‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural to be painted in downtown Martinez July 4

Martinez residents won’t have a parade or a fireworks show this Independence Day because of COVID-19 restrictions. But they’ll have the chance to celebrate and endorse freedom in an expressive way Saturday on Court Street.

At public request, the city has authorized a temporary “Black Lives Matter” mural in front of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse between Main Street and Ward streets. Stencils of the letters have been cut and paint will be furnished, according to organizers’ Instagram postings.

Participants are asked to bring face coverings, hand sanitizer and paint rollers, although some rollers will be available. Participants will need to sign an available waiver before they start painting.

Justin Gomez and Martizians for Black Lives, applied through the city’s Recreation Department for permission for the temporary street banner, said City Manager Eric Figueroa, who was able to expedite city authorization of the public art project’s special permit because it’s temporary. “We don’t know how long the paint will last,” Figueroa said.

Organizers have called the project “a powerful public art installation stating loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter – joining numerous cities across the country using art to show solidarity with the movement.”

However, they acknowledged the artwork “is still merely words on pavement and we are committed to advocating for real policy change in our community that works towards making Martinez a safer place for our BIPOC (black, Indigenous, People of Color) friends, neighbors and families.”

Words – in the form of a flyer distributed in Martinez, Richmond, Bay Point, Antioch and Pittsburg – have upset residents and resulted in multiple statements, from individual members of the Council, Police Chief Manjit Sappal and Mayor Rob Schroder, who called the flyers “morally offensive… morally repugnant” and “offensive to the community.” Their distribution was called a “hateful, hurtful and offensive act.”

Residents as well as officials also have decried the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minn., police officers as well as the killing of other people of color, acts that have been labeled similarly and which have motivated peaceful marches and protests, including several in Martinez,  and occasionally more violent demonstrations elsewhere.

The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman who was accused of shooting him, began as a social media effort by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi and has expanded globally.

Organizers, who have promoted the July 4 project on Instagram, also are in discussion about a permanent Black Lives Matter art project, which would undergo review by the Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission before presentation to the City Council.

Figueroa said the street painting will resemble the “Black Lives Matter” yellow lettering that has been painted in Washington D.C., Oakland, Richmond and other cities across the country. The city is providing the barriers and other services at no cost, he said.

Painting starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the city will have streets blocked off for the safety of the participating public and for the paint to dry.

The city manager said the mural will be a strong public symbol, “a response to the needs of the community.”

And it represents a different type of interactive public event for Martinez, especially since the traditional Independence Day celebrations have been canceled.

“It will be restorative for the community,” Figueroa said.

According to a statement on their Instagram, Martizians for Black Lives mission is “coordinating, amplifying and mobilizing the Martinez community to bring to change to our town in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement.”

47 Replies to “‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural to be painted in downtown Martinez July 4

    1. Bull shit. I want a whole street able to be painted for my race. I’m 100% Mexican. Our land was taken from us, oh hell, way back as well! Oh wait and see what happens in the future to all you people letting all this happen, catering to only the blacks, which you are!!

      1. Instead of complaining that you don’t have a movement, perhaps you should be thankful that you don’t need one.

      2. I agree with you! Making it about one race, is completely racist. To be as one is to be American. Doing this is going to cause a huge backlash. I’m tired of all this nonsense. The protest has killed innocent black children, which black lives matters doesn’t care about. Black Lives Matter is a racist group. Just full of hate. Not all the black community is even with this nonsense.


        1. good for you!!! I lived in martinez for a while and its a great town that dont need this crap painted on the roads by a marxist organization!!!!!

      3. Yes me too. I’m White so I want to paint all the roads white. This is all so ridiculous. Its Antifa BLM anx the Democrats. It has nothing to really do with color. It’s merely a smokescreen. All UK oust Trump and fulfill the Cabal agenda.

    2. Streets should not be used for political graffiti.
      The permit was issued by someone from the Recreation Dept.
      So what if someone from the Police Dept. gives a permit for others to paint over it?

  1. An Excellant idea.
    However ….
    What do the elected Martinez officials think about this ?
    Were there ( virtual) public hearings on this ?
    What other groups will now DEMAND. Their catch phrases be painted on public property ?
    And how can anyone ever say no to other groups again ?

    1. I want to paint the American flag God bless America an all lives matter on the street. I need some funds how can I get it
      As a conservative Trump supporter I also want to put up billboards. I’m white most blacks just like to use the race card
      For the most part they bring misery on themselves. They hate whites an I’m sure the new series crackas in Oct will spark peace

      1. im gonna have to look into cracas! thanks for the info- im white too and have plenty of conservative black filipino and alaska native friends who think all theis is crap!! but unless u think their way your a racist and must be arrested!! very sad

  2. Unbelievable !
    This childish mantra is horrifically offensive to any mature, sober, and objective thinking adult of any race, color, or creed. BLM has proven to be an intolerant, violent, divisive, and destructive Marxist and racist organization. To believe otherwise is a misguided and cowardly reach for approval from the loudest children throwing a tantrum.
    In order for a civil society to survive, equality and rule of law must be fundamental. T-shirts and flyers are one thing, but defacing the street and calling it art is not acceptable. Absolutely offensive ! And on Independence Day, unbelievably offensive !

    1. Get over it. Black Lives Matter is about true equity. They’re not trying to step on anyone else. Chill.

      1. Convince the retail shop owners in downtown Walnut Creek who lost tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise and physical damage to their stores that the blm didn’t “step on them”! Perhaps the blm instigators should repay those shop owners for all the damage and looting.

      2. Daniel BLM is a marxist organization! we all hate what happened to george floyd but BLM only cares about whitey killing blacks which is rare but this monthand last month 3-4-6-7-8-9 year old kids killed by black thugs and BLM says not a damn word !!! their whole mantra is political and to vote for sleepy joe and get trump out so u can turn this country into a shithole! wake up

    2. If you go to the BLM website and click on donate then scroll to the bottom of the page you will see that all the money’s donated to BLM goes to the Democratic party! As far as the street goes, everyone that’s a taxpayer in Martinez pays for that street to be created and everyone is going to be divided on their ideas of what they want done with that street. So just don’t do it because it’s causing division by having BLM painted on it. Let the taxpayers that want some form of art for their Club have some of their taxes if they pay, put into a separate tax fun to create some form of art somewhere and put it in the city! Those that don’t want it, shouldn’t have to pay for it! But remembering, that you can’t make all the people happy all the time!

    3. Yeah it was approved by the city are you stupid or just can’t read? And it’s obviously not just street art you moron it’s a symbol of support for those who need it most right now and yes the city government approved it. Just shut up, mind your own damn business.

      I learned in kindergarten that if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all, and the one thing I still live by today, Treat others how you want to be treated, it’s a basic lesson that was made simple so children could understand it, maybe you should look into attending a local kindergarten or grade school, because that’s obviously how old your mind is. Your poor stupid brain never grew past you being an ignorant little brat. So desperate to find something to nit pick at and so desperate to prove that you’re right and the audacity to speak on behalf of a whole town is just stupid, it was approved and helped by the government because the decent people in this town believe in supporting those In need
      I mean honestly anything you say to try and justify racism of any kind is completely invalid and unacceptable.
      How would you possibly know what black and colored people’s lives are like?? How would you possibly know anything about it?How could you possibly imagine having to sit down and train your kids how to SURVIVE when police are around. I’m guessing you we’re told as a kid to run to a cop if you needed help and to trust them to protect you, I’d love to see you try and live the life of a person of color, where police will kill you for standing on your own property. You’d piss your pants, you’ve got nothing on the sheer strength that it takes to live a life as a person of color, someone that is beaten and verbally and physically attacked on a regular basis. You dont know their pain or the will power it takes to be treated this way and not be able to do anything about it, or else they’ll be killed for it. You obviously will never understand why fighting racism is so important, so you will always be an idiot who can’t comprehend actual human compassion.
      I mean good god who the hell raised you?
      There are millions of young children that can easily see that prejudice of any kind is wrong. It’s so simple but you will never be able to get it. How sad. And so pathetic.

      1. you are a complete whinning snowflake fool! wah wah wah u have it so bad- i watched a video of BLM burning out a black business and the woman from nigeria said you american blacks have no idea what racism is quit being victims! why did u burn me out!! you should go to my country of nigeria and then you will kiss the ground when you get back! quit being a fluffy!!!

      2. get a grip mr righteous! that BLM garbage is a political symbol ! they will win in the courts in the end as city officials cannot pick what political group over another one they can choose for the taxpayer. ppl nowadays like you have zero common sense anymore. Its frightening really.

    4. good for you buzzy trent!!! you have common sense many on here do not! these ppl could eventually sue and win as their rights have been trampled on. and to charge w a hate crime is over the top. eventually they will win in some higher court other than the 9th circuit who will side w the city then it may go to the supreme court. I would start the suit now !!

  3. So Martinez officials feel the need to allow this mass group gathering for protest but wil not allow any firework gatherings for Independence Day. Something is seriously wrong here. Remember this when you vote.

    1. This is hardly a “protest”. This is just a loving way of letting a marginalized group know that they matter and are accepted in Martinez. My thoughts on the city of Martinez have actually improved because of this act. Also, a large fireworks gathering would contain tens of thousands of people. This gathering is nothing close to that.

    2. So much ignorance in these comments smh. Black people have & still are oppressed as well as other races. HOWEVER, blacks are being targeted at a higher rate. So a simple lil temporary mural to show support towards us, FINALLY; bothers you! You want to see fireworks that bad pop them at your house, you’ll be fine because unfortunately so many innocent black ppl didn’t get the chance to see fireworks yesterday DUE to racism & the ignorance of those who see us as violent,but not as defending & standing up for ourselves! Do your research before speaking so soon & have some compassion for others.

      1. Blacks commit the majority of crimes but are only 20% of the population. Don’t resist arrest and live to commit another crime.

      2. T listen up from a white man im gonna ax u this. Why did black civil rights attorney Leo Terrell switch from being a staunch lifelong democrat a month ago to support trump???? Hes waaaay smarter than you and richer and Blacker!! but hes had enough lies from democrats- get off the lying plantation! listen to shelby steele and larry elder and other black conservatives its the black races only hope in america!!!

  4. Totally agree. Why allow mass protests with hundreds when I am restricted from dining out with family and friends? Political correctness?

  5. What a disappointing July 4th. The public celebration of America’s Independence is canceled and instead our officials kneel to Marxists. What’s next? De-fund the police? A sad day in our history.

  6. That BLM indicia appears to violate the California Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). More specifically it appears yo violate the provisions of Chapter 3. The MUTCD is a safety requirement. Your police chief appears to have sacrificed the public safety to further his own political ambitions. Time for him to go. I am not saying that BLM can’t be recited on a highway, it just needs to satisfy the safety requirements of the MUTCD. You police chief, however, appears not to want yo be bothered with satisfying his oath of office. He us a very dangerous man to be in that position.

  7. If someone slips and falls or a vehicle skids on the BLM indica causing damage or injury on the street you should call an attorney immediately, because the City of Martinez will face liability pursuant Government Code section 910. This is what happens when elected officials don’t care about taxpayers’ money for that is what will pay for the liability.

  8. This is a disgrace and not needed In our small town. BLM along with All lives matters.
    Why not ask the tax payers of martinez if they approve. All this does is create more
    Segregation and racism. Flyers should have been sufficient. Shame on Martinez officials!!

  9. Looks like your city’s officials and temporary DA has place unwanted attention to your nice community. Judging from your census information it seems these officials could be easily replaced on your next election cycle.

  10. I want to paint the American flag God bless America an all lives matter on the street. I need some funds how can I get it
    As a conservative Trump supporter I also want to put up billboards. I’m white most blacks just like to use the race card
    For the most part they bring misery on themselves. They hate whites an I’m sure the new series crackas in Oct will spark peace

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