A concert scheduled to take place on both sides of the US-Mexico border to protest Donald Trump’s (compromised) wall promise will be restricted to the Mexican side after federal authorities denied a request to stage it in the United States, organizers announced Monday.
Spearheaded by the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the protest event “will now take place exclusively on the Mexican side of the border,” the leader of the group, Markus Rindt told Agence France Press.
“‘Tear Down This Wall!’ —a name inspired by Ronald Reagan’s 1987 plea to the then-Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin wall—will be held in Tijuana, a city on the Mexican side of the border about 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of San Diego, California.
According to the San Diego Tribune, Rindt had initially asked to stage the event inside an controlled area between the two border fences which is normally opened to the public on weekends.
The little piece of land, somewhat ironically called ‘Friendship Park’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer.
But both the U.S. Border Patrol and California State Park recoiled at the event’s clear political messaging and turned down the group’s request, also citing “security concerns” and the concert’s “potential impact to natural resources.”
“The Border Patrol does not allow the federal enforcement zone to be used as a stage for an event based on a political message,” read a statement released by the agency on Monday.
Scheduled for June 3rd, the concert in Tijuana will feature both American and Mexican artists.
“Now there’s even more reason for this event to go forward,” Amnesty International, a supporter of the event, said after Monday’s announcement.
Building a wall along the southern border of the United States, and forcing Mexico to pay for it, was a cornerstone of Trump’s presidential campaign after he claimed drugs traffickers and criminals could easily pass through border security.
Mexican president Peña Nieto has so far stood firmly on the issue, insisting his country would not spare a dime for its construction.
While President Trump has yet to secure complete funding for his flagship project—whose cost has been estimated to $25bn—he has already set in motion his plan to build the “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.”
In fact, according to Business Insider, the White Houses’ budget for fiscal year 2018, set to be released today, should include $2.6 billion for increased border security, $1.6 billion of which will go towards funding for the wall.