WASHINGTON – Longtime Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis made a stop by the new Black Lives Matter Mural that has been painted along a street in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Washington mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted several photos of the two together at the area in front of the mural, which has been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, wearing face masks and with their arms crossed in solidarity with the movement.
“We’ve walked this path before, and will continue marching on, hand in hand, elevating our voices, until justice and peace prevail,” Bowser said in her tweet.
“It’s very moving. Very moving. Impressive,” Lewis told Stephanie Ramirez with WTTG-TV. “I think the people in DC and around the nation are sending a mightily powerful and strong message to the rest of the world that we will get there.”
Lewis, 80, is considered one of the last living Civil Rights movement leaders and is recovering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was pictured holding a cane in the photos Bowser tweeted.
The mural was painted after Bowser sparred with President Donald Trump over the response to the protests over George Floyd.
“We know what’s going on in our country. There is a lot of anger. There is a lot of distrust of police and the government,” the mayor said at a news conference earlier in the week. “There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen and to have their humanity recognized. We had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city.”
The massive mural is painted along 16th Street in Washington, which runs directly in front of the White House.
Bowser said the painting is intended to send a message of support and solidarity to Americans outraged over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
Trump voiced his frustration with Bowser over a string of tweets Friday about her response to the massive protests that engulfed that city and others across the country.
“The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for ‘handouts,’ is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment over the last number of nights,” the tweet said. “If she doesn’t treat these men and women well, then we’ll bring in a different group of men and women!”
In a news release earlier in the week, Lewis offered his support for the movement that has unfolded across the country.
“To the rioters here in Atlanta and across the country: I see you, and I hear you. I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness. Justice has, indeed, been denied for far too long. Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.
“Our work won’t be easy — nothing worth having ever is — but I strongly believe, as Dr. King once said, that while the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.