Veterans United To Stop The Wall is a new wing of the No Border Wall Coalition and is composed of Laredo veterans young and old, both men and women, from different political parties, who served in every branch of the military.
Official statement by Veterans United To Stop The Wall - hyperlink https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JlgOHsUQE2edU4IRrlaK3ZoSqGfhcmY_/view
“We joined the military for different reasons: to defend our home, to protect our rights, or to take care of our families. The border wall is a threat to all of them.” said Valentin Ruiz, a U.S. Army veteran who served with special ops.
“We have served. We have given to our country,” said Jesus A. “Guero” Segovia, a Vietnam veteran with the U.S. Army. “If we allow our historic lands to be taken from us, they will never belong to the people of Laredo again.”
“I joined the military to defend my country. Now I have joined the No Border Wall Coalition to defend my city, my family, my river, and my people,” Maxine Rebeles, a U.S. Navy veteran, added.
A petition in support of the veterans has gained over 3300 signatures. Hyperlink: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/support-veterans-united-to-stop-the-border-wall-1?
On September 12, Veterans United to Stop the Wall, in collaboration with LULAC, and having worked with City departments for weeks to secure the legal permit, chose to repaint the “Defund the Wall, Fund Our Future” giant street mural in front of Laredo’s Federal Courthouse. This maintenance of the mural was expected, and the Veterans and their families came out to show their support and service to the community.
That same day, a local Trump supporter had organized a “Trump Train” car parade, with a highlight of running over the “liberal street mural”. However, organizers had failed to file a parade permit, as required by city law, and so had no standing to challenge the Veterans permit to close the street.
That day, as the Trump Train approached the edge of the mural site, the Veterans raised a massive 30 foot tall banner tower that displayed their message: STAND WITH VETS, STOP THE WALL, DEFEND LAREDO.
The 3 story tall banner symbolized the height of the proposed border wall, more than twice the height of the Berlin Wall, and higher than the wall in Israel/Palestine. In addition to the wall itself, plans call for creating a never-before-seen militarized zone in Laredo that includes a new 150 ft wide security zone along the Rio Grande, stripped of all vegetation and accompanied by surveillance towers, off limit roads, and high-intensity 24 hour flood lights.
The Trump Train brought hundreds of people to Laredo, who drove through the streets honking their horns and yelling pro-Trump slogans. “Honestly, today was the most white people I’ve seen in Laredo. That’s fine, but in a city that is 95% Latino it was pretty clear that these were mostly out-of towners,” said Rebeles, the US Navy veteran. “We were not engaging in any conflict, we basically said: ‘Welcome to Laredo!’”
“If people are coming out of town telling us what is best for us, and that we should accept a highly destructive border wall on our land that cuts off access to our number one natural resource and defiles the beauty of our river views when they are not going to pay the price, that’s wrong,” said Coalition member Melissa R. Cigarroa.
“The most shocking part of today is that the parade announced that it would go through the historically registered El Azteca neighborhood, a low income, but cherished area. Some of the veterans in our coalition grew up there. Parts of that neighborhood will be destroyed and families will be displaced to make way for the wall,” said Juan Ruiz, a Coalition field organizer who has gone door to door in that neighborhood and talked to many residents. “For a parade of people who don’t live there to drive through there with signs saying ‘Build The Wall’ to people who will lose everything because of it, is deeply offensive.”
Sadly, Confederate flags were also seen among the parade participants.
“The Trump Train was proposed as a direct response to our mural (see their original tweet) with the single goal of running over it,” said Isabela Cigarroa. “In that, #missionfailed.”
Find Us on Facebook Page: Veterans United To Stop The Wall: https://www.facebook.com/Vets-United-To-Stop-The-Wall-111198500719227