Today, The Architecture Lobby is proposing a national day of action in opposition to the U.S.-Mexican border wall planned by President Donald Trump. Architects and engineers are encouraged to reject the project by leaving their desks for 45 minutes in demonstration this afternoon. According to the website of the Brooklyn-based organization, this call to action is meant to show that the design and construction industry “will not be exploited in the service of xenophobia, discrimination and racism.”
“While there are innumerable reasons to stand against the immigration policies of the current administration and this project specifically, this call is motivated by the belief that the fields of architecture and engineering are fundamentally rooted in a goal to improve our societies by producing structures that render them more just, more equitable and more beautiful,” said The Architecture Lobby. “The southwestern border wall stands in clear and direct opposition to this goal.”
Image via The Architecture Lobby
Architects and engineers are asked to leave their desks at 4 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. CST, 2 p.m. MST and 1 p.m. PST, instituting a walkout. Demonstrators are encouraged to share photos of their empty desks on social media using #NotOurWall.
The Architecture Lobby also proposes additional ways to act including contacting state and local politicians to educate them on the design-bid delivery method and the possibility of cost overruns. Firms can also publicly pledge that they won’t pursue any contracts from the Department of Homeland Security. Employees of firms that are putting together proposals are prompted to organize a large-scale walkout or schedule meetings with upper management.
Today’s protest coincides with the original submission deadline for the first round of proposals for the design of the border wall. The DHS put out a pre-solicitation three weeks ago detailing the procurement process in which initial white papers would be accepted over a five-day period from March 6 to 10. Since then, the deadline has been extended to March 20. Full proposals from shortlisted firms will now be due the first week of May. So far, over 350 vendors have responded to the pre-solicitation.
Banner image via Creative Commons