A town in California removed a Black Lives Matter mural after a resident requested to paint a MAGA 2020 message on that street.
Even though Redwood City Council had given the mural permission, they believe that it had to be removed as it was a ‘traffic hazard.’
The decision was made after a resident requested to paint a MAGA 2020 statement on the street.
Resident Maria Rutenburg said that a BLM mural on the street was an example of town officials promoting private political expression. “Governments cannot and should not get to pick and choose who should be allowed to speak,” she told KRON4.
“Now that the cities open up asphalts as public forums, everyone with any political message is free to write their own. I, for one, would like to paint MAGA 2020.”
The attorney added: “At a time like this, it’s especially important that we allow free and open political discussion for all sides, not just BLM.”
City officials washed the mural off last Thursday night, sparking outrage among some residents who are opposed to its removal.
Dan Pease told CBS San Francisco: “Because we were using the poster board paint that would eventually deteriorate over time, my understanding from them was that the mural would last as long as the paint lasted.”
But Rutenberg said if Black Lives Matter could be painted on the street, she also had the right to paint a mural with her own statement.
The local real estate attorney said: “I saw “Black Lives Matter” sign appearing on Broadway Street on the asphalt and I figured that’s gonna be a new public space, open for discussion, and I wanted to get my message out, too.”
Rutenberg also wrote on Twitter: “I asked Redwood City to allow me to paint MAGA2020 next to BLM on the Broadway. Instead, they are erasing BLM.
“I stand for the 1st Amendment and everyone ‘s right to express their political views in a new public forum of street asphalts.”
Pease also told KRON4: “Black Lives Matter is not a political statement. Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue, it’s a call, it’s a message, it’s a symbol.
“I don’t agree with MAGA 2020 but if somebody wants to support Trump wants to put MAGA 2020 and the city of Redwood City wants to support that then more power to that individual.”
An online petition has been launched in response to the removal, and it has over 700 signatures. It reads: “For many of us, the BLM mural is a powerful reminder of one of the greatest social justice movements in our country and one of the largest protests we’ve had here in Redwood City.
“Such negation of the community’s voice is itself an example of white supremacy—privileging one white voice over the community’s.”
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