Massive letters spelling out ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted in front of Trump Tower in NYC

George Floyd Protests

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – Work on another Black Lives Matter mural in New York City started on Thursday — this one situated directly in front of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan. President Trump previously slammed plans to paint it.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new mural will send a message that “Black lives, in fact, do matter,” CBS New York reports.

Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in New York. (MARK LENNIHAN/AP)

“That Black people built New York City, that they’ve never been compensated for all they did, that all the mistakes, the sins, everything in American history that has afflicted Black people have not been accounted for and must be accounted for – something he does not understand,” he said last month. “So it is right to take the eyes of the world, the attention of the world right there on Fifth Avenue and focus on Black Lives Matter.”

President Trump wrote in a pair of tweets last week that de Blasio “is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue,” and he predicted that doing so would “further antagonize” the New York Police Department, which, he said “vividly” remembers the “horrible BLM chant, ‘Pigs in A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon.”

The NYPD, he suggested, might not “let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street.”

According to CBS New York, Fifth Avenue will be closed between 56th and 57th streets until Sunday morning to finish the mural.

Other BLM murals have already been painted in Harlem, Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin. Since the BLM movement began, its name, intended as an “affirmation of Black folks’ humanity,” according to the organization’s website, has become a political flashpoint.

A common rebuttal, “all lives matter,” may seem to some like an inclusive remark, but it is actually hurtful and fundamentally misrepresents the movement, some members of the Black community emphasized to CBS News. The response was recently used by Vice President Mike Pence on “Face The Nation.”

According to BLM’s website, “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

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