D.C. Mayor Gets 'Black Lives Matter' Painted On Street Leading Up To White House, Gets Slammed By Area's BLM Chapter
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had the city paint 16th street with "Black Lives Matter," but the local chapter of the actual movement was not happy about it.
June 05, 2020 at 7:13 pm
In honor of the countrywide protests against police brutality, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had artists paint the street leading to the White House with the words, "Black lives matter."
Bowser shared photos and videos of the mural on her Twitter account and also had the street renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.George Floyd and other victims of police violence, like Breonna Taylor.
Videos began to make their way online Friday morning showing city workers painting the words on 16th Street in bright yellow.
Earlier this week, the world watched as President Donald Trump used the National Guard and police to violently clear protesters away from the White House so he could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo-op.
"There was a dispute this week about whose street this is. Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC's street and to honor demonstrators who [were] peacefully protesting on Monday evening," John Falcicchio, Bowser's chief of staff, wrote in a tweet.
While the gesture was well-received by some, a number of Black Lives Matter movement members criticized the move, calling it a "performative distraction from real policy changes."
"Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilymbadger say it with us," the official D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network tweeted.
According to The Washington Post, artist Rose Jaffe and others began painting the street at 4 a.m., and the words span from K Street to H Street.
This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilymbadger say it with us https://t.co/w0ekwSG1ip— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 5, 2020
Bowser officially unveiled the mural during a ceremony and stood by as a city worker put the “Black Lives Matter Plz NW” sign on the corner of 16th and H streets.
The mayor, who is Black, has been going back and forth with the Trump administration over its decision to bring the military into the city and asked Trump in a letter on Thursday to remove them all.
“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans,” Bowser wrote in the letter, according to The Post.
The protests in Washington D.C. were peaceful on Wednesday and Thursday, so Bowser lifted the citywide curfew.
"As Washingtonians — we simply all want to be here together in peace to demonstrate that in America — you can peacefully assemble, you can bring grievances to your government, and you can demand change. We're here peacefully as Americans, on American streets, on DC streets," Bowser said on Friday.
In her interview with The Post, Jaffe admitted that she wanted concrete action to go along with the mural.
“I’m conflicted about doing it. It’s about wanting to reclaim the streets, but I also know that it is a little bit of a photo-op. Where is the action behind this?” Jaffe said.