, this one is by far the most important as it offers ways you can make a difference in the most important election in our lifetimes and perhaps in the history of the United States. If you missed this piece, please be sure to review it now and share it with friends.

ABQ Police Dept.: A Culture of Abuse & Disdain, a Dept Lacking Transparency and Accountability

In ABQ the Answer Is No One

Tuesday June 23. In this post, we offered a guest piece from Jeff Haas and Mariel Nanasi, two much appreciated Santa Fe civil rights and environmental justice attorneys. Their revelations about the ABQ police culture are revealing.

We also offered a link to two other pieces on police violence and vigilantism that are worth your review. At the end of the post is a link to a Truthout piece that offers more on the ABQ case and offers an excellent summary of the US history of vigilantism. Finally, we close with a moving video. As most have read, a week ago Sunday a noose was found in the garage of the only black NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace. He had led the successful effort to have NASCAR remove all Confederate flags from the race tracks. Well, last Sunday was racing day and the tribute and the support for Wallace from drivers and crew members was powerful.

Click here to read the full post on police violence in ABQ and the US.

Santa Fe Proposes to Divert Water Flowing South for Agriculture to Fuel More Housing & Hotels in Santa Fe

Wednesday, June 24. We offered another guest blog, this one developed by a handful of local and state water advocates who sound the alarm about the cost, purpose, and process that has led Santa Fe to being on the verge of implementing a plan for diverting thousands of acre feet of water from the Rio Grande and “swapping” water from the county treatment facility that is only partially treated. In essence, Santa Fe wants to divert water intended for agriculture to be used to support continued Santa Fe growth. We developed a petition to the Mayor and City Council asking them to reconsider this action. We also provided a report on the key progressive wins in Virginia, New York and Kentucky where votes, even as late as Sunday afternoon, were not finalized.

Click here to read the full post on the Santa Fe water diversion plan. You can sign the petition, too.

Who Owns the Rio Chama?
Apparently the Wealthy Think They Do

Thursday, June 25. In this post we offered mostly good news. First we reported on Trump’s plummeting poll numbers and one GOP leaders scathing commentary on the Trump administration. We also offered the welcome ruling from the PRC Hearing Examiner who ruled that PNM must not use natural gas but must replace San Juan power with 100% renewables. We noted that the Hearing Examiner’s ruling is not binding and so we included a petition asking the Commissioners to follow the Hearing Officer’s recommendation.

Lastly, we provided excerpts from an interesting exploration of the idea of owning water. This is not just an abstract consideration, as the article focuses on how three ultra wealthy individuals have purchased land on the Rio Chama, Mimbres, Penasco and Alamosa rivers and have sought “certification” that stretches of those rivers are effectively “theirs” and that they can limit access to only those paying premium prices.

Click here to read the full post on Who Owns the Rio Chama?

A Guide for Your Activism
In the Most Important Election in US History

Saturday, June 27. The post focuses on the national election, beginning with a scathing commentary from a long-time GOP leader, followed by analysis of the kind of Trump stunts we should expect to encounter soon. Lastly, we look at Swing Left as a tool for you to play a role in this election and then examine the twelve Super States Sing Left has identified as being critical to House, Senate and White House races. We can’t take a back seat on this, as we are looking at the most important election in US history. This post offers several ways you can be directly involved in swinging those states left.

Click here to read the full election guide to the national election.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne

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1 reply

  1. Can we remember that water diversion in Santa Fe County occurs in more than one location? Still planned is an incredibly expensive pipeline — with the cost not divulged — up narrow, twisting, steep Bishop’s Lodge Road to initially bring 1,000 acre feet of water — previously used for agriculture — to Santa Fe for development. It is hard to deny that more water will follow.

    This pipeline of unknown cost has absolutely nothing to do with the frequently and piously stated objectives of the Aamodt agreement. These are
    1. new drinking water systems and additional water to the Pueblos in the Pojoaque Basin
    2. a new drinking water system for the non-Pueblo residents of the Pojoaque Basin.

    In fact, this expensive pipeline of unknown cost will be built and the Aamodt project officially “completed,” without any new distribution system — for anybody in the Pojoaque Basin — being completed.

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