Road to White House painted with Black Lives Matter mural

Washington, DC, mayor shows support for George Floyd protest movement before march in the capital

Beth Shafa waves an American Flag near the White House, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Washington. City workers and activists painted the words Black Lives Matter in enormous bright yellow letters on the street leading to the White House, a highly visible sign of the District of Columbia's embrace of a protest movement that has put it at odds with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A huge mural backing calls for justice that followed the death of George Floyd while in police custody appeared on the road leading to the White House in Washington, DC, on Friday in a strong show of support for what has become a global movement to end racial injustice.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser had the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in giant yellow lettering down a length 16th street in the US capital.

The mural covers parts of the area where protesters have been gathering since Friday to call for justice and police reform.

The protests outside Lafayette square have been going on for a week, after Mr Floyd died Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer was seen kneeling on his neck.

Artists and activists from the US capital started working on the new mural at 4am and work was completed later in the morning.

Ms Bowser shared a video of the final display on Twitter.

The appearance of the mural comes before a large march due to take place in the city on Saturday.

Ms Bowser also renamed the section of 16th street that leads to the White House as Black Lives Matter Plaza.

But Washington's branch of the Black Lives Matter activist group dismissed the move as an empty gesture, calling it “performative”.

The group said the mayor’s actions were “a distraction from her inaction and active counter-organising to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in community”.

Ms Bowser has been pushing for the withdrawal of all federal law enforcement and military personnel from the city.

But because the District of Columbia is not a state, US President Donald Trump and his government have ultimate authority over these deployments.

Many city churches will be ringing their bells at 5:45pm on Friday in a vigil for Mr Floyd.
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