More than a dozen protesters with Albuquerque's version of the national anti-Wall Street rallies were arrested late Tuesday at the University of New Mexico after the school ordered them out of a makeshift campsite.
Police shut down the protest site at Yale Park, forcing hundreds of protesters onto the sidewalks and Central Avenue, which is the historic Route 66 in Albuquerque.
Members of the "(Un)occupy Albuquerque" movement continue to chant and sing as state police placed yellow tape around the four-week old protest site, known as "Camp Coyote".
Lawyers from a local lawyer guild said they intend to represent those who are arrested Tuesday.
New Mexico State Police arrived on the scene Tuesday night as about 400 protesters chanted, "Cops are the 99 percent!"
Protesters were holding signs and around twenty of them sat down in a circle as a demonstration of civil disobedience. Police then approached the circle and picked them up one by one to be arrested.
Police say the protesters will be charged with criminal trespassing.
Protesters had held a number of events around campus, including demonstrating outside of the office of UNM president David Schmidly. They also attended university-sponsored events, like a book signing with writer Joe Torres and New York Daily News columnist and Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez, to voice their anger over the school's decision to close the protest site. Protesters had camped out at the site since Oct. 1.
"We're not giving up," said Howard Lackey, 43, who works as the protesters' chef in the makeshift kitchen. "This will continue."
UNM on Monday announced it would not be renewing protesters' permit and ordered protesters to leave Yale Park by 10 p.m. Tuesday or face arrest.
Schmidly said in a statement that he met with protest organizers and that he supports their rights to free expression. But he said he was standing by the university's decision against renewing the permit because of safety concerns, including an incident Friday when a man lunged with a knife at protests.
"The prolonged and unique nature of this protest and continuous encampment have evolved beyond the capacity for either the protesters or the university to ensure the safety of the participants as well as our students, employees and visitors," Schmidly said.
The city also said it has spent more than $16,000 in overtime for police patrols.
Hakim Bellamy, 33, said the school was using a few isolated events as an excuse to close the campsite. "These are incidents that happen at UNM all the time," said Bellamy, who has brought his 3-year-old son to protests. "Since the `Occupy' movement is there, it's easy for them to try to affiliate (those incidents) with it and make (them) seem like its cause to eject them from the campus."
The local version of the movement changed its name recently to "(Un)occupy Albuquerque" after concerns were raised about the negative connotations of the word "occupy" in a city with a large Native American population.