Even as a semblance of normalcy returns to Washington, the protests that followed George Floyd’s death left their mark on the nation’s capital.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser also renamed a portion of the busy road Black Lives Matter Plaza.
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WASHINGTON The National Guard troops in their military fatigues and riot gear are leaving town.
Part of the new chain-link fencing encircling the White House is coming down. And the anger and rage in the streets that fueled 12 days of protests against police brutality has started to ebb, even if the determination to effect change has not.
But even as some semblance of normalcy returns to Washington, the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd a Minneapolis black man killed while in police custody have left their mark on the nations capital.
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A woman and child walk past messages attached to the security fence on the north side of Lafayette Square, near the White House, in Washington, on June 8, 2020.
 (Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP via Getty Images)
A section of the street near where President Donald Trump staged a much-criticized photo op has been renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza, a public recognition of the racial injustice that caused protesters to take to the streets. Nearby, a make-shift shrine to Floyd has blossomed, covering part of the expanded security fence around the White House.
The fence is a really powerful symbol of how our president is isolating himself and disconnecting himself from the people hes supposed to be governing, said A.J. Williamson, a student at Georgetown University.
Elsewhere, anti-police graffiti remains scrawled on the side of the Treasury Department and other buildings and statues across town. Plywood still covers the windows and doors of many shops and restaurants after owners boarded them up to prevent vandalism and looting. Restaurants that had opened up to outside dining after being shuttered for weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic  have retreated again, waiting for the protests to end.
“It’s hard to look at these buildings all boarded up, said Macee Johnson, 24, a property manager who lives in Washington. Theyre so beautiful. But people need to make sure their stuff is safe.
In the days after the protests turned violent, downtown Washington began to resemble an armed camp,with a phalanx of federal law enforcement officers and military personnel lining the streets. Some 5,000 National Guard troops poured into the District, deploying along with officers from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons and other agencies.
Green Humvees blocked and redirected traffic at intersections. Low-flying military helicopters hovered over the protesters.
With the Washington Monument in the background, demonstrators protest at the Lincoln Memorial.
 (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)
Trump threatened to deploy the military to enforce order but never followed through, after some Pentagon officials raised concerns. He announced Sunday he had ordered the National Guard to start returning home,  stating on Twitter that tensions had cooled and that everything is under perfect control.
Washington’s iconic monuments and memorials appear to have emerged from the protests unscathed and unscarred. The Washington Monument was open to the public Monday with no visible signs of damage and just a 3-foot gate surrounding it.
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And one of the most eye-catching illustrations of how the protests transformed Washington can be found in big, yellow block letters on a section of the busy street leading to the White House.
Black Lives Matter, screams a new mural painted on the pavement in letters so large that they are clearly visible on aerial photos found on Google maps.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser directed city crews to paint the two-block-long street mural as a show of solidarity with the thousands of protesters who turned out day after day demanding an end to police brutality. Bowser, a Democrat, also renamed a 1,000-foot section of the street in front of the White House Black Lives Matter Plaza an act of defiance against Trump, who had slammed the protesters and demanded that city leaders dominate the streets.
Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, who accused Bowser of paying lip service to their cause, later affixed their own message to the city-sanctioned mural. Activists armed with buckets of yellow paint added an equal sign and additional letters so that the mural now reads: Black Lives Matter = Defund the Police.
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Demonstrators protest Saturday, June 6, 2020, near the White House in Washington.
 (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)
Protesters have also co-opted another new prominent and much criticized addition to downtown: The towering black fence that surrounds the area around the White House. From H Street, down 15th Street, across Constitution Avenue and back up 17th Street, the newly installed security fence stretches for more than 1.5 miles and further expands the sealed-off area between the White House and the rest of the city.
The fence was installed after police used smoke bombs, pepper pellets and officers on horseback to move peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Park so that Trump could walk from the White House to St. Johns Church, which had sustained minor damage after it was set fire during the protests. Trump stood in front of the boarded-up church and held up a Bible, a photo op that was denounced by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washingtonand many others.
Protesters have since turned the section of the fence along H Street into an art gallery and a memorial to Floyd, decorating it with posters, banners and photos. I Cant Breathe, reads one of the signs, echoing Floyds words to the police officer who pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck. Police Reform Now, demands another. One message seems directed at Trump: Tyrant, We Will Vote You Out.
Williamson, who took part in the protests for several days, said the demonstrations brought much-needed attention to the issues of police brutality and racial injustice and are really pushing us to expand our boundaries of what we think is possible in regards to police reform.
I think thats a really good thing, he said.
Johnson said that even though demonstrators who put signs on the fence are making the best of a bad situation, she hopes it comes down soon. “It takes away our connection to the area,” she said.
The National Park Service said temporary fencing on the south side of the White House will be removed Wednesday. The Secret Service is negotiating with U.S. Park Police about the removal of the fencing around Lafayette Park.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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