ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – City Council President Ken Sanchez says interim rules, created after angry protesters took over council chambers, could become permanent.
It was a total takeover of council chambers by protesters frustrated at the pace of change within the Albuquerque Police Department. Their May 5 protest sparked the interim rules, limiting speakers to two minutes and no signs or props allowed.
“I think it’s critical the people respect their chambers. The chambers belong to them, and they must respect the chambers,” Ken Sanchez told KRQE News 13.
Sanchez defends the interim rules that backfired at a special City Council meeting just a few days later. Five silent protesters were issued notices of criminal trespass by building security, ordering them not to return to city hall for 90 days.
Sanchez says those five people are invited back to meetings, but he doesn’t expect changes to the rules.
“They now know the rules, and hopefully they will comply and conform with the rules. If not, and hopefully that won’t be the case, they will be escorted out of the chambers once again,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says the interim rules will be discussed further at Monday’s meeting; a vote to make them permanent could come as early as the next regular meeting.
The city expects another large crowd Monday. Sanchez says if the crowd gets out of hand, he will clear chambers again.