As protests continued for the fifth day in Raleigh, local business owners picked up their paint brushes in support.
Several downtown businesses began painting murals Wednesday in solidarity with protesters and to advocate for change.
“This is one way that we can support Raleigh and make our voices heard” said Sara Palacio.
On Wednesday, Palacio and her mother, who owns Centro, began painting a large mural of George Floyd inspired by the work of Shirien Damra.
“When we originally boarded up we had the idea, let’s paint a mural. Let’s make it colorful so people driving on Wilmington Street can see it and have that message that black lives matter,” Palacio said.
Floyd, an unarmed black man died at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer last week. His death sparked protests across the nation and calls for greater police accountability locally.
During protests Saturday and Sunday night in Raleigh vandals broke windows and damaged several store fronts downtown.
“Our business was affected this weekend, and we wanted to show our support for the protests, for the cause,” said Chef Jeff Seizer.
Seizer owns Royale on Martin Street in Raleigh. Wednesday artists painted tributes to the black lives matter movement and messages of love and unity on his restaurant’s boarded-up windows.
“Everything is boarded up right now, but if we cover it all in artwork it becomes really special and it becomes a powerful message that as a city we’re not angry. As a business owner, I’m not upset. I’m not a victim. We’re here,” he said.
Seizer says he wanted to see this show of support across Raleigh, so he teamed up with the Raleigh Mural Project and VAE. Donations will connect local artists with business owners create art throughout downtown.
“It will give everyone an opportunity to express their genuine love for the town and what they feel about what’s going on,” Seizer said.
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