Seattle Protesters Take Over Six Blocks, Declaring It 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone'
The zone under occupation is a city within a city, and at its center is a police precinct taken over after cops abandoned it to avoid a violent confrontation.
Calls for change in the wake of George Floyd's death has led to protesters in Seattle to take over a portion of the city. Now there's been a war of words between President Donald Trump and local officials.
The six-block zone under occupation is a city within a city, and at its center is a police precinct taken over after cops abandoned it to avoid a violent confrontation.
Inside Edition cameras were inside the zone Thursday. The streets are barricaded, men with assault rifles stand guard at checkpoints. There are painted-over surveillance cameras, and a sign says "Welcome to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone."
Trump demanded the barricades be torn down and the neighborhood be taken back.
"Domestic terrorists have taken over Seattle," he said. "Take back your city now. If you don't do it, I will. These ugly anarchists must be stopped immediately."
Mayor Jenny Durkan responded, "Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker. #BLACKLIVESMATTER."
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on Fox News, saying that Trump will secure the streets of the country if necessary.
Inside the zone, there are free concerts, free food at a store called a "no cop co-op," and even movie night in a public square. "Black Lives Matter" has been painted on the street in huge letters. Although it doesn't appear that everyone is social distancing.
There have also been disturbing allegations from police.
"We have heard reports from citizens that businesses are being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area," Seattle police said. "This is the crime of extortion."
The takeover began after protesters occupied city hall, demanding the mayor's resignation. They then marched back to the Capitol Hill District and with no cops to stop them, set up the barricades.
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