“Obviously the main reason for people leaving must be addressed on site first, which means putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem,” German Chancellor Merkel said during her speech.
And she pointed out the historical failure of walls between nations.
As The Telegraph reported, Merkel used examples throughout history — namely the Roman Empire and China’s Great Wall — where border walls did not improve relations, saying, “[..] only when great empires have managed to forge sensible relationships with their neighbors and to manage migration has it been a success.”
For nearly 30 years, Germany was a nation divided into its East and West. The division was most obvious in the country’s capital, Berlin, where a 100-plus mile divided the city in two halves, and it completely encircled West Berlin. In 1989, news channels around the world captured the destruction of the wall and the moment loved ones on either side were finally reunited. Over the years, nearly 80 people were killed while trying to cross the Berlin Wall.
A Berlin-based pro-democracy group sent Donald Trump a piece of the Berlin Wall with a persuasive letter denouncing the use of walls to separate people.
“On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are sending one of the last sections of the infamous wall to Washington, D.C. as a letter to President Trump, to remind him of America’s commitment to build a world without walls. Wall against Walls is an initiative of the citizens of Berlin to express their gratitude for 30 years of freedom.” The project is an initiative by Offene Gesellschaft.
The gift to the president is a 2.7-ton section of the Berlin Wall, which has been making its way from Berlin all across the country.
Here’s a portion of the letter:
“Dear President Trump,
This is an original piece of the Berlin Wall. For 28 years, it separated east and west, family, and friends. It divided not only Berlin and Germany but the whole world. Too many people died trying to cross it — their only crime being their desire to be free. Today, the world celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany is united again, and in Berlin, only a few scattered pieces remind us that no wall last forever. We would like to give you one of the last pieces of the failed Berlin Wall to commemorate the United States’ dedication to building a world without walls.
Citizens of Berlin.”
The letter also added that it was because of former U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan that the Berlin Wall was able to be demolished.
People are encouraged to sign the letter if they are supportive of their statements.
On Nov. 9, they attempted to present the wall to the president in Washington D.C. Fox News reported that “it’s unlikely the Trump administration will accept as it contains a letter reminding the president of ‘America’s commitment to build a world without walls.'”
The wall has now been making its way to various locations across the country where people have been able to experience the Berlin Wall close up.
“For every German born after 1989, the Berlin Wall never stood in their way. They never had to experience being separated from their loved ones. They didn‘t have to risk their life in order to be free. They got to go wherever they wanted- because their parents and grand-parents took to the streets. Again. And again. And again. They proved: together, we have the power to overcome everything. Even a wall,” the official Wall Against Walls stated on their Instagram page.
This wall also made its way to the Mexico border.
“On the 5th Day of our trip through the US, the wall against walls made a tour stop with symbolic power – right next to the Mexico-United States border wall,” organizers said. “A brief, silent moment with an incredible emotional power made us think. From the first human settlements until 1848, this stretch of land has never been a border. Tribes, families, and communities lived on both sides of what is now a seemingly infinite fence. It might be considered necessary by some, but this wall is dividing people simply by place of birth. Let’s hope we will find better ways of encouraging those who contribute to our communities and hold responsible for those who don’t. Mr. President, in the words of Ronald Reagan: TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”
To sign the letter on the Berlin Wall, click here.
Recently, at a Mississippi campaign rally, Trump claimed that there isn’t a tool that exists that can cut through the combination of construction materials used for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. However, this weekend, The Washington Post reported that smugglers are sawing through new sections of Trump’s wall with $100 power tools and simply walking across the border.
Within a matter of minutes, smugglers have been able to saw through the steel and concrete bollards by simply fitting a popular cordless saw with special blades, according to The Washington Post.
Hours before The Washington Post broke its news, Trump told a Mississippi crowd, “It’s a different form of cut.”
It seems as if the Army Corp of Engineers presented Trump with three construction material options. “I did all three,” he boasted to a crowd that exploded with applause. “Because it’s a different form of cut,” he explained, seemingly about the power tool required to cut through all three materials. “It can cut through steel but it can’t through the concrete and then you can’t through the hardened rebar. We got it all.” It’s difficult to say what “it” is referring to because of the lack of descriptive nouns in his language.
Later, Trump doubled down on the reason for “The Wall:” that MS-13 gang members were “not human beings.”
“These gangs are the worst people,” he told the crowd. “These people, they are not human beings. I said that once before and ‘Crazy Nancy Pelosi’ said, ‘How dare you say they’re not human?'” Trump doubled down and bragged for refusing to apologize. “You ever see these people?” he asked the cheering crowd. “And they slice people up with a knife because it’s more painful than using a gun. And then I have to defend myself when I say they’re animals. But you know what? I never changed. I didn’t say, ‘Oh I’d like to apologize, Crazy Nancy.'”
Meanwhile, Joaquin Castro visited the Hispanic Caucus’ ofrenda dedicated to honoring the migrants who have tragically died in U.S. custody.
“We also need see-through,” Trump stated.
Presumably, Trump means to say that he’d like a transparent material that also fortifies the border. “Gotta see whose on the other side. That makes sense, right? Not just concrete,” he expanded. Currently, the most protected border sections have two, 30 feet high fences with a paved road in between. But nearly a dozen U.S. Border agents and administration officials have blown the whistle on Trump’s “virtually impenetrable” wall to The Washington Post, on the condition of anonymity.
There are two methods migrants are using to cross the $10 billion tax-payer funded barriers, says The Washington Post.
Of the two methods reported by The Washington Post, the simpler method relies on the use of the popular household cordless saw. The saw is able to cut through the first layer of steel rebar, ten feet of concrete and a rebar core within a few minutes, engineers told The Washington Post. The bollard is attached to a panel at the top of the “wall,” which, when sawed through, is left dangling, ready to be pushed to the side by a migrant who can now simply walk across the border, according to the Post.
The second method is with a custom made ladder, usually made of rebar, which includes a rope ladder that is released down the other side to descend, says The Washington Post. Once on the other side, the ladder can be easily passed through the space between the bollards, and carried to the second barrier, according to The Washington Post.
Migrant smugglers are tricking CBP officers with putty the paper reported.
An anonymous senior administration official told The Washington Post that while the new bollard system has “significantly increased security and deterrence,” sawing breaches have occurred often enough that CBP officers know how to look out for them. Smugglers, a CBP official admitted to the publication, have an array of strategies to trick CBP officers into bypassing an altered bollard. They might put the bollard back where it was, hoping an agent won’t do a routine boot-kick to test for a breach, an official admitted to the paper. Alternatively, smugglers have also learned to use putty to mask the cut in such a way that it looks like a welding crew had already repaired the bollard, The Washington Post reported.
But those vulnerable spots will soon be fortified with electronic sensors.
The newspaper’s sources say that the saw trick has primarily worked in places where the electronic sensor system isn’t operational just yet. Once powered on, officials claim that it will alert CBP to vibrations that occur when someone is, say, sawing through “The Wall.”
According to CBP, the Trump administration has constructed 76 miles of new border barriers, with another 158 miles under construction. Trump plans to complete 450 miles of border barriers by the end of 2020.