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Mayor authorises protestors to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ near White House

District of Columbia Major Muriel Bowser has encouraged protestors to paint “Black Lives Matter” in massive yellow letters, to send a message to the President. Painted on 16th Street near the White House, Bowser authorised for the city’s Department of Public Works to get started on the project, in response to Trump’s escalating response to national protests.

However, Black Lives Matter DC are marking Bowser’s initiative as hypocritical, and calling for her to “invest in the community” instead.

black lives matter
Photo: Toni Sandys

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has authorised for the words “Black Lives Matter” to be painted near the White House, however activists aren’t very pleased about her response.

Local artists and city workers banded together to paint the message, reacting to the US Government’s extreme response to ongoing protests. The piece will stretch over two blocks, with Bowser dubbing the area “Black Lives Matter plaza.” 

However, the city’s Black Lives Matter group was quick to criticise the Mayor’s decision, instead suggesting that she decrease the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget and put her money where her mouth is, so to speak. Bowser’s proposed budget for the upcoming year actually increases police funding and cuts crucial funds from community intervention initiates, including anti-violence organisations.

In addition, Bowser implemented a curfew on all protestors occurring within the DC metropolitan area, a policy which she revoked earlier in the week.

“This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands.” Black Lives Matter DC said on Twitter. “Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.”

Bowser has formally asked the President to “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.”

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans,” Bowser wrote.