Public Witness

Tearing Down Walls of Exclusion and Sowing Seeds of Justice

Allison Tanner

November 8, 2021

This past Tuesday, November 9, was the 31st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As the convener of the Bay Area World Without Walls Coalition, I share with you what I wrote for our network, which includes a powerful urgent letter from the global World Without Walls community in response to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. Lakeshore is a proud member of the Bay Area World Without Walls coalition.

Sunday’s Forum, highlighting the work of Equal Exchange, is a great example of dismantling walls of economic exploitation and environmental devastation. If you missed the Forum, you can view it here. If you have any interest in purchasing environmentally sustainable and small farmer supportive fair trade products as part of a congregational buying club, please contact me (Pastor Allison).

Dear Bay Area World Without Walls Community,

On this November 9, we write to you in solidarity with the global movement for a world without walls of expulsion, exclusion, and exploitation. COVID’s unveiling has revealed all the more clearly the devastation of walls of separation and oppression, as well as our need to band together to create the world we long to live in: a world of love and liberation, justice and mercy, hope and healing. Today we decry all visible and invisible walls of separation, walls that divide us geographically, economically and socially.

On this day, 31 years ago, the Berlin wall came down, ushering in a time of dismantling divisions, overcoming prejudices and reuniting peoples. This day is a reminder that all walls will ultimately come down, as long as we continue working together for a world that unites, humanizes and recognizes our collective existence. Tragically, over the past 31 years an era of wall constructing and wall profiteering has expanded. But as walls continue to be erected, all who are challenging these walls of injustice and inhumanity continue to unite and work together to create fissures, widen cracks and chip away at injustice. Our work is more important than ever, and the very future of our planet depends upon our success.

2022 marks the 20th anniversary since the beginning of construction of Israel’s wall that surrounds the West Bank and separates Palestinians from one another, their land, resources and the larger world. In solidarity with Palestinians, the global World Without Walls community is joining together to decry walls as false solutions to urgent concerns that plague our world. They will spend the next year circulating a series of Urgent Letters from the global community decrying the walls of injustice and inhumanity that surround us. Their first letter, “Our Time to Become Seeds of Justice,” challenges walls created by the climate crisis, and is written in response to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26. It calls on us to plant trees of resistance and nurture seeds of justice, while honoring martyrs like Berta Cáceres who led the way in this work. 

Throughout the upcoming year we will share these Urgent Letters to the global community as we commit anew to dream together, scheme together and work together to create a world without walls. Our humanity demands nothing less.

Thank you for joining us in this essential work.

In solidarity,

The Bay Area World Without Walls Coalition