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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Till the wall comes down

Bolting and hammering until 2 a.m., about 15 members of the UA College Republicans built a memorial for border patrol agents and law enforcement officers who have lost their lives near the Mexican-American border.  

The memorial was a direct response to the nearly 1,000-foot mock border wall running along the south side of the UA Mall, paid for by various student groups.  

Trey Terry, a political science sophomore and director of communications for the UA College Republicans, called the mock border wall “”leftist propaganda.”” He said many students have complained about the fence getting in their way when going to class.

According to Zach Saxman, a freshman majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship, the 112 flags in glass containers on the memorial serve as a reminder of border patrol agents who have lost their lives. Bundles of fake red and white roses were placed between each container.

Located on the north side of the Mall, the structure is eight feet long, 10 feet wide and covered in blue cloth. It is about 4 feet tall, with a flag at the top that heightens it another 4 feet.

A poster board next to the memorial reads: “”In Honor of the Men and Women Protecting Our Border,”” written in blue and red marker.

In order to build the memorial, the College Republicans raised $1,000 in 12 hours, according to Terry. The group then purchased materials from The Home Depot with the money and got to work.

Saxman designed a website in four hours, where donations could be made via PayPal. Terry, who works for former Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly, said he spread the word and got donations through political connections from his job. Terry said he also spoke on the radio, which helped raise money.

At noon, Terry and Saxman stood by the memorial and spoke to media outlets. At the same time, Elisa Meza, a junior studying English and Arizona Daily Wildcat columnist, hung up photographs on the mock border wall of Hispanic people singing, speaking publically and doing a number of activities.

Meza said the College Republicans’ opposition to the mock border wall was “”a direct effect of not understanding the difference between you and another person.””

Raul Alcarez-Ochoa, a resident of Tucson, helped Meza secure pieces of yarn that ran through the photographs to the fence. He said that borders can also exist in the form of mental borders, and joked that he was surprised they didn’t ask for his papers at the end of the fence.

A few feet away, students stopped and used their phones to take pictures of the College Republicans’ memorial.

“”We don’t like the wall. We’re against the mock wall being put up,”” Saxman said. He added there is “”a lot of inaccurate information”” on the mock border wall.

Terry said he told members of the College Republicans to respect the mock wall and others’ opinions, though they do not see eye to eye. Terry added that he opposes members doing any harm to the wall.

According to Terry, the UA has told the College Republicans that they must take their memorial down each night or keep someone on watch at all hours of the day. “”We will gladly stay here 24/7 until they take that fence down,”” he said, referring to the mock wall. Coty Mckenzie, a student majoring in political science and history and state chairman of College Republicans, said he and Terry would be taking turns watching over the memorial tonight.

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