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.”