The fence Donald Trump had erected around the White House because he’s too cowardly to have protesters exercising their First Amendment rights on his doorstep has been transformed.
The barrier that was quickly dubbed #BabyGate has now become something of an art installation for protesters gathered around its perimeter. They may not be able to air their grievances in front of the White House anymore, but they can decorate every inch of the fencing as they mass around it.
That’s exactly what has happened. Based on the photos and videos appearing on social media, the fence is now partially or wholly covered with signs of protest. Literal signs, I mean. So even when the protesters have dispersed, the protest itself lingers on right where it’s most important for those grievances to be heard.
The fence outside the White House has been converted to a crowd-sourced memorial wall — almost like an art gallery — to black men and women who lost their lives at the hands of police.
Hundreds are strolling, looking, adding names and paintings and posters. pic.twitter.com/mXlZpfMAeX
— Hannah Natanson (@hannah_natanson) June 7, 2020
The protests in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere continue to surge onward, almost two weeks after the killing of George Floyd, who died on May 25 in police custody. The death occurred after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the 46-year-old black man’s neck for almost nine minutes while three other officers either simply watched or actively helped “restrain” Floyd.
As the protests spread out from Minneapolis and arrived in D.C., crowds began to mass in front of the White House. (As much as Trump would like to relinquish all responsibility for bad things that happen, the buck still stops with the U.S. president.)
The fence went up not long after Trump’s desire for a photo opp led to the forced removal of a peaceful protest from in front of the White House.
The 8-foot chain link fence protecting the White House has become a sort of archive / exhibition of the D.C. protests with signs, memorials, flowers and art. pic.twitter.com/mvr0wBkOy6
— Rebecca Tan (@rebtanhs) June 6, 2020
Just got home from the protests. Cannot even begin to describe the scale of it in DC. Everywhere you turned, in every neighborhood, people streamed through.
Signs have begun to pile up on the fence in front of the White House. I’m emo about all of it pic.twitter.com/sey0xLihcJ
— audrey (@_audreyws) June 7, 2020
It’s not clear how long our image-obsessed president will allow the fence postings to remain sitting on the fence, especially in the midst of daily curfews sending D.C. residents back to their homes. But you can bet that for every item removed, protesters will return with more as these ongoing protests carry on.
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