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D.C. mayor pressured to rename Black Lives Matter Plaza following group’s Hamas support

By CM Chaney · October 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Republican lawmakers are calling on Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to rename Black Lives Matter Plaza due to concerns about BLM's perceived support for Hamas.
  • The GOP senators and House members also request the removal of a street mural and the end of the city's association with the movement.
  • They accuse BLM of celebrating antisemitic Hamas attacks against Israel, urging America to take a clear stance against antisemitism.
Republican lawmakers are urging the renaming of Washington D.C.'s Black Lives Matter Plaza over concerns that some BLM chapters express support for Hamas, while emphasizing the need to stand against antisemitism.  Bdward3 / Wikimedia

Republican lawmakers are urging Washington D.C.’s Democratic Mayor, Muriel Bowser, to “immediately rename” Black Lives Matter Plaza in the nation’s capital.

The call comes in response to concerns that some groups within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have expressed support for Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, following their recent attacks on Israel.

BLM has been under the national spotlight after various chapters across the United States conveyed sympathy for Hamas.

On October 7, Hamas launched an attack on Israel that resulted in the loss of innocent lives. The 25 GOP senators and House members who signed a letter to Mayor Bowser are not only asking for the plaza’s renaming but also the removal of the street mural and an end to the city’s association with what they refer to as a “terrorist sympathizer group.”

The lawmakers, led by Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Jim Banks, accuse BLM of openly celebrating the antisemitic Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel. In their letter, they emphasize the need for America to take a clear stance against antisemitism.

Black Lives Matter Plaza, a two-block pedestrian area near the White House, was named after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. It features a prominent street mural with 35-foot-tall yellow letters spelling out “Black Lives Matter,” and the construction cost was estimated at $7.8 million.

The GOP letter points to instances where BLM chapters have expressed solidarity with Hamas.

For example, BLM Chicago posted a graphic on social media featuring a Hamas terrorist in a paraglider with the caption, “I stand with Palestine.”

Further, the Washington, D.C., chapter of BLM was accused of posting that Israel is guilty of ‘apartheid’ and sharing posts that cast doubt on the events of October 7, including “the beheading of babies.”

The lawmakers strongly criticized BLM Grassroots, which has 26 chapters, for supporting the Hamas attacks. They argue that these posts seek to delegitimize Israel and rationalize attacks on the Jewish people, which they find deeply concerning.

Mayor Bowser has previously expressed her rejection of terrorism in all its forms and her stance against antisemitism. The Republicans acknowledge and agree with this stance. They believe that movements endorsing violent antisemitism should not be honored with a plaza, especially one located directly outside the White House.

As of now, there has been no response from Mayor Bowser’s office regarding the lawmakers’ request for the renaming of Black Lives Matter Plaza.