Protesters demand ‘No wall!’


Celia Jimenez

San Diego City College M.E.Ch.A. members and other protesters hold signs during the “Ban the border wall” protest on Feb. 3.

By Elizabeth Comparán

SAN YSIDRO — For the first time since President’s Trump inauguration, dozens of people flocked to the border to protest the wall he’s ordered built to divide the United States and Mexico.

Approximately 30 people participated on the “Ban the Border Wall” protest on Feb. 3, including students from Southwestern College, City College and San Diego State University as well as members of organizations such as Veterans for Bernie Sanders and M.E.C.H.A. Members of the latter group from City College wore handkerchiefs over their face to remain anonymous.

Vehicle drivers joined the protest when the protesters hung an LED-light sign that spelled out “#NO BORDER WALL” on the bridge on top of the end of the freeway 5 toward the crossing.

The sign was created by a public art project called the Overpass Light Brigade and brought to the protest by Larry Pierce, who said the group would provide bright, luminous signs at no cost to any community member who needed it.

The “Ban the Border Wall” protest started at 5 p.m. with only one person, a Southwestern College student, Richard Meneses, who held up a sign that said “Immigrants are not the problem. We are the solution!  #NoBanNoWall.”

A couple of minutes later, others started to join him at the Camino de la Plaza sidewalk, holding handmade signs and chanting.

After a while, Eric Deen, a member of the group of Veterans for Bernie Sanders, suggested the group move to the other side of the bridge so people in their vehicles waiting to cross the border to Tijuana could see the sign. As soon as they got there, drivers began to honk their horns and people started to chant, “No ban, no walls.”

One of the protesters was Vivian Reyes, a San Diego State student who said her parents had been deported. She explained that she was participating because she was standing up for herself, her parents and the whole community who was behind her.

Another protester, Clint White, stressed that he was protesting “for those who do not have a voice and are not able to be out here tonight.”

He said that the border is an invisible line that was created by man and should not be there.

White said that a binational rally was being planned at the San Ysidro border on March 25 “to stand together against this immigration policy.”

The majority of the participants said they found out about the protest via a Facebook event that was created by members of different activist groups, such as Fuerza Amigos de Aztlán, United Against Police Terror and Raíces Sin Frontera.

The event reached more than 2,000 Facebook users, according to the event page, and was created to “let people know that we are still fighting against any wall,” said one of the organizers, Catherine Mendonca.

San Diego Police Lt. Ernesto Servín said that “we want to be here to support the protesters in their cause but we want to make sure that they don’t impede the flow of vehicle traffic or block the sidewalk.”


Celia Jiménez contributed to this story.