“They reversed the barricades to shield the liberated streets and laid claim to several city blocks, now known as the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,'” the
Times’ Mike Baker wrote, noting a banner in front of a police station reading, “This space is now property of the Seattle people.”
“The entire area was now a homeland for racial justice — and, depending on the protester one talked to, perhaps something more,” he continued, describing the area as “part street festival, part commune” hallmarked by “speeches, poetry and music.”
“The more we encourage and focus on the race thing, the greater our attention is not focusing on the fact that this is class warfare,” said one of the protesters, a self-described anarchist, according to Baker.
Another demonstrator, 23-year-old John Moore, said they are trying to prove, through the autonomous zone, that police are not needed.
“We are trying to prove through action and practice that we don’t need them and we can fulfill the community’s needs without them,” he said,
donning a “stethoscope and paramedic apparel in a makeshift health center set up on the patio of a taco restaurant.”
Demonstrators, according to the
Times, seemed to vary in response to how long the zone would last:
Some wondered if the police department would try to reclaim the territory. Others said they expected the barriers to be up for weeks, until state and city leaders had done enough to meet their demands.
As Breitbart News detailed, Antifa has been reportedly in search of armed volunteers to
guard the barricades establishing their cop-free zone. Protesters have also released a lengthy list of demands, including the abolishment of the Seattle Police Department “and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus.” They also demand free health care, free college, free public housing, and call on Seattle health care facilities to “employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.”
President Trump has since called on local leaders to take back their city and stop “these ugly Anarchists”:
In response, Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) sharply dismissed the president’s call, telling the president to “make us all safe” and to “go back to your bunker”:
Gov. Jay Inslee (D), when asked about the controversial zone on Wednesday,
“Well, that’s news to me,” he said of the autonomous zone. “So I’ll have to reserve any comment about it.”
“I have not heard anything about that from any credible source. Not that you’re not credible, it’s just that I — before I espouse an opinion, I should know of which I speak,” he added.