With the participation of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the City of New York has painted a large Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue, just outside of the Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. De Blasio approved the mural earlier this month, but the work was done Thursday.
"President Trump said we would be denigrating the luxury of Fifth Avenue. Let me tell you: we're not denigrating anything, we are liberating Fifth Avenue, we are uplifting Fifth Avenue," de Blasio said.
The mayor helped paint part of the mural himself, flanked on one side by civil rights activist Al Sharpton.
"When we say 'Black Lives Matter' there is no more American statement, there's no more patriotic statement, because there is no America without Black America. We are acknowledging the truth in ourselves and in America. By saying 'Black lives matter' we are righting a wrong," de Blasio said.
President Trump had previously condemned the prospect of the mural being painted onto Fifth Avenue, suggesting that the money spent on it should go towards fighting crime in a city facing a surge in shootings and violent crime.
Several within the Black Lives Matter movement have also criticized the act, calling it a "performative distraction from real policy changes."