D.C. government sued by pro-life chalk artists


Students who staged a “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” rally in August have sued the District of Columbia over law enforcement officers shutting down their attempts to paint the slogan on a city street.

“The Plaintiffs were prohibited from communicating their message, even though other messages are now permanently emblazoned along the streets of the District,” attorneys wrote Wednesday in a filing in federal court in Washington.

The plaintiffs are listed as the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Students for Life of America. They are asking a judge to declare the city’s defacement ordinance unconstitutional.

Amid nationwide protests following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser approved the painting of “Black Lives Matter” in a mural on 16th Street NW close to the White House. Miss Bower also renamed the street Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The pro-life groups say they had attempted to paint their slogan in early August outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Northeast Washington.

Students for Life and Frederick Douglass Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, received a permit from the city for “assembly,” says the court filing, but were blocked by police officers from painting or chalking the message who threatened them with arrest.

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