District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser renamed a section of a street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” on Friday as protests engulf the city in response to George Floyd’s death.
“The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’” the Democratic mayor tweeted Friday morning along with a video of the new street sign being hung.
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 (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) June 5, 2020
“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 peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”
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During a media conference on Friday, Bowser explained the reasoning behind renaming the street.
“There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city,” Bowser said.
“And it is that message, and that message is to the American people, that black lives matter, black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up as part of our values as a city.”
Despite her goals, the official D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network suggested in a tweet that it wasn’t enough.
“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.”
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
Bowser responded to this statement during her media conference Friday, according to NPR.
“Black Lives Matter is a very critical of police; they’re critical of me,” she said.
“But that doesn’t mean that I don’t see them and support the things that will make our community safe, and that we don’t all have a larger responsibility in the nation’s capital to send that very clear message to our nation.”
President Donald Trump also criticized Bowser on Friday, calling her “grossly incompetent.”
He tweeted: “@MayorBowser is grossly incompetent, and in no way qualified to be running an important city like Washington, D.C.”
.@MayorBowser is grossly incompetent, and in no way qualified to be running an important city like Washington, D.C. If the great men and women of the National Guard didn’t step forward, she would have looked no better than her counterpart Mayor in Minneapolis!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
“If the great men and women of the National Guard didn’t step forward, she would have looked no better than her counterpart Mayor in Minneapolis!”
Trump and Bowser have recently clashed over the presence of the National Guard in response to the protests that have swept the nation.
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