City of DC Paints Protester Slogan Next to White House as Possible Biggest Crowd Yet Forms


The District of Columbia ceremoniously painted the street leading to the White House with the bright-yellow words “Black Lives Matter” the day before crowds of protesters were expected to gather in response to George Floyd’s death while in police custody.

Artists with MuralsDC, a Department of Public Works project, and some volunteers painted the words on 16th street behind the White House on Friday, NPR reported.

The words were painted down a two-block stretch across Lafayette Square.

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New York Times reporter Emily Badger said that the city used the same paint used to mark road lanes.

“When I asked them what they were doing, several city workers casually said ‘just paintin’ the streets,’ as if there was nothing else to say,” she tweeted.

The city was expecting one of its largest demonstrations ever, Reuters reported.

“We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest we’ve ever had in the city,” Washington D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters.

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Although the chief didn’t give an estimate, local media predicted tens of thousands of people would attend.

Marches and protests took place across the country on Friday and crowds formed overnight outside the White House, according to Reuters.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has repeatedly clashed with President Donald Trump about the response to the protests since Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, also renamed a street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

“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 this move.

“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.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith