A group of 21 climate change protesters were escorted from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office and served citations Wednesday after declining to leave when the Roundhouse closed.

Demonstrators with a group called Youth United for Climate Crisis Action left peacefully after police informed them that they were under arrest. After exiting the Governor’s Office, police escorted protesters four at a time — without handcuffs — to police vans outside to be served citations. Protesters were informed of pending court dates.

Tripp Stelnicki, a spokesman for the governor, declined to comment on the situation. He said arrests were up to police.

Artemisio Romero y Carver, a 17-year-old high school junior from Lamy, said he and other students and adults demonstrated because they believe the governor is not fighting climate change with enough urgency.

He and other teenagers left before police warned protesters that they would begin making arrests. While some adult demonstrators chose to exit the building before being issued citations, others stayed more than 30 minutes after the building closed at 6 p.m.

“There won’t be a world left to be carbon neutral by 2050,” Romero y Carver said. “Thankfully our elders have made that sacrifice [to get arrested] for me, for the youth, the same way that a lot of their contemporaries have thrown our future under the bus. Have cursed us to a desolate planet.”

Demonstrators called on Lujan Grisham to declare a climate emergency in New Mexico and achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 rather than the later timeline of 2045, as required by the state’s Energy Transition Act. The clean energy law was passed by the Legislature and signed into law this year by Lujan Grisham.

Protesters also called for net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and legislation allowing community solar plans by 2020.

Daisy Cortes, a 27-year-old Albuquerque resident who was part of the sit-in, said she was informed she’d be issued a citation.

“We didn’t know if we would be cited or taken to jail. But we knew we were facing arrest,” she said.

Cortes said she and others were there “to stand in solidarity with the youth. It’s [about] the state of life on this planet.”

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(13) comments

Philip Taccetta

Mike Johnson and all climate change deniers are the ones that should be arrested and jailed.

They can stick their heads in sand (hopefully tar sands) while the rest of us watch and live with the accelerating climate change which is directly attributable to burning of fossil fuels going back to the start of the “Industrial Revolution”. I don’t have a PhD in “forensic climatology” or whatever it’s called but I can certainly see what’s happening all over our embattled planet.

KJ Brewer

Well done, protestors! Civil disobedience is a righteous tradition in this country, protected by law in the free speech part of the First Amendment. Proud of you for drawing attention to the climate crisis! And thanks to the New Mexican for the coverage.

Dr. Michael Johnson

These fools and idiots should have been arrested and thrown in jail.

Counter Intelligence

"Michael L. Johnson will receive an honorary doctorate... as a successful geologist in the oil and gas industry"

You're the one who should be in jail, "doctor". Look these kids in the eyes and tell them that you sold their future. Then you can have an opinion.

Jon Carver

Johnson hates to listen to kids and loves fossil fuels. He's bloated and greasy and gassy. He's just off-gassing here like a methane plume in the face of the youth.

Khal Spencer

Does the New Mexican have a policy on blatant ad hominem attacks for those using ts comment platform?

Khal Spencer

Meanwhile, SUV sales are booming. Maybe these kids ought to be talking to their parents and older siblings rather than pouting at the Roundhouse.


Counter Intelligence

You think they're not talking to their parents? Don't argue in bad faith, please. Citizens of NM can't control what cars people buy nationwide. But they expect some say in how their elected officials govern. MLG has refused to meet with these young citizens. Why shouldn't they take a stand, when the people who are supposed to represent them won't listen?

Jon Carver

Gassy Grisham's admin promised a Climate Change Report on Sept. 15, 2019. It has not yet appeared, suggesting that she sees no urgency. Contact Secretary of the Environment, James Kinney at 505 827 2855 and ask him where that report is.

Khal Spencer

21 climate change protestors are going to change the world? Sorry but until the market changes and people stop engaging in cognitive dissonance, nothing will happen other than more protestors getting arrested.

Take California, for example. 40 million plus people refusing to change land use planning in order to cut down on transportation milage. But while idling in their car-choked freeways in slightly more fuel efficient CA cars going nowhere, they will piously ban single use plastics. And you are right: a few million New Mexicans (many of whom will refuse to turn over the keys to their own pickups and SUVs) will not make a dent in national or international emissions.

Best thing those people can do is stop hanging around the Roundhouse, go get some science and engineering degrees, which is harder than protesting at the Governor's Office, and lead the way in developing technologies that are carbon-lite and/or which geologically sequester that which we put into the air and oceans.

Philip Taccetta

The technology is here, it just needs to be implemented faster. The only hurtle to going 100% renewables is battery technology which is rapidly catching up.

Geological sequestration is pie in the sky, dreams of the fossil fuel industry.

This is not a subject for this venue. We need an ongoing discussion.

Khal Spencer

Geological sequestration is a perfectly reasonable proposal for discussion and your dismissal is unfounded. Ever hear of carbonate formations? Ma Nature already does it and one possible way to continue to use fossil fuels is to require a cradle to the grave CO2 path once we reduce the uncertainties on TCS and ECS so we can more accurately know what we need to do and the cost of doing so. State of the art nuclear is another response that Liberals are too squeamish to discuss. Living smaller (smaller homes, smaller vehicles, walkable communities, eating food that has a smaller carbon footprint...) are all up for discussion. Meanwhile, I am glad that the Governor is not interfering with the exploitation of the Permian Basin resource. This state needs the money. Its just too bad that succeeding administrations squander it (the Railrunner, US 550 expansion, too many small state campuses for political reasons, etc) rather than use the funds wisely.

In Practical Ethics (Cambridge Press, 2011), Peter Singer tells us that from an ethical perspective, Americans should reduce their carbon footprints by an order of magnitude. That just ain't gonna happen. Technology will have to come to the rescue to be sure, but I sincerely believe that the average first worlder will have to see their lifestyle pried from their cold, dead hands.

Now, I think I will turn up the heat and fire up the SUV.

Jon Carver

Okay, Boomer.

Welcome to the discussion.

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