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Signs are left in front of the White House's recently erected security fence now turned into a memorial against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, during a peaceful protest on June 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images)

Signs are left in front of the White House's recently erected security fence now turned into a memorial against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, during a peaceful protest on June 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.  (Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images)

'Whose Fence? Our Fence!': Trump's New White House Barrier Transformed Into Black Lives Matter Memorial

"It's so beautiful to remember, periodically, that the American people are hungry to express creativity and to march for justice."

Jon Queally

As peaceful protests continued to flower and grow in U.S. cities and around the world over the weekend, a newly-erected security fence established around the White House in Washington, D.C. became what one reporter described as a "crowd-sourced memorial wall"—adorned with hand-made signs, posters, and other tributes—that offered a poignant rebuke to the president's "law and order" response to the demonstrations that erupted following the murder of George Floyd last month.

Since the new security barrier was established late last week, it has been adorned with countless protest signs calling for justice, declaring "Black Lives Matter" and "I can't breathe," and naming many other victims killed violently by law enforcement in recent years.

Washington Post reporter Hannah Natanson on Sunday posted a video of the scene which has since attracted more than 5 million views on social media:

Speaking with DCist.com, Kai Gamanya, a surgical technician who participated in protests in the nation's capitol over the weekend, talked about hanging a painting he made on the fence and how uplifting it was overall to see the people transform the physical barrier into a symbol of protest and a tribute to lives lost and the justice now being demanded.

"It's like the whole nation is crying, and this whole fence is crying," said Gamanya. "And if you were to back up and see it from beginning to end, it's nothing but posters from all the way down."

While Trump built a large portion of his political brand and 2016 president campaign on his desire to "build the wall" along the entire U.S. southern border, the irony was not lost on those who witnessed the nearly 1.7 miles of new fence put up to surround the White House last week.

But the manner in which demonstrators and visitors transformed the structure for division and separation into a symbol of revolt and passionate expression gave many observers a feeling of hope and pride:

"Beautiful," said actor and activist George Takei in a one-word response to the video posted by Natanson.

"Whose fence?" tweeted Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. "Our fence!"


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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


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One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

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