At the end of #WorldWarII, there were 7 border walls in the world. When Donald #Trump proposed the border wall with #Mexico, at least 77 walls were built worldwide. Throughout history, border walls and fences have been used to separate warring nations, protect trade routes, and deter displaced migrants and refugees. For instance:
-The #BerlinWall symbolised the #ColdWar from 1961 to 1989, dividing communist East Germany from the democratic Western side. At least 140 people died trying to flee the eastern side. The "fall of the Berlin Wall" led to a reunified #Germany on Oct. 3, 1990.
-#India is nearing the completion of a 1,700-mile barbed wire fence to restrain immigration from #Bangladesh. Also, India and #Pakistan share a 450-mile barrier, a militarised "#line of control" to keep out militants due to the enduring tensions between bordering countries.
-The #Israel-#WestBank wall is a 400-mile and 20 feet high concrete wall, topped with barbed wire and is known as the "#apartheid wall." This wall hinders movement, trade, and #Palestinian livelihoods.
One such wall being added to the list is the one proposed by the Polish government. Construction of a new wall worth £293 million along its Belarusian border has begun. The wall will be 5.5 metres tall and will run along 186 km. The project is set to be completed in June.
With this, the Polish government cements its stance of power and division on the current humanitarian crisis by impeding refugees from applying for protection. While a Polish border guard brags in a Twitter statement that this "is the largest construction investment in the history of the border guard," we must remember those harshly affected by the government's latest practices. Building this wall will also negatively affect the environment and the residents of the #Białowieża forest, a protected UNESCO world heritage site.
The team at Rethinking Refugees reaffirms its solidarity towards all displaced groups across the world. We condemn the Polish government's war of intimidation towards #refugees. We urge the public to show their support towards #asylumseekers just as strongly.