The White House is being "walled off," according to Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser. Extra fencing was erected around the White House complex Thursday, adding to an 8-foot barrier that went up around the entrance to Lafayette Park earlier in the week and prompting jokes that President Trump is finally getting a wall, NBC News reports. The Secret Service says the fencing will remain up and the area—"including the entire Ellipse and its side panels, roadways and sidewalks, E Street and its sidewalks between 15th and 17th Streets, First Division Monument and State Place, Sherman Park and Hamilton Place, Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets, and all of Lafayette Park"—will be closed until Wednesday.
"These closures are in an effort to maintain the necessary security measures surrounding the White House complex, while also allowing for peaceful demonstration," a Secret Service rep said, per CNN. Bowser said Thursday that the "walling off" of the area is a "sad commentary" and she is concerned it might become permanent. "I'm one of those people who grew up in Washington, DC, and has been very accustomed to being able to have access to all of our federal facilities, going up on the Capitol grounds ... from being able to walk all around the Supreme Court, to walk in front of the White House, on both sides, and now all of that is under threat," she said. NBC Washington reports that a city works crew painted "Black Lives Matter" on 16th Avenue, which leads to the White House, early Friday morning. (Read more White House stories.)