The state authorities in Washington, including the mayor of Seattle, have hit back after the Republican President Donald Trump threatened to take back the only police-free district controlled by the protesters. Jay Inslee, the governor of the state, told the President on Friday to stay in his ‘’bunker’’ and stay out of state’s businesses.
The mayor of Seattle also warned the President that any invasion of the city would be illegal. After days of the clash, police abandoned a precinct there on Monday. Trump described that the area had been taken over by ‘’ democratic terrorists’’.
However, since the local police withdrew, the demonstrations have been mostly peaceful. The area has also been called Chaz, an abbreviation of Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, where hundreds of demonstrators have been gathering to hear speeches, attend events, and demonstrate.
The protests in Seattle were sparked by the death of an unarmed African American in Minneapolis police custody. Thousands of people have taken to streets across the country to fight for fundamental change and protest against systematic racism.
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Trump has pushed the state authorities to take strict action against the protesters and quell the unrest. Meanwhile, he has also outlined proposals for police reform, including grater funding with more resources for training and national guidelines on the use of force.
President has categorically rejected the calls for defunding the police, calling it an ‘’extreme agenda’’. Such a measure involves funds being directly allocated to communities rather than law enforcement agencies.
In the past two weeks, East Precinct and neighborhood in Seattle became the battleground between police and protesters, prompting the mayor to impose the curfew and for the governor to send in the National Guard to quell the unrest.
According to local media, during the clashes, protesters threw bottles and stones at police, looting broke out, and cars were torched. At the weekend, the police in Seattle fired pepper bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters, with members of the city council rebuking the police authorities, alleging them of using heavy-handed tactics against civilians.
On Monday, the mayor ordered to remove all the barricades near precinct, and the police building was boarded up. Since then, the demonstrators have taken over the area spanning over six blocks of Capitol Hill. The demands of the protesters include defunding the police, allocating the funds to health and education, dropping all the charges against the peaceful protesters, and better policies for police.
Local media outlets described the scene as a ‘’festival-like’’ atmosphere, with music and poetry. Free sanitizers, fizzy water, and snacks are also available. Though protesters have maintained that they are leaderless, armed volunteers were seen guarding the premises and asking people for ID.
Trump took to twitter and smashed the liberal democratic leaders in the state of Washington and its most populous city of Seattle. In another tweet, Trump called the Governor of Seattle ‘’a fool’’ and described the protesters as ‘’ democratic terrorists’’.
In response to Trump’s tweet, the Governor of Washington also took to twitter and said that Trump is incapable of governing and advised him to stay away from states’ business. Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, defended the right to right to protest and told Trump to go back to his ‘’bunker’’.
Meanwhile, the police authorities have maintained that they want to open the precinct but are unclear how long the autonomous zone will remain. Deanna Nollette, the assistant chief, said that the police department had been abandoned because of threats to burn it or vandalize. In a video message, the police chief addressed the police officers and said the withdrawal seems like an insult to ‘’you and your community.
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