Day 92

Black Lives Matter Plaza (July 11, 2020)

Today was our shortest walk but also the most powerful. We walked the two blocks of 16th Street that have been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The plaza was renamed by black Democrat Mayor, Muriel Bowser, on June 5, 2020, after the District Department of Public Works painted the words “Black Lives Matter” in 35-foot yellow capital letters, along with the flag of Washington, DC, on the street, as part of the George Floyd protests. At a later stage, activists added “Defund the Police” in similar letters at the end of the mural.

Lauren’s brother, Howard, and his wife Carolyn have been visiting us from Massachusetts. It was great to have them join us for today’s walk.

At the end of the Plaza is a makeshift fence that cuts off the White House from the surrounding Republic. It also serves as a community message board.

On the corner of the Plaza is St. John’s Episcopal Church. On June 1, 2020, amid the George Floyd protests, police and National Guard troops used tear gas and other riot control tactics to forcefully clear peaceful protesters and create a path for President Trump and senior administrative officials to walk from the White House to the church. Trump did not enter the church but instead stood out front awkwardly holding up a bible to create an infamous photo op. The church is sometimes referred to as the Church of the Presidents as every sitting president has attended the church at least once since it was built in 1816.

Lining the Plaza are stalls selling t-shirts, flags and other souvenirs.

We hope that a safer future awaits this man and his children.

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