New York City, July 2 (efe-epa).- Giant letters spelling out “Black Lives Matter” are taking shape on Centre Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, in honor of the racial justice movement that has erupted across the United States after the death of Black citizen George Floyd at the hands of a White policeman in Minneapolis.
Each of the letters has been commissioned to a different artist or muralist to leave their personal stamp, press secretary for the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, Aries Dela Cruz, said.
The location was chosen because it’s near the city’s central police station and the African Burial Ground National Monument, a site where the remains of 419 African-Americans who were buried during the 17th and 18th centuries were found, Dela Cruz said.
Also nearby are the Manhattan Federal Courthouse and the offices of President Donald Trump’s administration in the city.
Many places, including New York City, have recently been the scene of protests by the Black Lives Matter movement, which has called for the withdrawal of police funding to be diverted to educational and social projects.
Dela Cruz also showed his support for the Revisionist movement that has emerged in the country, calling for the removal of statues and symbols linked to slavery and oppression.
New York City has also launched an initiative to paint the anti-racism slogan on other streets, including Fifth Avenue, also in Manhattan and where the Trump Tower stands.
This proposal has infuriated Trump, who on Wednesday attacked the idea and called the mural a “symbol of hate.”
On Twitter, Trump criticized the fact that New York City is cutting $1 billion from its police budget and at the same time is going to spend money on painting this “big, expensive” mural, “denigrating this luxurious avenue.”
The president encouraged the police to prevent “this symbol of hate to be affixed to New York’s greatest street,” and accused the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, of hating and disrespecting cops.
De Blasio was quick to respond to Trump on Twitter, saying: “Here’s what you don’t understand: Black people BUILT 5th Ave and so much of this nation. Your ‘luxury’ came from THEIR labor, for which they have never been justly compensated.
“We are honoring them. The fact that you see it as denigrating your street is the definition of racism.” EFE-EPA