A huge mural reading “Black Lives Matter” is being painted on 16th Street north of the White House. The project is being done with help from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration via the DC Department of Public Works, DCist reports. The message should be finished this morning, on what will be the eighth day of DC protests over the killing of George Floyd.
— Daniella Cheslow (@Dacheslow) June 5, 2020
Black Lives Matters is being painted on 16th St – with the city’s blessing pic.twitter.com/JWlrjxd6Ng
— Joe Flood (@joeflood) June 5, 2020
— Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MurielBowser) June 5, 2020
Apparently, the matter of who controls this stretch of street—the federal or local government—has recently been questioned. “There was a dispute this week about whose street this is,” John Falcicchio, DC acting deputy mayor, wrote on Twitter. “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.”
This bold statement via the mural comes as the secure fencing surrounding the White House has expanded. Meanwhile, Bowser has sent a letter to Donald Trump asking for military and federal law-enforcement personnel to be removed from the city.
The mural has already received criticism from one surprising place: DC’s Black Lives Matter group. Responding to a tweet about the mural from The Washington Post’s Fenit Nirappil, the group tweeted about Bowser, “This is performative and a distraction from her inaction and active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in community.”
This is performative and a distraction from her inaction and active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in community. @FenitN
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 5, 2020
Protests are expected to continue throughout the weekend, with MPD chief Peter Newsham expecting a significantly large turnout Saturday.