New York City closes Fifth Avenue to traffic to paint massive Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower – The Sun
NYC has closed off Fifth Avenue to traffic as another massive Black Lives Matter mural is painted on the street, reports say.
Millionaire's Row, where Donald Trump's eponymous building is located, was closed off to traffic between 56 and 57th Street at 7am on Thursday.
A Department of Transportation spokesperson told PIX 11 that the block would be inaccessible to cars until Sunday, when traffic would be free to drive through the BLM painting.
Buses will be back operating sooner than that, however.
Shortly after 11.30 am local time, the yellow slogan could be seen painted outside Trump Tower.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's office tweeted a birds eye view of the mural, writing "from Fifth Avenue to Fulton Street to Richmond Terrace, NYC has a message for the world" followed by the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
City officials postponed the work last Wednesday until sometime this week citing "logistics" after de Blasio said it would happen "in a matter of days."
The President slammed plans for an "antagonizing" BLM mural outside Trump's building on Wednesday, after de Blasio announced it would serve as a "message to him."
De Blasio had declared his intention to create a large activist painting on this lucrative street on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
But Trump lambasted the mayor's scheme, as well as his intention to defund the NYPD's $6 billion budget.
"And yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue," the President raged.
"This will further antagonize New York’s Finest, who LOVE New York & vividly remember the horrible BLM chant, 'Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon.'
"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!"
Trump's dig came as NYC City Council approved a $1 billion budget cut to the NYPD last week.
Elsewhere, local artists completed a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Manhattan last Friday while the George Floyd protests continue.
The pointed message was painted on Centre Street, where just a block away, protesters were still camped out at City Hall Park.
Jon Souza of Thrive Collective, a local organization, was one of the artists working on the sizable project.
Last week, before work began on the Fifth Avenue design, Souza explained that each artist or group was assigned a letter to work on while the demonstrations continued.
Regarding Trump's Twitter statements about the murals being a "symbol of hate", Souza said that "you have to take it with a grain of salt."
"I think what's happening now there might be some differences of opinion," he told The Sun. "Now, this is what everybody needs: we all need our own form of art therapy.
"After coronavirus, we've all kind of gone through our own collective trauma, I think that art is one of the best ways to heal, to bring people together."
Souza said these larger-than-life messages are a way to get a dialogue going about recent events and "not just putting an opinion out to argue."
Demonstrators have taken to the streets to decry systemic racism since May 25, the date of Floyd's police custody death in Minneapolis.
The slogan was painted in front of the White House in Washington DC back in June and the initiative is rapidly catching on, emerging in mayor US cities.
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