The section of 16th Street in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., is now officially called Black Lives Matter Plaza. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the news via Twitter Friday, sharing video as the sign was installed. Bowser also had the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on the street leading up to the White House, where protests have been raging since the police killing of George Floyd last week.
“There was a dispute this week about whose street this is,” John Falcicchio, chief of staff for Bowser, said in a tweet. “Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is D.C.’s street and to honor demonstrators who [were] peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”
Monday, President Donald Trump made his way to Washington, D.C.’s historic St. John’s Episcopal Church to have his picture taken with a Bible — a photo made possible after Trump ordered National Guard troops and U.S. Park Police to forcibly remove protestors. Trump has also recently called for fencing to be installed around the White House.
The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. pic.twitter.com/bbJgAYE35b
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
On Thursday, Bowser addressed a letter to Trump requesting that he “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from our city” as protests have been peaceful and she has ended the state of emergency for the city.
Black Lives Matter D.C. was not impressed by the gesture. “This is a performative distraction from real policy changes,” they tweeted. “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.”
Breonna Taylor, on your birthday, let us stand with determination.
Determination to make America the land it ought to be. pic.twitter.com/XOfu6CGEGY
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020