When Donald Trump announced his intent to run for president of the United States more than a year ago, he disparaged and threatened the Latino community. Not only did he unfairly paint Mexicans as rapists and criminals, he also said he’d deport the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US. But building a wall – which is meant to keep Latin Americans out – became the cornerstone of his campaign.
This week, as he accepts the nomination for the Republican Party in Cleveland, protesters have congregated in the city to denounce Trump and his politics. Supergroup Prophets of Rage may have kicked things off, but there’s perhaps no act of resistance more powerful than Mijente’s, which finally gave Trump the wall he so badly wants. “If Trump is set on building a wall. We’re going to give it to him,” Marisa Franco, director of Mijente, said in a press release. “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.”
At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Mijente – joined by groups like the Ruckus Society, United We Dream, and many others – met in Cleveland’s Public Square. At first, it didn’t look like much. People wore canvas ponchos, with either a chain link or brick pattern painted on them, that read “Wall Off Trump.” Others held banners, also painted to look like bricks or a fence, that made it clear that people were tired of Trump’s Trumpadas. But little by little, people starting marching down Prospect Avenue. There, they stood side by side, linked arms, and formed a long line – a human wall – that blocked one of the entrances to the security perimeter surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena. Reporters flocked to the wall, which couldn’t have been built without the nearly 700 people who donated money on Indiegogo, and built another wall. Behind the protesters, stood a line of police officers. Most importantly, Mijente and other activists got their message of unity across.
Check out images and videos of the wall below:
— Mario A. Carrillo (@_mariocarrillo_) July 20, 2016
— Julianne Hing (@juliannehing) July 20, 2016
— Collin Rees (@collinrees) July 20, 2016
"The walls that they build…"
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 20, 2016
— Aaron Cynic (@aaroncynic) July 20, 2016
— United We Dream Action (@UNITEDWEDREAM) July 20, 2016
View this post on Instagram
I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I am a Latino. I cannot support a wall that literally and symbolically keeps people like my family, friends, children, mothers, fathers and dreamers away from reaching the ultimate opportunity for life. Especially from communities where danger is the norm. I love, and I will fight for those I love. #wallOFFtrump
Additional reporting by Vanessa Erazo.