Three giant words painted on road leading to the White House

Monday, 08 Jun, 2020

On Friday, June 5, Washingtonians woke up to a new message covering 16th Street N.W. near the White House- "Black Lives Matter".

Bowser announced the renaming on Friday: "The area of 16th Street in front of the White House is now officially written as Black Lives Matter Plaza".

The president's message comes as Muriel contracted painters to imprint yellow letters down a busy DC street, a message in support of the anti-racist protests.

Yet Bowser is holding her ground against the president, even turning the lights on in Black Lives Matter Plaza Friday night so Trump could "dream about #BlackLivesMatter Plaza", Bowser wrote on Twitter.

The Mayor commissioned the D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) to bring this peaceful form of protest to life.

"We should all be watching what's happening in Washington, DC, because we don't want the federal government to do this to any other Americans", Bowser said while walking through downtown DC with protesters. "That message is to the American people that black lives matter, black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up", the mayor said.

The protests in Washington and in dozens of cities across America were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died after a white policeman pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd pleaded he could not breathe, the latest of many deaths of black Americans during or after encounters with white officers.

Bowser called on Trump, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to remove all "extraordinary" federal law enforcement and military presence from D.C.

At one corner of the intersection is St. John's Church in Lafayette Square, the site of a controversial visit by the president on Monday in which peaceful protesters were tear-gassed in order to make way for his appearance there.

"This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community", it said on Twitter.

Bowser called Trump's remarks "gross" and said the reference to attack dogs conjures up the worst memories of the nation's fight against segregation.

"Black Lives Matter is a very critical of police; they're critical of me", the mayor responded.

The painting of the mural was directed by Bowser's office ahead of a planned large protest on Saturday.

But she added that Bowser "has to do more than just a photo-op - she must carry on when this is washed away" on issues like police accountability.

The Republican Mr Trump, running for re-election on 3 November against presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden, was cheered on Friday by an unexpected jump in United States employment in May.

Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests demanding justice and systemic reforms.