WASHINGTON — The National City Christian Church raised three 16-feet "Black Lives Matter" banners just moments before pro-Trump rallies are set to kick-off in response to what they described as "ongoing fearmongering and racial hatred" in the country.
The banners will be erected on the front columns of the historic church to spread the message for the civil rights and freedoms of Black and brown American people during pro-Trump rallies and Congress' special session to certify the electoral college votes from the 2020 presidential election.
The new banners will replace the current banner that shows a quote from South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the church said.
"As followers of Jesus Christ, we reject the president's call to violence and continue to proclaim that Black Lives Matter," Interim Senior Minister, Rev, Dr. Amy Butler said in a statement released with photos of the banners to be erected. "We oppose the ideals of white supremacy and white Christian nationalism, and declare that our church will continue to be a place of peace and healing," National City Christian Church said in a statement.
This unprecedented move comes after several Black churches in the District were vandalized during a pro-Trump demonstration in November.
The historic Black churches reported having Black Lives Matter banners stolen, ripped and burned during protests. National City church also alleges that Luther Place Lutheran Church has been repeatedly targeted by pro-Trump protesters.
Faith leaders from across the DMV have since gathered to hang a new Black Lives Matter banner and renounce white supremacy in service of unity on Friday, Dec. 18.
Ahead of Wednesday's pro-Trump protests, D.C. police have already started guarding the historic Black churches that were vandalized from the previous protest.
Thousands of Trump supporters are expected to make their way to the nation's capital in support of the president's election claims. On Tuesday, six people were arrested in D.C., according to the Metropolitan Police Department (D.C. Police).
Videos on social media Tuesday did show protesters clash with D.C. Police.
Mayor Muriel Bowser called on people to stay away from the downtown area.
In a statement released by Bowser's office on Sunday, the mayor said the Metropolitan Police Department (D.C. Police) will be fully activated and she’s instructed District agencies to create a public safety response.
Several hotels and restaurants have closed in D.C. ahead of the protests on Wednesday.