Saw my first real protest in-person in 1987.
– It was in Berlin. It focused on a wall
– There was a “big, beautiful door” in that wall, called Checkpoint Charlie
– It wasn’t the first protest on that issue, nor the last. Protests were a regular thing right up til 1990 when the wall went down
– Huge crowd. I saw the beginning, but my host made me go back to the hotel before the protest built to its peak
– I was a teenager. Wanted to stay and watch
– My host said “Yes, it’s democracy, but it’s dangerous”
– It ended in rock and bottle-throwing at the wall
– Eventually, that wall went down. Those who got rid of the wall were loved and remembered
– The specific people who built it are forgotten and/or hated
– Next strong impression I had of a wall was 17 years later in China
– I went to an unrestored, crumbled portion of their wall
– My host told me amazing facts, interesting history (some of it probably true) about that wall and the blood & bodies that went into building it
– He then went into a long series of derisive jokes about how stupid the wall was, how ineffective and what a dumb idea it was
– Even when it was built the “Great” wall was useless
– Been to some other walls, border zones, DMZ, etc
– Can’t think of any wall that was effective or that earned the builder long-lasting praise
– Wouldn’t want my legacy to be a wall