D.C. artists on Friday created, with the approval of the city, a “Black Lives Matter” mural stretching over two city blocks leading up to the White House after several days of large protests in the city and nationwide.
D.C. Public Works Department sanctioned and assisted with the project that stretches out on 16th Street NW between K and H streets, an area officially renamed as Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Mayor Muriel Bowser shared a video of the completed mural with the Black Lives Matter hashtag.
The mayor, a Democrat, has requested that President Trump recall all “extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the District. Officers first arrived Monday as the president sought a “law and order” stance against protests, the majority of which have been peaceful but which have occasionally given way to looting, riots and property damage.
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Massive crowds have been gathering outside the White House during the protests daily, and on Wednesday night, they sang “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.
National unrest sparked after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have renewed the painful debate of racial tensions and police brutality in the U.S.
The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter said the mural was an empty gesture without substantive change behind it.
“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,” the group tweeted. “Black Lives Matter means defund the police.”
• Adam Zielonka contributed to this report.