D.C. Could Rename Two Streets After Pro-Democracy Causes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Could Rename Two Streets After Pro-Democracy Causes

The D.C. Council is considering two bills that would symbolically rename two streets — one for a Chinese dissident and the other for the city's fight for voting representation in Congress.

The first bill would rename a portion of International Place NW, which runs in front of the Chinese Embassy, after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who took part in the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and in 2009 was sentenced to 11 years in prison for allegedly attempting to subvert the country's government.

The renaming was called for by 13 members of Congress in May, and the legislators asked the D.C. Council to adopt the bill in the spirit of partnership. (The street is located on federal property.) In the 1980s, the U.S. Senate renamed a portion of 16th Street NW in front of the Soviet Embassy "No. 1 Andrei Sakharov Plaza," after the dissident.

"There are times when the naming of a street, even symbolically, can advance the cause of human rights in the world," said Council Chairman Phil Mendelson during the introduction of the bill.

According to Reuters, in May the Chinese Foreign Ministry called the proposed move "provocative and ignorant behavior."

Mendelson also introduced a bill that would rename First Street NE and First Street SE between Independence and Constitution avenues — which flank the U.S. Capitol — "D.C. No Taxation Without Representation Way."

"I think that it's important that this measure is being introduced at the same time as the last measure, because if we're going to be talking about human rights, then we should use that opportunity to remind citizens that the citizens of the District of Columbia do not have the same rights and privileges as do all the other citizens of the United States of America," said Mendelson.

In 2008, the D.C. Council attempted to rename South Capitol Street in front of Nationals Park "Taxation Without Representation Street," and in 2011 the Council debated renaming a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue NW to recognize the city's fight for statehood.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.