Washington D.C. has renamed a street in front of the White House after the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to theWashington Post, city mayor Muriel Bowser designated a section of 16th Street as Black Lives Matter Plaza on Friday. Additionally, a sign bearing the new name was affixed to a lamp post outside St. John's Church and the road itself has since been painted with the movement's name in huge yellow letters that span two full blocks.
"We want to call attention today to making sure our nation is more fair and more just and that Black lives and that Black humanity matter in our nation," Bowser said, according to NBC.
The renaming comes after the escalation of military response and federal law enforcement in the city amid continued protests over the murders of numerous unarmed Black people, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
"There was a dispute this week about whose street it is, and Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear whose street it is and honor the peaceful demonstrators who assembled Monday night," Bowser's Chief of Staff John Falcicchio told the Post.
That said, the move has also incurred criticism from the Black Lives Matter D.C. organization, who urged Bowser to instead focus her efforts on decreasing the budget for the city's police force.
"This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history," the organization tweeted on Friday. "This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police."
This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilymbadger say it with us https://t.co/w0ekwSG1ip
The renaming also comes ahead tomorrow's planned protest in the downtown area — which is expected to be the largest demonstration in D.C. yet — as well as the city council's impending discussions surrounding several bills that would overhaul policing.
The proposals include calls to prohibit the use of tear gas, the disclosure of body camera footage, and the officer's name within three days of a deadly force incident.