Paying homage to the late President Ronald Reagan, who made the iconic 1987 speech in West Berlin telling Soviet leader Michail Gorbachev to tear down the wall dividing East and West Berlin, a group of German musicians made the trip to Mexico to take part in a musical protest against President Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexican border.
Hundreds turned out for the event that to take place in Tijuana, Mexico on June 3, which was meant to also have musicians on the American side of the border before U.S. Border Patrol denied the requested permit.
Members of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra made the trip out to the Mexican border to join other musicians from Sweden, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States for the day of musical protest.
Making the trip struck a personal chord with the orchestra’s director, Markus Rindt, who grew up in East Germany while the wall stood to divide his country. Performing at the U.S.-Mexico border was to him a way to peacefully fight against another divisive wall.
In an interview with DW, Rindt expressed some frustration over the lack of support on the U.S. side as he saw the event as an opportunity to “build a bridge” musically across the border. “It would have been better to have music on both sides playing together to promote a better understanding, but this is freedom of speech.”
While the concert carried on in Mexico with hundreds in attendance, a much smaller group of American protesters gathered on the U.S. side where the event was originally supposed to take place. The national anthem played on while protesters held signs in defense of Trump and his border wall.