(Ed. note: Walls have been built since ancient times, to mark borders, protect kingdoms and settlements, or keep out unwanted people. In more recent times, walls have also been built to serve as memorials and structures of art – but not in this blog.)
The Great Wall
The Great Wall is the culmination of many, many walls built to protect China from invasion, mostly from the Mongols. Its success was sporadic over the centuries.
Archaeologists have revealed that some parts of the wall remained occupied well into the 5th century. Hadrian’s Wall fell into ruin and over the centuries the stone was reused in other local buildings.
The Berlin Wall
The Wall effectively separated Germans for nearly 30 years. Once completed only small numbers succeeded in crossing it. Many died in the process. Eventually it became impossible to cross. Considerable ingenuity was used by those attempting to reach the West. East Germans tried to go under or over. There were tunnels. Some tried balloons. The numbers involved were miniscule, Crossing was just too difficult. Say what one may about the Wall, there is no doubt that it was effective.
The Peace Walls of Ireland
In Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, the walls have become tourist attractions. Those in West Belfast are visited most.
And if a visitor goes to the right spot, he or she can sign the wall, joining previous signatories that include former U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama.
Israeli West Bank Barrier
In 2002, Israel began building a wall to separate itself from the West Bank, to the consternation of Palestinian authorities and some international observers. That wall is supposed to be 420 miles long when it is competed.
Hungary – Serbia Border
Hungary PM plans new migrant wall along Croatia border
(Ed. Note: from Yahoo News)
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban hopes to build a new wall along his country’s border with Croatia to keep migrants out, he told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview to be published Thursday.
After Hungary fenced off its border with Serbia in a bid to shut off a massive influx of refugees and migrants, Orban said people smugglers would simply change their routes and find new ways into the European Union.
“Since they can no longer pass through Hungary, they will change route and go through Romania, probably,” Orban told Le Figaro.
“That’s why we also decided to build a fence at the Romanian border, along the Mures River. And we will probably build another along the Croatian border. We are following their trail,” he said.
(Ed. note: No photo – yet)
Britain has said it will build a fence more than two miles long in Calais, France, at the entrance to the tunnel under the English Channel. Migrants have gathered in large numbers in Calais, hoping to stow away in trucks and make the crossing into Britain.
And then of course we have Mr. Trump and Mr. Walker with their idea to build a wall between Canada and the US.
So do border walls work?
Not according to Ruben Andersson, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the author of a book titled “Illegality, Inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe.”
For one thing, Andersson said, walls tend to be built for domestic political reasons by governments that want to be seen to be doing something about migration. For another, it seems that where there’s a wall, there’s a way. In other words, people who want to cross a border badly enough will find creative ways to circumvent a wall — even if it means taking greater risks by crossing elsewhere.
“These fences are not solving anything,” Andersson said. “Numbers are not going down. People will find a way.”
“Fences also generate novel and more dramatic entry methods, such as the collective ‘runs’ at the fences we have seen at various borders in recent years,” Andersson said.
Listen up folks – there are two sides to every vinyl single.