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New Mural Depicting LA Civil Rights Leaders On 8th Street

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A new mural of local civil rights leaders outside the ACLU of Southern California's downtown L.A. office. (Courtesy of Elon Schoenholz)
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A new 5,500 square-foot mural depicting local civil rights leaders is going up in the Westlake neighborhood just outside downtown L.A., covering the entire front of the the American Civil Liberties Union's local headquarters.

Included in the mural are Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah; Hector Barajas, a U.S. Army veteran and activist who was deported to Mexico (and was aided in his return to the U.S. and obtaining citizenship by the ACLU); and Upton Sinclair, the author and activist who founded the ACLU of Southern California in 1923.

The mural was designed by ACLU artist-in-residence Audrey Chan.

"It's really rooted in stories based in Southern California of fighting for racial justice, holding systems of policing and incarceration accountable, people who are defending the rights of immigrants and LGBTQ communities and students rights," Chan told LAist.

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The mural also contains passages from the U.S. Constitution and other messages.

"When we're out there working on it, I remember a Metro bus driver went by and he pointed to it and gave us a big thumbs up," Chan said. "That was so gratifying, because I'm thinking about this bus driver going on [his] route every day and this moment of passing the mural being a kind of bright spot in their day, especially because they're essential workers."

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