The sign is located across two blocks of 16th Street, that heads straight to the White House.
It's a historic day in America as the country's capital now has a street named 'Black Lives Matter Plaza'. Mayor Muriel Bowser led the city workers and protesters to paint a massive Black Lives Matter sign on a street leading up to the White House. Protestors had been using the street to publicly demonstrate their demand for racial justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.
The Washington Post reported that the sign is located across two blocks of 16th Street, that heads straight to the White House. You will easily recognize the bright yellow lettering both from above and on the ground. "There was a dispute this week about whose street this is," John Falcicchio, chief of staff for Bowser, explained 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."
Mayor Bowser made the announcement on Friday where she said that the street that the sign is on would be renamed to "Black Lives Matter Plaza". "We want to call attention today to making sure our nation is more fair and more just and that black lives and black humanity matter in our nation," she told reporters. However, the official Washington D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network suggested that the sign was a distraction. "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. Black Lives Matter means defund the police," they wrote in a tweet.
Good afternoon from the newly-rechristened “Black Lives Matter Plaza” in DC. No police of any kind. Complete block party vibe. pic.twitter.com/em9QFdVExM— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) June 5, 2020
There was a fair amount of positive reception towards the initiative too on social media. "Holy cow," Emily Badger of the New York Times remarked. "The city of DC is out here on 16th street behind the White House painting BLACK LIVES MATTER onto the streets — that it owns — stretching all the way to k Street." "I wasn't aware before that letters painted on a street could offer such perfect shade," John Scalzi added.
"This couldn't be less subtle," said BBC journalist Katty Kay, "From the Mayor of DC on the doorstep of the White House." Adebukola concluded: "Mayor Muriel Bowser has just renamed 16th St NW in front of the People’s House 'Black Lives Matter Plaza.' So...in the last 24 hours the Mayor has kicked the National Guard out of DC hotels, has 'Black Lives Matter' written in yellow 66’ block letters and now renamed a street." While Joe Briggs joked: "The resident of a certain 1600 address has to cross Black Lives Matter Plaza to leave their house?"
Mayor Muriel Bowser has just renamed 16th St NW in front of the People’s House “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”— Adebukola (@Adebukola) June 5, 2020
So...in the last 24 hours the Mayor has kicked the National Guard out of DC hotels, has “Black Lives Matter “ written in yellow 66’ block letters and now renamed a street. pic.twitter.com/TBGfOtKqSd
According to Fox 5 DC, the city's police Chief Peter Newsham went on to state the department was well-informed that there were going to be demonstrations held that weekend. "We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we've had in the city. We expect that Saturday's demonstration will – like I said – be more of the same. Peaceful demonstrators coming to exercise their first amendment right in Washington, D.C."
All the mayors having their "We're with you moment" is oddly performative— Joshua D Phillips (@JoshPhillipsPhD) June 5, 2020
Like "Hey mayors in Chicago, NYC, DC, LA -you're literally in charge of the police, unions, & crime. Your mandates to the commissioners direct policing!"
These mayors are the ones in charge of this mess
There were several clashes between Mayor Bowser and President Trump regarding the protests, ABC reports. She criticized the federal response to the demonstrations and called for the removal of out-of-state National Guard troops. President Trump warned protestors that the Secret Service was ready to unleash "the most vicious dogs and the most ominous weapons I have ever seen" if protesters managed to breach the security fence around the White House. These remarks, which were made by Trump after the first night of protests were deemed as gross by Mayor Bowser. She particularly lashed out at the reference to attack dogs, which she said conjured up horrible memories of the nation's fight against racism.