(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Muriel Bowser’s Official Twitter Account)
Washington—To honor the George Floyd demonstrators who were peacefully protesting in front of White House on Monday evening, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had “Black Lives Matter” painted in yellow letters on the now-infamous street that leads to the White House.
According to various reports, muralists was seen painting 50-foot-wide yellow letters that read “BLACK LIVES MATTER” since 3a.m. on Friday morning on a section of 16th Street that is located in front of Lafayette Park. Lafayette Park is just on the north side of the White House. Reportedly, the “lettering is so large that the message stretches onto two city blocks and can only be fit into a single photo frame from high above.” A bright yellow Washington, D.C. flag was added to complete the mural.
Mayor Bowser’s Chief of Staff John Falcicchio said of the project through a tweet, “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.”
Mayor Bowser had also previously sent Trump a letter requesting the withdrawal of “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.” because she had already “ended the state of emergency in the District of Columbia related to demonstrations.”
The street had not only been painted with a mural but it had also been officially renamed as “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” the mayor said in a separate tweet.
The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. pic.twitter.com/bbJgAYE35b— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
The aforementioned site of the mural is known to many today as the place in DC where a week-long protest against racism and police violence was held following the death of George Floyd. The demonstrations culminated in a clash with police enforcement who “used tear gas to clear protesters from Trump’s way as he visited a nearby church,” the historic St John’s Church, “for a photo.”
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A separate report says that a lawsuit was filed against the administration of US President Donald Trump by the “ACLU of DC, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm of Arnold & Porter.” It was filed on “behalf of the group Black Lives Matter DC and individual protesters who were present.” The lawsuit argues that “Trump, Barr and other officials ‘unlawfully conspired to violate’ the protesters’ rights when clearing Lafayette Park on Monday.”
The George Floyd protests are an ongoing series of protests and riots against the death of George Floyd, racism, and police brutality in the United States and in other parts of the world namely: Auckland, Barcelona, Berlin, Brisbane, Calgary, Copenhagen, Dublin, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town, London, Montreal, Paris, Perth, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Athens, and Thessaloniki.
Said protests was sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man who died during a police arrest on Minneapolis last May 25, 2020. The arresting officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on a handcuffed and unarmed Mr. Floyd’s neck as he was pinned chest down to the ground. Mr. Floyd pleaded repeatedly, saying, “Please,” “I can’t breathe,” “Mama,” “Don’t kill me,” and “I’m about to die.” Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for three full minutes after he stopped moving and nearly two minutes after he apparently ceased to breathe or speak. You can read the story in full here.
Adam4Adam extends its support to the Black Lives Matter movement by celebrating and highlighting the lives of important Black LGBTQ people and allies in our community here on the A4A blog. The Adam4Adam community had also recently raised funds together amounting to $10,000 for the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), an organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.