Activists Paint Giant ‘Black Lives Matter’ Message On Road To White House

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 05 Jun 2020 16:07

Activists have painted a giant ‘Black Lives Matter’ message on the road to the White House.

Done in bright yellow paint, the message covers the whole of 16th Street with each letter being around 35ft long.


The project, which started this morning, June 5, is being done with the assistance of the city and was commissioned by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Crews from the D.C. Department of Public Works closed off parts of the street so the painting could be completed.

While many have praised the iconic statement being painted across the street, some have hit back deeming it ‘performative’.


The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted:

This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.

The project comes days after Bowser had been in political fights with the White House over a security perimeter centred at the president’s home, reported dcist.


While the perimeter was scaled back somewhat yesterday, June 4, many D.C. officials have still expressed concerns over Trump deploying thousands of federal police and National Guardsmen into the city.

Speaking about her concerns, Mayor Bowser said:

We are all very concerned about how the federal assets pushed out from the federal complex and we worked with them to push back. We are subject to the whims of the federal government. Sometimes they are benevolent and sometimes they are not. And so we have to fix it.


President Trump has been very vocal on his thoughts on deploying the military to break up the country’s ongoing riots and protests.

Meanwhile Senator Tom Cotton shared his thoughts writing ‘send in the troops’ in a recent article for The New York Times.

The publication decided to run the opinion piece by the senator on Wednesday, June 3; a decision that has since come under fire from many of its staff for its ‘dangerous’ language.

Speaking about using the National Guard to control the riots, Cotton wrote:


The federal government has a constitutional duty to the states to “protect each of them from domestic violence.” Throughout our history, presidents have exercised this authority on dozens of occasions to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder.

America Protests VirginiaPA Images

The Insurrection Act, passed in 1807, gives the president the authority to deploy the U.S. military and federalised National Guard troops within the states in particular circumstances, such as to ‘suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion’. It was last used as a response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that escalated after the brutal police beating of Rodney King.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Now, US News, Washington DC


dcist.com and 1 other
  1. dcist.com

    Ahead Of Saturday Protest, ‘Black Lives Matter’ Message Painted On 16th Street Near White House

  2. CNN

    Washington DC paints a giant 'Black Lives Matter' message on the road to the White House