Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Albuquerque marks 50th anniversary of Mexican American uprising over police violence

Activists in Albuquerque this week commemorated the 50th anniversary of one of the first modern Mexican American rebellions against police over discrimination and harassment.

Why it matters: The "Albuquerque uprising" is part of the forgotten history of protests against police mistreatment of Latinos in the 1960s and 1970s. Since the murder of George Floyd, Latino advocates have tried to draw attention to that history and the often-overlooked police violence against Hispanics today.

Background: In June 1971, the arrest of several Chicano teens for underage drinking at Albuquerque's Roosevelt Park set off 30 hours of violence in New Mexico's largest city.

  • Hundreds had gathered in the park for a concert. As the police became more aggressive, young Mexican Americans threw rocks and bottles at officers, yelling "Chicano power" and other slogans.
A Mexican American teen detained by Albuquerque police. Photo: Albuquerque Journal
  • Officers “started putting on strong pressure, and some of the guys got fed up,” Richard Moore, minister of justice for the Black Berets, a militant Mexican American group, told the Daily Lobo at the time.
  • Police fired their guns in the air and tossed tear gas but the angry crowd overturned police cars, started fires, and smashed windows, forcing officers to flee.
  • The uprising didn't end until the National Guard was called in. Some 600 people were arrested, dozens injured and the area and nearby buildings suffered an estimated $5 million in damage.
Police take cover during protests with Mexican American demonstrators in Albuquerque, 1971. Photo: Albuquerque Journal

The intrigue: The unrest led to reforms in the Albuquerque police department and forced officials to acknowledge the ongoing harassment of Latinos. In the lead up to the rebellion, Mexican American activists had been complaining about police excessive force but officials had ignored them.

  • “I know we have police brutality in Albuquerque,” New Mexico Lt. Gov. Robert Mondragon told a crowd at Roosevelt Park the day after the rebellion started. “Police brutality is not alleged—it is factual.”

Like previous clashes with police and Black Americans in places like Cairo, Ill., and York, Pa., the uprising came after years of physical harassment and brutalityby white officers and a new influx of federal funds that gave police department military equipment.

  • Such rebellions against police in smaller cities have been dismissed as "hoodlums" who just rioted, Yale historian Elizabeth Hinton points out in her new book, "America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s."
  • Hinton argues that a generation after the Civil Rights Movement, people of color used violence as a political tool to fight growing police harassment and oppression.
  • The country saw similar rebellions by Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans in Jersey City, N.J.; Pharr and Houston, Texas; Oxnard, Calif.; and Bridgeport, Conn.
Riot police try to control Mexican American protesters in Albuquerque, 1971. Photo: Albuquerque Journal

Don't forget: Albuquerque today remains under a federal consent decree to reform its police department following a 2014 U.S. Justice Department investigation that found routine use of excessive force.

  • An independent monitor has repeatedly criticized Albuquerque police for refusing to change its culture.

Vaccine mandates are suddenly much more popular

State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees.

Why it matters: Vaccine mandates have been relatively uncommon in the U.S. But with vaccination rates stagnating and the Delta variant driving yet another wave of cases, there's been a new groundswell of support for such requirements.

Keep reading... Show less

American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

Team USA's Carissa Moore won gold in the first-ever Olympic women's surfing final, at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday.

The big picture: Brazil's Italo Ferreira won the gold medal in the inaugural men's Olympic surfing contest. The finals were brought forward a day due to the threat of Tropical Storm Nepartak.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Activist Tong Ying-kit found guilty of terrorism in first Hong Kong security law trial

Tong Ying-kit, the first person to be charged and tried under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession by three judges Tuesday, per Bloomberg.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics after losing her Tokyo tennis tournament match 6-1, 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Extreme drought pushes 2 major U.S. lakes to historic lows

Two significant U.S. lakes, one of which is a major reservoir, are experiencing historic lows amid a drought that scientists have linked to climate change.

What's happening: Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the U.S., has fallen 3,554 feet in elevation, leaving the crucial reservoir on the Colorado River, at 33% capacity — the lowest since it was filled over half a century ago, new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data shows.

Keep reading... Show less

North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resumed previously suspended communication channels between the two countries, per Reuters.

Details: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to "restore mutual confidence and develop their relationships again as soon as possible," South Korea's Blue House spokesperson Park Soo Hyun said in a televised briefing, AP notes.

  • This followed an exchange of letters between the two leaders since April.

Go deeper: Kim Jong Un says prepare for "dialogue and confrontation" with U.S.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

U.S. teen Lydia Jacoby wins Olympic gold medal in 100m breaststroke at Tokyo Games

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games.

Of note: The Alaskan is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, and she beat Lilly King into second place.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Pelosi expected to extend proxy voting as Delta variant surges

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to extend proxy voting through the fall — and potentially until the end of the year — Democratic lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has alarmed both members and staffers anxious about interacting with the unvaccinated. Pelosi’s anticipated move — continuing an emergency COVID-19 measure enacted last year so lawmakers could vote remotely — is aimed at allaying those concerns.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories