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D.C. Renames A Road And Paints 'Black Lives Matter' Road Banner Near The White House

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

The chant black lives matter is echoing across the country. And now it's even emblazoned in massive yellow letters en route to the White House. From member station WAMU, Martin Austermuhle reports.

MARTIN AUSTERMUHLE, BYLINE: Artists began painting the 35-foot-tall letters at 4 this morning. By midday, the message black lives matter covered much of the pavement on two city blocks of 16th Street just north of the White House. The project was a last-minute initiative by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, who's been feuding with President Trump over a massive influx of federal police and a growing security perimeter around the White House.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MURIEL BOWSER: Black lives and black humanity matter in our nation.

(CHEERING)

AUSTERMUHLE: Bowser also renamed the intersection near the church where Trump posed for a photo op earlier this week Black Lives Matter Plaza. Keyonna Jones is one of the seven artists who painted the slogan on 16th Street today.

KEYONNA JONES: The symbolism is huge. We are saying it loud. We are here. Maybe you didn't hear us before. Maybe you got confused. But the message is clear. Black lives matter, period.

AUSTERMUHLE: By midafternoon, President Trump fired back with a tweet insulting Muriel Bowser, calling her an incompetent mayor. More protests are planned on this street and on others this weekend.

For NPR News in Washington, I'm Martin Austermuhle. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.