Walls have not only risen to fortify borders of state control but demarcate the boundaries between the rich, the powerful, the socially acceptable and the ‘other’. This is the moment to stand together to bring them down.
Instead of ceding to the temptation to become completely absorbed in the ever more dramatic and brutal crises and attacks on our lives and struggles, World without Walls is the moment in which we lift our heads, see beyond the walls, and perceive the struggles of the others and the connections between them in order to gain strength and confidence together. This gaze beyond the walls is the moment where we can see in the horizon a world of justice, freedom, and equality that gives us hope and direction.
World without Walls webinars
Activists and researchers from across the globe discuss today’s walls and the rising resistance against them. They focus on Digital Walls, Arab walls, anti-migration walls and more
Build Resistance not Walls
In this reader we have compiled actions and reflections on the connections between the walls and visions for common struggles for a World without Walls.
Walls in Times of Pandemic
This online photo exhibit gives insights into the growing impact of the walls across the globe and the struggle against them during the COVID19 pandemic
Right to Move, Stay, Return
Physical or ‘virtual’ walls are imposing and sealing borders. Migrants are among the most affected. We are building joint struggles against these walls.
World without Walls Delegations
Being able to experience the walls and and meet face to face among activists struggling against them builds lasting bonds for joint struggle.
In 2002, when Israel started the building of its Wall in the occupied West Bank, it seemed absolutely outrageous. For the legal community the brazen tool of annexation was shocking and the International Court of Justice in 2004 confirmed its illegality. For the public in general it was the way in which Israel had found to steal even Palestinian land, that was unbelievable. We had a hard time to convince people that Israel was truly building an up to 8 meter high wall of 810km length across the West Bank.
But then instead of Israel tearing down its wall, the model was normalized and spread. Today some 70 walls are built to militarize borders and impose state control on occupied land across the globe.
It was Donald Trump’s electoral campaign, which as any US policy had global repercussions, that made people ready to stand up against walls.
In 2018, Mexican and Palestinian movements have therefore launched the call for a World without Walls. We stated in the call,
“From Israel’s apartheid Wall on Palestinian land to the US Wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico – Walls are monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination and exploitation. […] Walls have not only risen to fortify borders of state control but demarcate the boundaries between the rich, the powerful, the socially acceptable and the ‘other.’”
By now over 400 movements have signed the call and committed to raise awareness about the devastating effect of the increasing dominance of walls in our world and our lives; create solidarity and links among the people affected by the walls and movements fighting the walls; demand an immediate end to the walls that expel, exclude, oppress, discriminate and exploit and, finally; resist and defund those that profit from the walls.
As the global economic, civilizational and environmental crisis continues, the ruling élite adopt what Charles Derber and Yale R. Magrass call the “Security story” to instill fear in our societies by inventing false threats and worsening real threats . The Security story is a fundamental element of the supremacist and right-wing nationalist powers that are gaining ground across the globe. Unsurprisingly, these leaders and political forces are as well ardent admirers of Israeli practices and walls.
Israel encounters in this global dynamic a source of legitimization and a growing market for all sorts of cutting-edge paradigms, methodology and technology that it has developed to repress the Palestinian people and now profits from the spread the Security story and the exclusivist and racist visions connected to it.
As walls of all kinds are proliferating, Israel finds ever growing markets for its technology in the ‘border security’ business, the surveillance sector and many other areas where repression and control are rising. Through World without Walls we seek to denounce the ‘wall builders’, those political decision makers and corporate profiteers that thive on the walls. We aim to defund wall builders.
As people struggling for freedom, justice and equality across the globe we have a common battle to win. For Stop the Wall it is a political priority to foment a collective call against this rising right and a joint struggle for a World without Walls.
The initiative for a World without Walls is grounded in the annual Global Day of InterAction, held each year on November 9. November 9 marks the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event celebrated until today by many of today’s biggest wall builders.
Throughout the year, we have been organizing World without Walls delegations to Palestine that have given the opportunity to activists that struggle against walls to see the reality in Palestine and to exchange experiences of struggle with Palestinian movements.
We have developed reflections and supported struggles that connect the struggles against militarization and discrimination from India to Brazil, from the Philippines to Argentina.
We have built intersectional campaigns that target the connections among the Wall builders, demanding for example the end of the EU’s use of Israel’s killer drones for its anti-migration policies that militarize the Mediterranean.