Three blocks of 15th Street in downtown Oakland are now painted in big, bold yellow letters "#BlackLivesMatter," much like a street near the White House in Washington, D.C. as of last week.
The mural, meant to be seen from the air, was painted on 15th Street between Harrison and Broadway on Sunday, as KRON4 reports. Similar murals were painted over the weekend in Sacramento and Raleigh, North Carolina, inspired by one that was done at the behest of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on 16th Street NW in Washington.
As Chronicle photographer Carlos Avila Gonzalez explains on Instagram, "The mural, inspired by the one painted in Washington D.C. near the White House, was the work of artists from the Good Mother Gallery and The Hatch Oakland."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said on Instagram Sunday, "[Thank you] to Oakland's incredible art community for making this happen."
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A mural of the words, “Black Lives Matter,” written in the street across three blocks of 15th Street, is shown in this composite of three aerial photos in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The mural, inspired by the one painted in Washington D.C. near the White House, was the work of artists from the Good Mother Gallery and The Hatch Oakland.
The Good Mother Gallery reported that Oakland police had tried to confiscate their materials when they were out beginning work on the mural Saturday night. On Instagram on Sunday they wrote, "We need volunteers to help finish the painting and to keep our painters safe. Last night during the preparation for the mural the police showed up and confiscated our materials (swipe left for video). Thankfully a peaceful dialogue ensued and our materials were returned."
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@endeavors_oakland, the community arm of @goodmothergallery, is organizing a street take over of 3 city blocks starting on 15th St at Broadway in downtown Oakland. We are asking for community help to finish the project. We need volunteers to help finish the painting and to keep our painters safe. Last night during the preparation for the mural the police showed up and confiscated our materials (swipe left for video). Thankfully a peaceful dialogue ensued and our materials were returned. Our goal is to complete this mural in a peaceful and safe manner. Painting will begin at 10am, please meet in front of @thehatchoak at 10am for instructions. Please practice safe social distancing, bring masks and hand sanitizer. Paint supplies are limited so please bring your own paint brush, if you don’t have a paint brush there will be many other things to help with. Please be prepared to help where needed, this is a (peaceful) street takeover. Please also go visit our GoFundMe page as this is a community project. https://www.gofundme.com/f/endeavors-year-1-project-rebels-with-a-cause?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1
The original D.C. mural was part of an escalating war between Mayor Bowser and President Donald Trump, following the deployment of active military troops to quell protests early last week.
"There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen and to have their humanity recognized,” Bowser said during a Friday news conference. "And we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city. That message is to the American people that black lives matter, black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up."