For some protesters, this is a first step towards their demands for police funding and an end to racial injustice.
But President Trump suggested another term for the protesters on Wednesday evening: “National terrorists”. Trump lambasted Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) and Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) on Twitter, threatening federal action if local leaders do not “take over” the city.
“The governor of the radical left @JayInslee and the mayor of Seattle are mocked and played at a level that our great country has never seen before”, Trump tweeted. “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t, I will. It’s not a game. These naughty anarchists must be bent (sic) AT ONCE. HURRY UP! “
Left radical governor @JayInslee and the mayor of Seattle is taunted and played at a level that our great country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t, I will. This is not a game. These ugly anarchists must be lowered IMMEDIATELY. HURRY UP!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
Durkan and Inslee quickly responded to Trump.
“A man who is completely incapable of governing must stay out of Washington state business. Tweet “Stoop”, ” Inslee wrote on Twitter, making fun of Trump for a misspelling in his tweet.
Trump’s latest tweets echo his previous threats to use military force to quell unrest as thousands of people took to the streets to speak out against police brutality. These threats provoked an unprecedented reaction against the President from former high-ranking military officers.
Although Trump’s tweets did not specifically name the Capitol Hill Autonomous Area, also known as CHAZ, his comments appeared to be directed against the movement – a major subject in conservative media on Wednesday.
Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Wednesday night included an alarming report on the CHAZ, describing a “complete takeover of an area seven blocks from a neighborhood in Seattle”, and alleging that armed demonstrators are patrolling the area.
Shortly after moving in on Tuesday, protesters hung a banner on the police compound proclaiming, “THIS AREA IS NOW THE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE OF SEATTLE,” reported the Seattle Times. Protesters then screened the documentary “13th” by Ava DuVernay, which highlights racial inequalities in the justice system. At least one man with a long gun has been seen in the area, the Times reported, despite an arms ban on Capitol Hill, but the scene has been peaceful since police left the area.
Inside the area, protesters held long “town halls” to discuss their plans and develop a strategy. On Wednesday, the speakers took turns on a stage with speakers, sharing their visions of change with an attentive crowd seated in a large semicircle.
“From what I have gathered, we are trying to take back our community so that we can live without a massive police force patrolling the streets,” protester Michael Taylor told The Times.
It is not known how long the police will avoid the group. Durkan, who had faced calls to resign following police use of tear gas and detonations on protesters, did not speak directly to the autonomous area. Asked about CHAZ on Wednesday, Inslee declined to comment, saying: “This is news for me. “
Trump’s position was clear, however, when he called the development movement dangerous assisted by his political opponents.
“National terrorists have taken control of Seattle, led by radical left democrats, of course,” Tweeted Trump.
Later Wednesday inside the CHAZ, protesters set up tents and prepared for another night on the streets. A funk / hip-hop group called Marshall Law Band played a concert, the Times reported, and protesters got together for another documentary: exploring the underground culture of LGBTQ dance in 1990, “Paris is Burning ”.