Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday renamed a street near the White House to honor the protesters demanding justice in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter Plaza was so christened Friday morning, when city workers and volunteers painted large yellow block letters from curb to curb on 16th Street Northwest between H and K streets.
The area is just north of Lafayette Square, where federal law enforcement violently ejected peaceful protesters on Monday so President Trump could stage a sacrilegious photo op. City workers also put up a new street sign at the corner of 16th and H Streets that reads “Black Lives Matter Pl NW.”
“There was a dispute this week about whose street this is,” Bowser’s chief of staff John Falcicchio tweeted. “Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC’s street and to honor demonstrators who (were) peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”
The group Black Lives Matter D.C. reacted to Bowser’s move with the equivalent of an eye roll. “This is a performative distraction from real policy changes,” the group 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.”
Rose Jaffe, a local artist who began helping with the street painting at 4 a.m. Friday, was more charitable to the mayor, but only slightly. “I’m conflicted about doing it,” she told the Post. “It’s about wanting to reclaim the streets, but I also know that it is a little bit of a photo op. Where is the action behind this?”