Black Lives Matter mural in Chicago defaced to say 'All Lives Matter'

Activists in Oak Park call vandalism an act of ‘hatred’ 

Gino Spocchia
Friday 10 July 2020 10:45
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Black Lives Mural in Oak Park before being defaced

Authorities in Chicago have condemned vandals who turned a Black Lives Matter mural into one that spelled-out “All Lives Matter”.

Police in Chicago’s Oak Park said that “Oak Park officials are expressing sadness and disappointment after the Black Lives Matter pavement mural recently painted on Scoville Avenue at Lake Street was defaced overnight.”

The mural, which was painted amid nationwide protests against racism last month, was under restoration on Wednesday.

The Oak Park Area Arts Council and the artists who painted the mural were contacted “to determine what additional work will be needed to restore the mural to its original condition,” said police.

Oak Park Area Arts Council executive director, Camille Wilson White, told ABC News7 on Wednesday that the vandalism was “shameful”.

“To see it vandalised, defaced this way, it’s shameful,” said Ms White.

Activist and mural organiser, Cortlyn Kelly, echoed those comments and said the actions were an act of “hatred”.

“If they cannot understand that all lives don’t matter until Black lives matter, they did this out of hatred,” Ms Kelly told ABC.

Activists in Oak Park planned to demonstrate on Wednesday to demand more art initiatives and a “strong racial equity policy” across the area.

“If you hear Black Lives Matter and immediately your response is to say ‘All Lives Matter,’ says a lot about how you perceive race,” said Makayla Pye, of the Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League, to ABC.

Oak Park police appealed to the public to assist in their investigation on Wednesday, as workers corrected Tuesday night’s vandalism.

About 20 volunteers were said to have painted the mural over two days in June, with organisers choosing to celebrate Pride month and Black Lives Matter with bright colours.

The Chicago mural becomes the latest Black Lives Matter mural to attract criticism, as US president Donald Trump complained that a similar design outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue would “degenerate” the street.

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