Activists furious that people are driving on the murals they painted on streets where cars go

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US–LGBTQFJB+ activists around the country are livid after it has become apparent that people are driving over the murals they painted on the public street where cars go.

These colorful and eye-catching murals, which feature a range of designs and symbols representing the LGBTQ+ community, have been popping up in cities across the US in recent years. Activists say that these murals are an important way to celebrate and promote visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, and to create a sense of pride and belonging for those who often feel marginalized and excluded.

But now, it seems that the very people who were meant to be uplifted by these murals are being subjected to a new form of hate crime: people driving their cars over the murals, damaging the artwork and sending a message of intolerance and bigotry.

“I can’t believe that people would stoop so low as to literally drive their dirty tires over the beautiful murals we painted on a public street. It’s really a hate crime worse than any we’ve faced,” super gay mural designer and volunteer Richard N. Butts said.

Butts and other activists say that the damage caused by these drivers is not just a physical assault on the murals themselves, but a symbolic attack on the entire LGBTQ+ community.

“These bigots just come here and drive all over our mural as if this is some kind of Nazi autobahn,” Butts said. “It’s so hateful. I just can’t imagine what kind of world where people would drive on our street monuments like this. I mean what kind of monsters would do this?”

Despite the challenges they face, activists remain determined to continue their work and to fight back against the forces of hate and intolerance. They say that the murals are an important symbol of hope and solidarity, and that they will not be deterred by those who seek to destroy them.

“We will not be silenced,” said Butts. “We will continue to create these beautiful murals and to stand up for our community, no matter what. And we will never forget the sacrifices made by those who came before us, and who fought so bravely for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.”

Originally published June 18, 2021.

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