Latinx and immigrant rights organizers are just a few hundred dollars away from raising $15,000 to erect a 15,000 foot “banner wall” around the Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week.
Tania Unzueta, an undocumented community organizer with the immigrant rights advocacy groups Mijente and the #Not1More Campaign, explained that the wall “protects our community members and defends the people we love and are part of our families.” Unzueta hoped participants would help by “walling off the hatred and xenophobia that’s represented by the Republican candidate to the presidency, Donald Trump.
According to organizers, the wall will be paid for, made for, and cared for by “Mexicanos (and Latinx and the conscious people of the U.S,” Latinx being the gender-neutral alternative that some activists use to describe Latinos and Latinas.
“Trump’s vision for our country is as small as his hands,” the website reads. “His campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again,’ is code to take our country back to a past of racial segregation. We’re not afraid of the future of this country. Instead, our wall will celebrate the beautiful potential our people hold.”
In Denver earlier this month, another coalition of groups launched a similar effort during Trump’s visit to the state, constructing a small section of border wall using cardboard boxes, which featured images of unity and peace.
After the wall was “torn down”, the boxes were filled with canned foods, diapers and other items to be donated to Growing Home, a community center in the area that provides services “to break the cycle of multigenerational poverty.”
“In polarized times we need to be building more bridges between us and less walls that divide us,” said Marisa Franco, one of the organizers of the action to be held in Cleveland.
“But if Trump is set on building a wall, we’re going to give it to him. But we’ll be walling off his hate. We won’t go quietly as he campaigns to put us back in the closet, back across the border, or to the back of the bus.”