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Thursday, Dec 15, 2011 - Canvassed | Art & culture

A new fence goes up in Friendship Park, blocking U.S. access to Monument 258

Activists are concerned over the placement of a replacement barrier at the border

By Kinsee Morlan
friendshippark3
- Photo by Maria Teresa

Yesterday, a new wall went up at Friendship Park, the park that sits at the U.S.-Mexico border.

CityBeat has written about Friendship Park and how a group of activists is pushing to redesign the area to provide a more accessible, less militaristic layout that's reminiscent of the park's original design.

Here's a paragraph from our story:

As recently as 2008, Friendship Park was a place where people in Mexico could meet with family in the U.S. It was an opportunity for those separated by immigration status to talk in person and even touch. But photos of fathers linking hands with their children through the fence, or couples picnicking on the beach separated only by a few rusty poles are the only remnants of the park’s former state.

Since 2008, the Department of Homeland Security has built a double border fence and increased security at Friendship Park and the surrounding Border Field State Park, limiting access to the monument there—Monument 258—and preventing people from getting too close to the primary border fence.

Yesterday, activist Nathan Trotter of Friends of Friendship Park was on the Mexico side of Friendship Park watching as a new fence went up, blocking access to the monument from the U.S. side.

The new fence is being built to replace the original border fence. The original fence, built from old helicopter landing pads reused from the Gulf War, went up in the 1990s as part of Operation Gatekeeper. As sections of that fence are torn down, the new one goes up.

Trotter says he's disappointed by the decision to build the new fence in front of the monument—as opposed to bisecting the monument and allowing access from both sides as the original fence did. He says the International Boundary and Water Commission is responsible for locating the new fence.

Here are more of Trotter's photos of the new fence:





Check back for updates and more information.


 
 
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