The plywood sheets lining Broadway in downtown Oakland were initially installed to cover the windows of businesses damaged during recent unrest. They are now covered in murals.
Activists put out a call online on Tuesday for local artists to come beautify the boarded-up businesses. By Wednesday, several dozen artists were spray-painting murals and slogans in support of anti-police brutality protests, Black Lives Matter, and George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis last month by a white police officer who pinned him down with his knee.
Organizer Aireon Tavarres called it an opportunity for Oakland artists to express how they feel.
"Itís all creativity and people are going to express themselves. So we got a lot of different things. We have a lot of different pieces, but itís all peaceful. Itís all unity. Itís all just about love," Tavarres said.
Local artist Shawn was busy painting a mural of Floyd with the words "George Floyd Lives Forever" while down the road artist Alrad was painting a sketch alongside the names of a number of black individuals killed by the police with the words "Black Lives Matter."
Dustin Young came out after seeing the call on social media for artists. He and a friend painted multi-colored fists above the phrase "Stand Together Against the Abuse of Power."
"Itís the rampant abuse of power. Itís been in our society for far too long and itís undeniable to anyone now. This isnít my fight, but I am here to follow the lead of my brothers and sisters who have been aggrieved for generations. Iím here to do what I can," Young said.