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DC paints huge Black Lives Matter mural near White House

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With St. John’s Church in the background, people walk under a new street sign on Friday, June 5, 2020, in Washington. “The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,'” District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted. The black and white sign was put up to mark the change. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

City workers and activists paint the words Black Lives Matter in enormous bright yellow letters on the the street leading to the White House, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Washington.(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted aerial video of the mural shortly after it was completed Friday. The letters and an image of the city’s flag stretch across 16th Street for two blocks, ending just before the church where Trump staged a photo-op after federal officers forcibly cleared a peaceful demonstration to make way for the president and his entourage.

“The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’” Bowser tweeted. A black and white sign was put up to mark the change.

The White House had no comment.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser walks on the street leading to the White House after the words Black Lives Matter were painted in enormous bright yellow letters on the street by city workers and activists Friday, June 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Bowser’s endorsement of the project follows her verbal clashes with the Trump administration over the response to protests of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Bowser has complained about the heavy-handed federal response and called for the removal of out-of-state National Guard troops. She says their differences highlight the need for D.C. to be a state and have more control over its internal affairs.

On Thursday, as the protests turned peaceful, she ended a curfew imposed after people damaged buildings and broke into businesses over the weekend and Monday.

The mayor also tweeted out a letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote the president to express alarm that peaceful protesters were being confronted by heavily armed federal agents and officers, many of them with their identities and agencies obscured.

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