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#WorldWithoutWalls demonstrators

Demonstrations took place across the world on Thursday as part of a global day of action to promote a #WorldWithoutWalls. (Photo: Stop The Wall/Twitter)

#WorldWithoutWalls: A Global Demand From Palestine to Mexico and Beyond

Demonstrations across the globe denounce walls erected by powerful governments as "monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination, and exploitation"

Jessica Corbett

A coalition of Palestinian and Mexican advocacy groups launched the #WorldWithoutWalls Global Day of Action on Thursday, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, to "unite against the global proliferation of walls," which they say serve as "monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination, and exploitation."

On a webpage dedicated to day of action, Stop the Wall—which is spearheading the effort—features a call to action that describes how nations worldwide contruct barriers to control people. The statement includes signatories representing more than 370 organizations from some 30 countries, and says, in part:

From Israel's apartheid Wall on Palestinian land to the U.S. Wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico—almost 70 walls across all continents are today ripping through people's lives and lands as they fortify often unilaterally defined borders or limits of state control. They cause thousands of deaths every year and destroy means of livelihoods and hope for many more. They are monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination, and exploitation....

From India, to Saudi Arabia, to Turkey, Western Sahara, and Europe, today, the number of walls designed to forcibly define and seal borders has almost tripled over the last two decades. These walls bar the right to freedom of movement and self-determination. They have become are cornerstones in a world where wars, militarization, and exclusion are to substitute justice, freedom, and equality.

Stop the Wall primarily advocates against the barrier erected by the Israeli government along and within the West Bank—often called the "apartheid wall" by critics. U.S. President Donald Trump's continuous calls for the federal government to build up a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn comparisons to the wall in the West Bank.

"In particular over the last year, we have seen a global rise of racist, repressive, exclusionary, and supremacist ideologies," Jamal Juma', an activist with Stop the Wall, said in a statement. "Governments are developing and expanding with ever more freedom policies that criminalize and kill migrants, poor people, all those that are not of the dominant color, religion, caste, race, gender or sexual orientation as well as all those that stand in the way of the profits of the powerful."

 "When people chant 'From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have to go,' it's not just a slogan. It is a shared reality of colonization and corporate exploitation, and a shared struggle for collective liberation."
—Anna Baltzer,
U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights

"Israel has been a key actor in a new global era of walls and the day of action has expanded the discourse around Israel's role in repression, surveillance, and militarization worldwide," Anna Baltzer, director of organizing and advocacy at the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, one of the groups supporting the day of action, told Common Dreams.

"For instance, Israeli companies are profiting off, and bidding on contracts for, the U.S.-Mexico wall, using technology they have developed for Israel's apartheid wall," Baltzer noted. "So when people chant 'From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have to go,' it's not just a slogan. It is a shared reality of colonization and corporate exploitation, and a shared struggle for collective liberation."

The advocacy groups have compiled an interactive map to track demonstrations and movements taking place as part of Thursday's day of action, and several supporters and journalists from across the globe have posted photos on social media to document the actions.


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