The giant yellow letters forming “Black Lives Matter” on D.C.’s 16th Street were given a fresh coat of paint early Monday morning, ahead of a funeral procession for the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis.
D.C. Department of Public Works crews were out before dawn repainting the letters that cover the stretch of 16th Street between K and H streets in Northwest D.C. just north of the White House.
— Natasha Dupee (@DupeeforDC) July 27, 2020
Monday’s repainting comes nearly two months since Mayor Muriel Bowser renamed the area Black Lives Matter Plaza on June 5, four days after federal officers abruptly swept the intersection of H and 16th streets clear of protesters with crowd control munitions.
Activists with the D.C. Movement for Black Lives had added their own lettering — reading “Defund the Police” — in the days following the plaza’s commissioning, criticizing Bowser’s move as a photo op. Their message still remained as of Monday, albeit faded.