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DC church raises 16-foot Black Lives Matter banner on day of pro-Trump protests

DC church raises 16-foot Black Lives Matter banner on day of pro-Trump protests
© National City Christian Church

The National City Christian Church erected the banner early Wednesday morning ahead of expected demonstrations as Congress meets to certify Electoral College results showing President-elect Joe BidenJoe Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin MORE's win. Multiple Republican lawmakers plan to challenge the results, but the effort is unlikely to be successful.

“With thousands of President Donald J. Trump supporters and self-proclaimed white nationalists descending on the streets of the nation’s capital, National City Christian Church will once again, as has been its long-storied history, stand boldly for the civil rights and freedoms of black and brown American people,” the church said in a statement.

The National Council of Churches said on Facebook that the church decided to put up the banner “in response to ongoing fearmongering and racial hatred." 

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National City Christian Church says it will unveil a 16-foot Black Lives Matter banner on Wednesday, the same day...

Posted by National Council of Churches on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

 

The Rev. Amy Butler, the church's interim senior minister, recorded a video during the banner’s installation, noting that church staff will leave the city to follow D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC to offer gift cards to those getting first COVID-19 shot White House to host large outdoor gathering for July 4 DC board votes to lift last COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants MORE’s (D) instructions to stay away from the downtown area. The church had previously announced it would close on Wednesday due to the rallies.

“The National Guard and D.C. police are here and are watching National City very closely and are very serious about protecting the church so we’re grateful for that and grateful for the witness that this church is making this moment,” Butler said in her video.

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Last month, pro-Trump protesters, including members of the Proud Boys, clashed with counterprotesters and burned a Black Lives Matter banner and took down a similar sign from historic Black churches. 

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department charged Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio with destruction of property on Monday after he had said he was among those who burned the banner. A judge ordered Tarrio to leave D.C. on Tuesday after he was also charged with possessing two high-capacity firearm magazines. 

The National City Christian Church condemned the vandalism of churches, saying the destruction of the Black Lives Matter signs were “acts of racial hatred.” The church said one of its signs outside Wilfley Chapel was removed during the Dec. 12 protests.