Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has had the section of 16th street in front of the White House officially renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” and today had “BLACK LIVES MATTER” painted in giant yellow letters on its pavement. “There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city,” Bowser said at a press conference, reports NBC News. “And it is that message, and that message is to the American people, that Black Lives Matter, black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up as part of our values as a city.”
John Falcicchio, who is chief of staff for Bowser, tweeted today, “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 peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”
The Black Lives Matter Plaza stretch of street is where protesters have been demonstrating since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last week. This comes just a few days after Trump had the National Guard forcibly remove demonstrators from outside the White House with tear gas on Monday, before the city’s 7 PM curfew, so he could do a photo op holding up The Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.
On Thursday, Mayor Bowser sent a letter to Trump where she demanded the removal of “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.” You can read the full letter below.
Trump, of course, tweeted about the renaming of the street: “The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts’, is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights. If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter DC called Black Lives Matter Plaza a “performative distraction from real policy changes” in a Tweet, adding, “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.” In a more recent Tweet, BlackLivesMatter DC worte “We’ve gotten many emails about being mean to @MayorBowser but none asking us about the murders by police she ignored and their families.”
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