Speed Reads

this belongs in a museum!

Black Lives Matter signs get Library of Congress exhibit

Digitized versions of signs and other pieces of art created during the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C., are now part of a Library of Congress exhibit, NPR reported Saturday.

According to NPR, when "authorities took down the fence" that separated protesters from Lafayette Park "in early 2021, activists made it their mission to preserve every artifact" that had been hung on the fence, "knowing that each sign represents a part of the nation's history."

Activist Nadine Seiler removed over 800 signs from the fence. The signs are currently being stored in a D.C. storage unit until they can be scanned by Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library. After that, Seiler plans to gift them to museums and other Black liberation organizations.

Thirty-seven images are currently available via the Library of Congress.

One reads "NO JUSTICE NO PEACE NO RACIST POLICE." Another bears the slogan "DEFUND ACAB ACAB," an acronym meaning "All Cops Are Bastards." Yet another says "Elijah McClain — He played violin to shelter animals! Say his name!" McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, died in 2019 after police accosted him on his way home and, when McClain became agitated, placed him in a chokehold. McClain was unarmed.

During the protests that sprang up in the nation's capital after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, dozens of D.C. businesses were looted or vandalized, the Lincoln Memorial and World War II Memorial were defaced, and the historic St. John's Episcopal Church was set on fire, CNN and a local CBS affiliate reported at the time.

On June 1, 2020, federal law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters form the square, which was later renamed "Black Lives Matter Plaza."