In the wake of Donald J. Trump’s official coronation as the Republican presidential nominee for 2016, the art of wall building is reaching new heights. On Tuesday, Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was cordoned off with a concrete wall half-a-foot tall, complete with razor wire and “Keep Out” signs. Built by Los Angeles–based street artist Plastic Jesus, the tiny, beautiful wall is a reference, of course, to Trump’s divisive promise to build a giant wall on the US–Mexico border to keep “foreigners” out.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, hundreds of protesters today built a 15,000-foot banner around the perimeter of the Republican National Convention, blocking a chunk of the main entrance. Dubbed “Wall Off Trump,” it was made of fabric stenciled with patterns of bricks and chain-link fences, graffitied with slogans like “No One Is Illegal.” Some sections of the banner were being worn like tunics by activists linking hands, forming a human barrier.
Wall Off Trump was a collaboration between various activist groups, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Other 98%, the Ruckus Society, Design Action Collective, Working Families Party, and Mijente. The Indiegogo campaign funding the project surpassed its goal of $15,000. In downtown Cleveland, organizers were offering free paint and stencils to anyone who wanted to graffiti anti-Trump messages on the fabric wall.
“If Trump is set on building a wall, we’re going to give it to him,” Marisa Franco, director of Mijente, an organization supporting the rights of Latinxs and Chicanxs, said on Mijente’s blog. “But we’re [sic] be walling off his hate. We won’t go quietly as he campaigns to put us back in the closet, back across the border, or to the back of the bus.”