(Reuters) – A massive “Black Lives Matter” mural was painted in yellow letters on a street near the White House on Friday, ahead of expected large demonstrations on Saturday to protest racism and police brutality in the United States.

The huge mural occupies two blocks on the capital’s 16th Street. The city of Washington D.C. cleared the street so muralists could complete the work.

Using rollers and buckets of yellow paint, with brushes to finesse the edges of the letters, dozens of men and women, of different races and ages – some wearing roller blades, some work boots – painted the street. Many were sweating under the warm Washington sun.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Friday that the section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

The death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck, has convulsed the country. As well as massive demonstrations and violent clashes with police in the biggest cities, hundreds of spontaneous demonstrations have popped up in little towns and rural areas across the nation in recent days.

(Reporting by Kevin Fogarty and Temis Tormo; writing by Diane Craft; editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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