Local Protesters Opposing Funding For Border Wall Gather Amid Government Shutdown

Dec 24, 2018

Protesters gathered downtown to express their opposition to federal funding for a border wall.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

A group of local activists gathered outside the Federal building on this Christmas Eve to voice their displeasure about President Trump’s proposed border wall and the partial government shutdown.  Members of the CNY Solidarity Coalition and the Syracuse Peace Council want their elected Senators and Congress-members to know where they stand. 

The group held signs.  One read, “Money for jobs and education; NOT for the wall and deportation."  The CNY Solidarity Coalition’s Peter McCarthy hopes their messages will be heard and taken to Washington.

“I want Senator Gillibrand and Senator Schumer to know that we support them and their opposition to 5 billion dollars for Trump’s wall and want Congressman Katko to know that we oppose his position," said McCarthy. "That he can come up with 5 billion dollars out of nowhere instead of spending it on something we could use like infrastructure, education, food, energy efficiency or a lot of other things the federal government should be paying attention to.”  

He predicts that if a border wall was built, it wouldn’t stop the flow of immigrants fleeing from Mexico and Latin American countries that have problems he blames on the U.S.  Syracuse Peace Council member Gavin Landless says the U-S would be going against a pathway  that immigrants are entitled to seek.

“International law says that asylum is a human right.  That’s just been ratified, again by UNHCR, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees," said Landless. "That’s an internationally agreed human right which absolutely must be respected.  So, for the United States or any other country to turn their back on that and decide that asylum is something that should be allowed without even asking questions or looking at individual cases is just a travesty of human rights.  There’s just no other way to look at that.”

Landless adds that he feels a border wall would not enhance border security or amount to any real benefit for the American people.