By Connor Perrett, yahooNews
Black Lives Matter murals have appeared in several US cities, including outside the White House in Washington, DC.
- Redwood City, California, last week removed a Black Lives Matter mural that a resident painted as part of an Independence Day public-art celebration, CBS San Francisco reported.
- The city removed the mural after a local lawyer said she should be able to paint “MAGA 2020” on the same street, the report said.
- Officials said they removed the mural because it was a traffic hazard, CBS San Francisco reported.
- Dan Pease, who painted the mural, told the outlet that he’d expected it to wash away over time.
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A California city removed its Black Lives Matter mural in the middle of the night last week after a local lawyer asked whether she could install one nearby in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection bid.
CBS San Francisco reported on Sunday that a Redwood City resident, Dan Pease, asked city officials earlier in July if he could paint “Black Live Matter” on a street downtown as part of an Independence Day public-art celebration. Officials agreed and provided him with yellow poster-board paint he used to paint the 17-foot mural.
“Because we were using the poster-board paint that would eventually deteriorate over time, my understanding from them was that the mural would last as long as the paint lasted,” Pease told the outlet.
But on Thursday, city officials scrubbed the mural from the street in the middle of the night, saying it could be a traffic hazard, CBS San Francisco reported.
They removed it not long after Maria Rutenburg, a real-estate lawyer, requested that she be allowed to paint “MAGA 2020,” Trump’s reelection campaign slogan, on the same street.
“I saw ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign appearing on Broadway Street, on the asphalt. I figured that’s going to be a new public space open for discussion, and I wanted to get my message out too,” Rutenburg told the local CBS station.
When news first circulated that city officials were considering removing the mural, some activists suggested a sit-in to prevent the words from being washed away, The San Mateo Daily Journal reported.
“For them to say ‘take it down’ because of controversy shows the problem [of racial inequity] is still present and it’s not OK,” Jose Castro, a local artist who created a different mural of George Floyd that the city has allowed to remain, told The Daily Journal last week.
Pease told CBS San Francisco that while he didn’t believe “Black Lives Matter” was a political statement, he understood the city’s predicament.
“I have no hard feelings to the City Council,” he said. “I am disappointed, but, at the same time, I am very grateful that they allowed me to put that message on Broadway.”
Black Lives Matter murals have appeared in several US cities in the wake of protests over racism and police brutality following George Floyd’s killing by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, DC, had one installed outside the White House in June, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in July had one commissioned outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
New York City police said over the weekend that three people accused of defacing the mural with blue paint were arrested.
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