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New York City paints Black lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower
9 July 2020, 21:04
Activists have painted a Black Lives Matter mural across Fifth Avenue in New York in front of Trump Tower.
Local media has reported that the street will be closed to cars until Sunday.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio also took part in the painting, posting a photo of himself on Twitter surrounded by people painting the yellow letters across the street.
In a tweet, he wrote: "Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message."
Activists have previously spoken out against the murals, calling them "performative" and a distraction from substantive policy changes like cuts to police budgets or reforms to use-of-force policies.
The mural has previously angered President Trump, who said in a tweet earlier this month that it would "denigrate" the street.
He also said it would antagonise the city's police and create a "symbol of hate" on "New York's finest street."
In another tweet, the president urged police officers to block the protestors from painting the mural.
He said: "Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won't let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York's greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!"
Mayor De Blasio responded to Trump's tweet, saying: "Black people BUILT 5th Ave and so much of this nation. ... We are honoring them."
Several cities across the country have painted murals in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, including Washington, D.C. which painted "Black Lives Matter" in 50-foot yellow letters near the White House.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also renamed the location of the mural as "Black Lives Matter Plaza."
It comes after New York's city council this month voted to slash the NYPD budget.