Laredo residents paint ‘Defund the Wall’ on street outside federal courthouse

Street mural condemns border wall, asks for funds to go towards social needs

Laredo Border Wall Mural, image courtesy of Birdseye Elite Arial Photography, Ciro Gonzalez. (Birdseye Elite Arial Photography, Ciro Gonzalez, Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

LAREDO, Texas – Residents in Laredo announced Sunday the completion of a street mural condemning President Donald Trump’s election promise of a large border wall that would impact the community on the Texas-Mexico border.

The mural was approved unanimously by the Laredo City Council at the July 27 meeting.

Epic flyover of a massive street mural in Laredo, TX that sends a message to Washington DC: “DEFUND THE WALL, FUND OUR...

Posted by No Border Wall Coalition on Monday, August 17, 2020

According to a press release by the No Border Wall Coalition, an organized group of Laredo residents and activists, the goal -- aside from the mural -- is to redirect the $275 million in wall funding towards social needs.

“The “Defund the Wall, Fund Our Future” campaign aims to build the political will to shift the federal government’s priorities away from building a wall that will make local communities feel like an open-air prison, and towards creating real security: healthcare, jobs, education and a healthy environment,” the organization said in a press release.

Coalition member and filmmaker Karen Gaytan said in a press release that public art has the ability to start important conversations within a society.

Our mural was done sooner than expected. This was accomplished thanks to our wonderful team of artists, volunteers,...

Posted by No Border Wall Coalition on Sunday, August 16, 2020

“We believe that public art can ignite important conversations about what we value in our society, and what we want our future to be,” Gaytan said in a press release. “We believe that if we say ‘DEFUND THE WALL’ the rest of the country will pay attention to what’s going on here, and listen to what we, the residents of Laredo, want for our future.”

According to the organization, the 30-foot tall wall—the same size as the letters used in the mural—threatens the city’s only source of drinking water, the Rio Grande river as well as public spaces, private homes, ranches and the city’s Master Plan for economic revitalization.

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.