By THE RED NATION COUNCIL
Nearly 200 people marched through the streets of Gallup on Saturday, April 4, 2015 to demand an end to racist violence against Native people in Gallup, New Mexico. The march, organized by The Red Nation, focused attention on the rising levels of violence in Gallup over the last two years. While Gallup has always been a violent place for Native people, particularly those living on the streets and suffering from substance abuse problems, racist violence has spiked sharply in the two years since the Gallup Detox Center changed management. The conditions and treatment of Native people at the Center are inhumane and degrading. Many allege mistreatment, physical abuse, racism, cultural disrespect, neglect, inadequate health and rehabilitative services, and the theft of personal property such as money and cell phones while held in custody.
This past winter was one of the deadliest on record for Native homeless people in the City of Gallup, with 36 unnatural deaths were officially recorded. Most of these were from exposure and pedestrian deaths caused by vehicles. These numbers do not include all unnatural deaths such as suicides and drunk driving accidents. More than 170 Native people have died unnatural deaths since mid-2013 in Gallup.
As speakers at the march said, Gallup is a racist city that profits from Native death. The Red Nation stands with all Native people, and our allies, to demand an end to this racist violence. Saturday’s march was the beginning of a campaign which will only end with Native liberation in Gallup.