The Panama Canal fence, also known as the "Fence of shame", is a separation barrier built by the US in the Panama Canal zone that divided the Republic of Panama in two separate sections. Its construction started at the end of the 1950s when Panamanian students threatened with a "patriotic invasion". It was part of the scenario of a very important date in Panama history: the Martyr's Day on January 9, 1964, when the flag desecration incident spread and angry crowds formed along the fenced border between Panama City and the Canal Zone. At several points demonstrators stormed into the zone, planting Panamanian flags and began to tear down the "Fence of shame" creating gaps in front of the US District Court and several other spots along the fence. Canal Zone police tear gassed them and several were shot for pulling or climbing on the fence.