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Legal Case Against Friendship Park Activist Continues

Above: Dan Watman stands in front of a bulldozer at Friendship Park on April 8, 2009.

Audio

Aired 6/10/09

The legal case against an activist who tried to block construction of the westernmost section of the border fence was continued Wednesday morning. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains Dan Watman faces trespassing charges in connection with his effort to save Friendship Park.

The legal case against an activist who tried to block construction of the westernmost section of the border fence was continued Wednesday morning. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson explains Dan Watman faces trespassing charges in connection with his effort to save Friendship Park.

On April 8th, Dan Watman stood in front of a bulldozer at Friendship Park.

The Department of Homeland Security had recently sealed off the space with more border fencing.

Watman says he blocked the fence construction for about 40 minutes.

"What I believe as far as far as people making friends across barriers, it was about as symbolic as it could get. That was the last post even with the friendship monument which in my mind represents the friendship between the people of both nations."

Federal agents cited Watman with misdemeanor trespassing charges.

The park had been a crossborder meeting spot for 30 years.

For the last six years, Watman organized activities there like yoga, salsa dancing and language lessons. People on both sides of the fence participated.

Watman says there's a chance federal officials could re-open the park. He's plans to meet with the Border Patrol later this month.

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