DC’s Black Lives Matter Plaza gets fresh coat of paint for John Lewis procession

A D.C. public works crew repaints letters spelling “Black Lives Matter” early on Monday, June 27. (Courtesy DCDPW)

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.

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.

It inspired several street murals of the same style in other cities, including New York and Los Angeles. D.C.’s plaza also is visible on Google Maps together with the updated street name.

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.

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