Saturday, January 26, 2008

Walls will not contain people

Borders will fall.


As tens of thousands of Palestinians clambered back and forth between the Gaza strip and Egypt today, details emerged of the audacious operation that brought down a hated border wall and handed the Islamist group Hamas what might be its greatest propaganda coup.

Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours.

But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches.

That meant that when the explosive charges were set off in 17 different locations between midnight and 1am the 40ft wall came tumbling down, leaving it lying like a broken concertina down the middle of no-man's land as an estimated 350,000 Gazans flooded into Egypt.

Whatever the reasons and whoever is behind it, it does not make that much difference. Inequality, injustice, and mistreatment will not be endured while on the other side of the wall there are things longed for. Look at what brought down the wall in East Germany, the reason why the border between Mexico and the United States is so porous.

Remember too, that those who build walls are just as contained as those behind the walls. We make ourselves prisoners of our own fear.

Speak to the injustice and borders and walls could stand.... but then, at that point, what would be the need?

Update 1/28: Karin of Pax Americana has an excellent post on the reasons for the wall and its fall.


Anonymous said...

A 40-foot wall just increases the sale of 41-foot ladders.

Who in hell do they think the contractors would hire to build a wall through the waste land of the US/Mexican border?

ellroon said...

Wasn't there a wall contractor already who had undocumented workers helping him?

41 foot ladders, trampolines, catapults... the low paying jobs are over here, the workers are over there. It's a vacuum that is pulling them into the country.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget tunnels. Tunnels are always nice.

ellroon said...

Tunnels! And hot air balloons!

Anonymous said...

And ponies! OMG!

ellroon said...

Ponies! ... Wait a minute.. Ponies?

Ponies won't go into tunnels or into a hot air balloon very well...

Anonymous said...

Well what about a giant wooden badger then?

Sorghum Crow said...

Ponies will go in tunnels with a little persuasion. Check out the history of mining and pit ponies. Of course, the ponies only got to go into the tunnels once. In the deeper mines, they lived underground and never came out.

I was very encouraged to see this wall laying on the ground.

ellroon said...

Michael, riiiiight. The wooden rabbit idea worked out so well.

Sorghum Crow, they made ponies live underground? Poor things.

And yes, I too was strangely heartened by the fallen fence.