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No Border Wall Coalition paints downtown mural

A local group is taking to the streets to send a message to Washington leaders to defund the border wall, and instead fund our future.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 12:25 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A local group is taking to the streets to send a message to Washington leaders to defund the border wall, and instead fund our future.

City council unanimously agreed to allow the No Border Wall Coalition to move forward with a large scale mural in downtown Laredo.

A mural that reads “Defund the Wall” will soon takeover a stretch of road in front of the federal courthouse.

“We are directing this message especially to the federal government to be true to power and Laredo has so many needs,” said Tricia Cortez, executive director of Rio Grande International Study Center.

Cortez says the goal is to shed light on how the millions of dollars invested in border wall can instead go a long way in helping the community.

She says they’ve been in contact with many entities and asked how this money can be used.

“For a city our size, Laredo does not have a trauma center. People have to get helicoptered out so if we wanted to have a trauma center for adults and pediatrics... just one mile of wall construction could fund that here for more than three years. That’s amazing.”

Filmmaker and coalition member Karen Gaytan says their campaign was motivated by similar groups that have taken this route.

“Being inspired by all the movements that are happening across the country and seeing how our own home will be impacted by this wall is one of the initial ideas, and further seeing how much talent we have. We have a community of artists that can make a powerful statement.”>

Gaytan says every detail on this mural is well thought out.

“It’s right across the federal courthouse where many of the lawsuits and cases about the border wall will be fought. So we think it’s a central location and it’s also on Victoria Street. Which we think we’re on a path for victory so we hope that it will be quite a symbolic way to get our message across.”

The project will be funded through the coalition and not by the city.

Anyone wanting to participate can find more information at NoBorderWallCoalition.com.

During the council meeting, assistant city manager and acting city attorney Kristina Hale pointed out that state law does not allow for political advertisement on city property.

However, District 8 Councilman Roberto Balli argued that if the message is not listed on the ballot of an upcoming election, then it’s not considered a political advertisement.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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