Defiant DC mayor names plaza 'Black Lives Matter'

(BBC) – The Washington DC mayor has changed the name of a plaza outside the White House to “Black Lives Matter Plaza” in a rebuke to President Trump.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, also unveiled a two-block long mural painted onto the street leading up to the White House declaring “Black Lives Matter”.

She also demanded that Mr Trump remove federal soldiers from Washington.

The mayor’s defiant, but largely symbolic, acts come as more protests are expected in DC at the weekend.

The demonstrations staged over the past week in Washington drew draconian responses from the White House, with Mr Trump ordering thousands of federal troops into the city.

The president was criticised for ordering authorities to forcibly remove peaceful protesters from a square outside the White House so he could cross the street to take a photo in front of a church.

Marking the square in front of St John’s Church with the new “Black Lives Matter Plaza” sign on Friday, Ms Bowser said: “As Washingtonians, we simply all want to be here together in peace to demonstrate that in America, you can peacefully assemble, you can bring grievances to your government, and you can demand change”.

The mayor also tweeted a video clip of the giant “Black Lives Matter” street mural emblazoned on the road in front of the White House in bright yellow paint.

“There was a dispute this week about whose street this is,” the mayor’s chief of staff John Falcicchio tweeted as the mural was unveiled.

“Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC’s street and honour demonstrators who were peacefully protesting on Monday evening.”

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