This video from the USA says about itself:
This work in progress focuses on Border Field State Park in San Diego, California. The park marks the southern-most point on the West coast of the continental United States, located exactly where the United States, Mexico and the Pacific Ocean meet. The existing fence still allows for face-to-face communication across the border, making this an important gathering place for families that have been separated due to immigration status. Border Field State Park is also a significant Native American cultural site, as well as a fragile ecological habitat. Washington politicians and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently decided to unilaterally suspend all environmental regulations and ignore local concerns in order to construct a 150 foot wide triple fence extending into the Pacific Ocean, destroying this last remnant of what was originally known as Friendship Park. Our film shows the beauty and diversity of the park from both sides of the border, and explores current policy decisions and their consequences that are framed within anti-immigrant and national security rhetoric. It contains interviews with families, activists and others concerned about the future of this unique and special place.
By Alfonso Santana and Cody Stephens in the USA:
Border repression and Democratic hypocrisy:
A visit to San Diego’s “Friendship Park”
19 December 2008
Friendship Park, named for a monument erected to symbolize the restoration of peaceful relations between the US and Mexico following the War of 1848, stands at the point where the border meets the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, residents on opposite sides of the border have come to rely on Friendship Park to serve as a meeting location. Near the monument, the border is demarcated by a relatively unobtrusive iron mesh fence, providing park visitors the ability to easily see and hear (and even, to a limited extent, to touch) people on the other side.
The fence was put into place in 1994 under the Clinton administration as part of a broader initiative dubbed “Operation Gatekeeper,” which included the erection of physical barriers and the establishment of immigration courts along the San Diego border.
The US Federal Government plans to replace the current wall with a more heavy-duty, three-tiered version, effectively abolishing the social function the park currently provides for friends and family torn apart by the arbitrary border. This project will cost an estimated $58 million. In the midst of the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, the government shows every intention of moving forward with this costly project, justified in the name of US national security and the “war on terror.”
Since its inception, Friendship Park has been fraught with contradictions. Two governments collaborated to erect a monument paying tribute to the “friendship” between them in the aftermath of a bloody and bitter conflict. While the monument celebrated friendship among two people, it also implicitly marked their separation.
The contradictory nature of the park is no less apparent today.
On the one hand, it provides a rare opportunity for transnational families to spend time together in a relatively relaxed environment. The loss of this space will no doubt negatively affect the lives of many working class citizens of the US and Mexico alike.
On the other hand, there is something degrading and repressive about the manner in which those fleeting moments of human contact take place – across a fence, with guards monitoring the situation, and within definite time constraints. The general atmosphere is not entirely unlike that of a prison.
Worker families, clergymen and politicians
The WSWS interviewed workers on both sides of the fence in Friendship Park. The atmosphere was an odd mixture of happiness and despair.
Death on the US-Mexico border: here.
The Mexican government imposed a set of tariff increases this week against some 90 US imports in retaliation for the Obama administration signing legislation that ended a pilot program allowing Mexican long-haul trucks to operate on US highways: here.
PHOTOS: Animals Stopped in Their Tracks by Border Wall? Here.
Conservation in Mexico: here.
Fences are death traps for wildlife
Lulu Kenzig, Yanchep
FURTHER to the death of the poor kangaroo in Mandurah recently, as wildlife carers in Yanchep my daughter and I often witness appalling cruelty and suffering of animals that I am certain RSPCA staff members are only too familiar with.
We support the theory that a fence could have caused such damage.
Apart from our local authorities refusing to maintain areas that are common thoroughfares for animals (resulting in almost daily deaths), we also have a situation of decrepit fencing not being checked, repaired or removed.
Last year we found a dying creature that had been trapped for who knows how long, in a broken piece of old fence.
The animal’s hind legs were not only caught but had been severed during days of struggling and panic; one was only hanging by threads of flesh with the bones completely smashed.
What sort of fear could render an animal so scared that it would rip off a limb? I haven’t witnessed that since growing up in the country and seeing what cruel traps could do.
My point is that farmers, landowners and shires are all guilty of allowing old fences to fall and for some reason must believe they shrink and decay into the ground, much like careless fishermen think their discarded hooks and plastic will do the same.
I would like to see some form of law introduced where objects of danger, such as fences or any matter that cannot decompose safely, be removed in a compulsory manner or fines are imposed.
Imagine the outcry if a human were to become so trapped that such damage occurred.
If we as humans are encroaching on the land that animals use, pushing them further and further into smaller and more dangerous areas, surely it is up to us all to make sure that safety measures are introduced to ensure we actually have animals to appreciate in future generations.
This year alone in this area we have witnessed dozens of kangaroo, reptile and bird deaths, with many on our own street. We are still fortunate enough to have a lovely country with abundant wildlife, yet so few measures are taken to prevent hazards.
For every animal found, you can bet that there are dozens left to die out of sight.
Lulu Kenzig, Yanchep
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