Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 23 September 2020



Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 23 September 2020


H Street NW and 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, USA


Protest signs and posters on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, located on the north side of Lafayette Park in Washington D.C.

One of the signs reads:

The 1925 Geneva Protocol

"Whereas the use of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases, and of ALL analogous liquids, materials, or devices [in war], has been JUSTLY CONDEMNED by the general opinion of the civilized world, and whereas the prohibition of such use has been declared in Treaties to which the majority of Powers of the world are Parties; and To the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as international Law, binding alike the conscience and practice of nations..."


The Black Lives Matter Memorial fence was a temporary chainlink fence installed in the area north of Lafayette Park and the White House from June 2, 2020, until January 30, 2021. The fence prevented public access to the area, and it also served as an important site of protest and self-expression. 

Activist Nadine Seiler played a crucial role in protecting and caring for the fence, along with Karen Irwin and other activists in a loosely-formed group informally known as the "Guardians of the Fence." Nadine Seiler and Aliza Leventhal systematically documented the fence over the course of months, and Seiler became the de facto curator of the fence. 

Additional information: 

Library of Congress blog post "Protest Preserved: Signs from D.C.'s Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence" 

D.C. Public Library Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence Artifact Collection


Photographer: Aliza Leventhal


Urban Art Mapping






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