Everyone is invited to the Brownsville No Border Wall Pachanga in the Park on Saturday, September 29. This is the latest in a series of community rallies to oppose the building of a wall along the Texas-Mexico border sponsored by the No Border Wall coalition. It will begin at 5:00 pm at Dean Porter Park in Brownsville, Texas.
Participants hope to show the nation just what is at risk if a wall is built through the city of Brownsville and along the rest of the border. Bishop Raymundo J. Peña of the Diocese of Brownsville will be the keynote speaker. The Bishop, whose diocese operates 107 parishes and missions for the almost 800,000 Catholics who live in the Rio Grande Valley, has been outspoken against the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Bishop’s opposition echoes the sentiment of the Vatican, where a top official has called the U.S. plan to build a border wall “inhuman.” Community leaders, including state representatives Eddie Lucio III and Juan Escobar, will voice the concerns of their constituents, and local experts will discuss the negative impact a wall could have on our communities, historical landmarks, farms, and natural areas. While the children fly specially-made kites and smash a wall-shaped piñata, adults can listen and dance to live South Texas music into the evening.
Building a border wall along the Rio Grande will cut a wide swath through the city of Brownsville. Maps to date have shown the proposed wall following the flood control levee that runs through the city, rather than the river itself. Parts of the downtown area, with its rich history and charming old buildings, are at risk for demolition because they lie so close to this levee. The University of Texas at Brownsville’s International Technology, Education and Commerce Campus could be cut off entirely by the wall, since it lies to the south of the levee. A border wall could also threaten the close economic and social ties between Brownsville and its sister city Matamoros. Outside the city, landowners and farmers could lose land and critical access to river water for irrigation. A double-layered wall and Border Patrol road could also cut through nearby natural areas such as the Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary and the Nature Conservancy’s Lennox Foundation Southmost Preserve. University of Texas at Brownsville Vice President of External Affairs Dr. Tony Zavaleta said, “In my forty odd years of studying the U.S.-Mexico border I have never seen anything suggested by either government that is so wrong headed and destructive to our communities and our people as this border wall.”
To get to Dean Porter Park, exit 6th Street from Expressway 77/83. Turn right on 6th and take another right at the first light, Ringgold Street. Turn right again onto Dean Porter Park Street. The park entrance will be on the left.