ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - University of New Mexico will not renew a permit for Albuquerque's version of the national Wall Street rallies and the school is ordering protesters to leave by Tuesday evening, the university announced Monday.
The decision came after an arrest of a 48-year-old man who lunged with a knife at protesters on Friday and another case involving registered sex offenders in two states. No injuries were reported in the knife incident.
School officials also complained about the large number of people joining students who are entering their fourth straight week of protesting at the school's Yale Park.
"We're not renewing the permit after a difficult week," said UNM spokeswoman Karen Wentworth, who noted that a woman also died on campus in a separate, unrelated incident. "We've reached a point where we can't handle the transient population. People are drawn to the free food."
"(Un)occupy Albuquerque" protesters said they had not decided whether they will move or stay and risk arrest. They were scheduled to hold an assembly meeting late Monday to discuss potential relocation sites.
"It's all about money, baby," said Rhadona Stark, 32, of Albuquerque, one of the many protesters who has been at UNM since the demonstration started. "They've wanted us off from the beginning."
Stark said protesters aren't sure what to do next since they've build a makeshift kitchen at the campsite and have received thousands of dollars in donations for food aimed at feeding protesters.
Protesters, who have been camping on campus since Oct. 1, launched their daily rally in support of national protests against Wall Street and what they call corporate greed. "Occupy Albuquerque" 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.
Earlier this month, police ordered around three dozen protesters from their UNM campsite, but the school later gave them a limited protest permit.
"What people keep forgetting is that this is about business and UNM is a business," said Howard Lackey, 43, who works as the protesters' chef in the makeshift kitchen. "But this is not done. We're just getting started."
Wentworth said the university's decision had nothing to do with the protesters' message, but rather was out of safety concerns. "We're actually asking the city of Albuquerque to help us find another location for them," she said.
Barbara Kirk, 42, who was recently laid off from her family's realty business, said she will go to wherever the "(Un)occupy Albuquerque" is relocated, if it is. "I've lost all of my income because of Wall Street," Kirk said. "So this affects me personally."
Stark said organizers are looking at different locations but no decision has been made. "It may be the end right here," Stark said. "We'll find a place."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A few tips on how to prevent thieves from taking your stuff over Winter Break, a look at the right to die trial, and other stories with Matt Mauro, Elizabeth Mauro and weather with Meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
NMFOG says government agency cannot bar someone from access to information just because it does not like what that person says about the agency.
Some Cleveland High School students say a traffic plan for getting them out of school forces them to take a dangerous and tricky left turn onto a 55 mph road, something parents and staff don't have to do.
An emotional mother is still waiting for answers about what happened to her missing daughter.
The federal jury weighing a life or death sentence for convicted killer John McCluskey has announced it couldn't reach a decision.
New details about the two New Mexico men arrested Tuesday for the murder of a Texas woman.