DC’s Mary Cheh Gets Russia Ban After Boris Nemtsov Plaza Effort
“I’m honored,” said DC Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) when she learned that a disgraceful name she helped write had banned her from Russia.
Russia bans 963 Americans, including Biden and Harris – but not Trump
The council had named the block outside the Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue, located in the Cheh neighborhood, after a dissident the Russians are trying to forget. And it seems that this little piece of legislation – DC Law 22-92, the Boris Nemtsov Square Designation Law of 2018 – made Cheh number 911 on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s list of nearly 1 000 American citizens “under personal sanctions”.
She is identified as “Member of the District of Columbia Assembly”.
“I’m the most obscure person on this list,” said Cheh, who is quarantined at home because she tested positive for coronavirus last week. “But I’m very happy to be on the list too.”
Most members of Congress are attending, along with President Biden, Vice President Harris, Mark Zuckerberg and US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who presided over the trial of convicted spy Maria Butina.
Cheh’s bill clearly struck a chord.
She said she was moved when a Russian told her that every time a memorial – a bouquet, a candle, a photo – appeared on the Moscow bridge where Nemtsov was shot in 2015, “government officials were sweeping”. It’s particularly sensitive right now because Nemtsov was about to release a report on Russian soldiers in Ukraine when he was killed, she said.
It was therefore important to rename this part of Wisconsin Avenue under the eyes of the Russians. “And no one would sweep it away,” she said.
Americans supporting Ukraine pour their Russian vodka and volunteer to fight
The Senate Appropriations Committee aimed for something similar in 1984, naming the portion of 16th Street in front of the Soviet Union embassy for dissident scientist Andrei Sakharov.
“Every mail the Soviets get will remind them that we want to know what happened to the Sakharovs,” Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato (RN.Y.) said when this bill was proposed.
It’s the daily reminder that we also hope to arrive at 601 New Hampshire Ave. NW.
“Jamal Khashoggi Way” is the new name that DC Council Bill 24-22 gave to the street in front of the Saudi Embassy.
In December, the DC Council voted to rename that block for Khashoggi, the Washington Post’s contributing columnist.
The embassy is a building decorated with the Saudi national symbols of palm trees and crossed scimitars, where men in traditional ghutras constantly enter. They also come out, however. It’s something Khashoggi has never done, having been lured into the Saudi consulate in Turkey four years ago and then strangled and dismembered.
Will diplomats and visitors look the other way when the sign with Khashoggi’s name is erected right in front of the building? Will DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson be banned from Saudi Arabia?
Muriel Bowser and black women take on Trump. And they win.
No one could look away two years ago when DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser commissioned a ‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural, so huge it could be seen from space, painted in the streets in front of President Donald Trump’s White House.
“As Washingtonians, we all just want to be here together in peace demonstrating that in America you can come together peacefully, you can take your grievances to your government, and you can demand change,” Bowser said at the time. as “Black Lives Matter The ‘Plaza’ sign was bolted to a lamp post.
Some Black Lives Matter activists waved it mural as “performative,” after Bowser lashed out at Trump’s threat to take over the city during protests this summer. But Trump tweeted angrily about the signs. It happened to him.
And each time he hit back at Bowser, Trump reminded Americans of the Black Lives Matter movement.
That’s how these gestures work.
“The last place I want to go is Russia. I wouldn’t spend a penny or a ruble there,” Cheh said. “But here, banning me, they are now reminding people of Boris Nemtsov. To which I say hallelujah.