BY KRISSI HUMBARD — There’s something new at the Busboys and Poets in the Shoppes at Arts District: A large, anti-Trump mural on the corner in front of the restaurant.
The mural appeared Wednesday afternoon, and was a bit of a surprise to a few Busboys and Poets employees. Two employees who were working Thursday morning didn’t have much information about the mural, other than a note that said Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal had it put up.
Shallal himself said he didn’t know much about the mural. “The mural is the work of an arts collective,” he said, via email. “They find places wherever they can to showcase their work.”
The mural makes a big statement and is sure to be a topic of conversation. The piece was done by a collective of DC-based graffiti writers and street artists called DC 2 Standing Rock. The mural was moved to Hyattsville from the Busboys and Poets 5th & K location in Washington, D.C.
Busboys and Poets is no stranger to social justice issues. The restaurant chain recently participated in the #ADayWithoutImmigrants strike and dubs itself a community resource for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers. On the restaurant’s website, it states “Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.”
From the DC 2 Standing Rock group:
We are a DC-based graffiti/street art collective and we work to challenge racism, imperialism, oligarchy and other systems of violence with the power of art. Given our recent mural campaign for Standing Rock, we currently use the name DC 2 Standing Rock, but it’s subject to change. The Deport Trump mural was created as a live art action/demonstration with the Disrupt J20 anti-inauguration protests, where we stood in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, immigrant groups, and countless other groups standing up to the incoming Trump administration. The wall was constructed and painted on site at McPherson Square.
Done in all-American retro greeting card style, the mural is a wake up call about what Trump means to this country. Each letter calls attention to an existing issue that the Trump regime will blow up and exacerbate to dangerous extremes. From left to right: corporate oligarchy | racism, white supremacy, and xenophobia| hetero supremacy & violence against LGBT communities | continuing the global war on terror, Islamophobia, and Islamophobic policies | media manipulation | United States of Big Oil | Misogyny and violence against women | corruption and collusion | nuclear war | attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights.
On their Instagram page, the group says the mural will be up at the Busboys and Poets Hyattsville location for “a few months.”