Seattle protest occupation enters fourth week
SEATTLE (US) – Seattle authorities on Tuesday used heavy machinery to remove some barricades around the city’s “autonomous zone”. This comes in the wake of die-hard anti-racism demonstrators camping out for a fourth week despite legal and political pressure to end their agitation.
After four nights of gun violence in the last 10 days that left two black teenagers dead and two hospitalised, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) outside an abandoned police precinct has diminished in size and scope.
Medic stations, a mobile health care clinic, and multiple free food tents in a police-free zone set up in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis have come down to a single free kitchen.
The crowds that came by the thousands to listen to speeches about police brutality and marvel at street art paying tribute to black lives, have vanished.
However, at least 100 activists remain in the streets, having occupied the area since police on June 8 moved street barricades and vacated their East Precinct station in a bid to reduce tension.
Though President Donald Trump has demanded the state and city evict the protesters, calling them “domestic terrorists” city authorities have so far taken a nonconfrontational approach.
There was no resistance when authorities removed three of the six concrete barricades. However, they were replaced with couches, plywood and signs.
“We are grateful that (Seattle Department of Transportation) had given us these barricades to begin with,” David Lewis, a product manager at Lululemon who has been organising protests in Seattle since late May, told Reuters. “More lives would have been lost a couple of days ago as that drive-by (shooting) happened.”
In the latest shooting on Monday, a 16-year-old boy was killed and a 14-year-old boy remained in critical condition.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field