by Nahlah Abdur-Rahman
October 27, 2023
Republican politicians have written a letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requesting that “Black Lives Matter” Plaza be renamed after Black Lives Matter chapters made statements of support for Palestine.
The Oct. 23 letter suggested that the local chapters of the movement were supporting Hamas in its deadly attack on Israel that occurred Oct. 7. The letter was signed by lawmakers such as Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Lindsey Graham (SC) as well as Congressmen Josh Hawley (MO) and John Rose (TN).
“We write to urge you to immediately rename ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ and remove the street painting that reads ‘Black Lives Matter’ due to that movement’s celebration of violent antisemitic terrorism,” the letter said.
The plaza that leads to the White House in Washington, D.C. was renamed in bright yellow lettering after the movement to eradicate police brutality and was officiated in 2020 after protests on behalf of the police murder of George Floyd.
Local BLM groups, though many are not directly affiliated with the national network, have publicly relayed their support for Palestine. The letter explicitly named Chicago and DC as well as Grassroots groups in their message. BLM Chicago has retracted a post that suggested violence, but reaffirmed that they are pro-Palestine.
The letter proclaimed that the posts displaying their stance for Palestinian resistance is an effort to “delegitimize Israel and rationalize brutal attacks.”
The call to action from conservative senators and Congress members ended with the reemphasized point that BLM means to “openly celebrate” what they deem is antisemitic violence against Israel.
“America must clearly affirm its stance against antisemitism, where it appears. We therefore urge you to immediately rename the Black Lives Matter Plaza, to remove the associated street painting in the plaza, and to end the city’s celebration of this terrorist sympathizer group.”
Mayor Bowser has yet to respond to the letter as of press time. The Plaza remains untouched.
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