Seattle’s Autonomous Capitol Hill To Be Reclaimed
After two weeks of an autonomous zone in Capitol Hill, Mayor Jenny Durkan moves to dismantle the protestors.
In Seattle, as the George Floyd protests came to a boiling point between the protestors and law enforcement, police were instructed to leave the city’s East precinct. The precinct was boarded up and abandoned, which gave the demonstrators an opportunity to create an autonomous zone on June 8.
In an interview with CNN Journalist Chris Cuomo on June 11, Mayor Jenny Durkan had said the CHOP area autonomized by protestors could be a ‘summer of love.’
Over the weekend however, there was a shooting where three people were shot and one fatally, drawing concern from Durkan and ultimately leading to her decision of reclaiming the autonomous zone and letting law enforcement back into the precinct.
Across the City, hundreds of thousands have gathered daily at different events protesting the murder of George Floyd and hundreds of years of systemic racism that led to his death. A recent silent march had nearly 85,000 peaceful attendees whose message was clear: we need change.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 23, 2020
The demonstrators will not be removed forcibly, but Seattle will be working with the organizations to convince the protestors to leave the area.
Though autonomized, law enforcement is claiming to still be answering to any calls made that are a matter of life or death.
"Seattle is not under siege and we are responding to every call and every area of the city," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told Cuomo last week. This came after Seattle’s law enforcement received an email stating to ignore emergency calls coming from Capitol Hill’s autonomous zone unless it was a ‘mass casualty event.’
Though there is not yet a time frame for when the area is going to be reclaimed, the police will be returning to their headquarters to respond to emergency calls. Durkan stressed the change will be peaceful at the public announcement next to Chief Best, though neither of them explained what would happen if there was resistance.