June 12, 2020
By: Staff Report
SEATTLE- After clashes between the police and protesters near Seattle’s East Police Precinct, law enforcement evacuated the site as an “exercise in trust and de-escalation”. That didn’t work. Protesters then set up tents there, reverse barricaded, and announced it a “protected zone”.
Multiple US media outlets that entered the site reported it as a “protest society” with food and supply tents, spray-painted graffitis of ‘Property of People of Seattle’ and ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’.
Speakers called out for police reform and racial justice. Then there were screenings of movies like Ava DuVernay’s 13th, which calls out racial discrimination in the US justice system.
“From what I’ve gathered, we’re trying to take our community back so we can live without a massive police force patrolling the streets,” a protester told the publication, adding that since police left, “I noticed I am looking over my shoulder less.”
Raz Simone, a local rapper, has taken a leading role in declaring the area Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (The CHAZ). Simone and friends, armed with several guns and a megaphone, have declared themselves the new police. Raz came to national attention this week when a video of him fighting someone over graffiti hit the internet.
The protesters have raised several demands in a charter some of these are below:
1. Abolition of the Seattle Police Department and attached court system. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. This means 100 per cent of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE [Immigration enforcement] in the city of Seattle.
2. In the transitionary period between now and the dismantlement of the Seattle Police Department, we demand that the use of armed force be banned entirely.
3. We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability.
4. We demandthat not the city government, nor the state government, but that the federalgovernment launch a full-scale investigation into past and current cases of police brutality in Seattle and Washington.
5. Reparations for victims of police brutality, in a form to be determined.
6. Retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community.
7. Replace the current criminal justice system the creation of restorative/transformative accountability programs as a replacement for imprisonment.
Now, this is where is gets even more interesting.
“Although we have liberated Free Capitol Hill in the name of the people of Seattle, we must not forget that we stand on land already once stolen from the Duwamish People, the first people of Seattle, and whose brother, John T. Williams of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe up north was murdered by the Seattle Police Department 10 years ago,” says Raz
Black Lives Matter — All day, Every day. But.
The protesters inside the self-declared autonomous zone in downtown Seattle booed and made fun of, members of the African American Community Advisory Council Thursday afternoon, as the group told demonstrators they had “hijacked” the message of Black Lives Matter.
“The thing is, you have hijacked this! You have taken the meaning away!” a woman from the council said, addressing demonstrators inside the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” (CHAZ)- a six-block region, which includes a police precinct- that has been taken over by protesters.
Yes, they have hijacked this. And this has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter.