A section of 16th Street in Washington, D.C., which is right outside the White House, looks a little different today. Beginning at 3 a.m. ET Friday morning, and not stopping until 10:40 a.m., a group of activists grabbed their yellow spray paint and wrote the words "Black Lives Matter" across two city blocks. It was a graffiti-approved message, as Mayor Muriel Bowser had previously given her blessing.
That wasn't all. Once the project was finished, Mayor Bowser declared that that specific section of the street would now be named "Black Lives Matter Plaza."
Street sign outside the White House is now names “Black Lives Matter Pl.” pic.twitter.com/axx1PBR0kt— Anthony Tilghman (@AnthonyTilghman) June 5, 2020
Protesters and activists cheered her announcement both in person and on social media. But it did not appease everyone. According to Black Lives Matter D.C., the sign is simply a "performative distraction" that won't result in any meaningful change. As you can see, they believe real change won't come until they succeed in defunding the police.
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. @emilymbadger say it with us https://t.co/w0ekwSG1ip— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 5, 2020
Facing critics who said the group was being unfair, Black Lives Matter D.C. doubled down and maintained that Mayor Bowser has been ignoring police murders and their loved ones.
Some protesters have spray painted their messages on federal buildings, which was certainly not approved by the city. Yet when a group of young women stepped in to clean up the graffiti, they were called racist by a passerby.