Seattle Mayor Calls Autonomous Zone ‘Patriotic’ in an Attempt To Spite Trump

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said protesters who have overrun one section of the city are neither “anarchists” nor “domestic terrorists” as President Donald Trump has called them, but citizens embracing “patriotism.”

Earlier this week, protesters in Seattle created what they have dubbed the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,”  claiming that in the area they occupy, they will make their own rules.

Trump has lashed out at the occupation on Twitter:

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In a string of tweets Thursday, Durkan suggested the protesters are heroes.

“It’s clear @realDonaldTrump doesn’t understand what’s happening on five square blocks of our City. Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill has for decades been a place for free speech, community, and self expression,” the Democratic mayor tweeted.

“Lawfully gathering and expressing first amendment rights, demanding we do better as a society and provide true equity for communities of color is not terrorism — it is patriotism,” she added.

“The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone #CHAZ is not a lawless wasteland of anarchist insurrection – it is a peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world. Given his track record, it’s not hard to believe that Trump is wrong, yet again,” Durkan tweeted, painting a picture of the occupied part of her city as an idyllic spot.

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Durkan also said Trump is part of the problem.

Do you think the military should be sent in to deal with this so-called “autonomous zone?”

“One of the things the President will never understand, is that listening to community is not a weakness, it is a strength,” she tweeted.

“A real leader would see nation-wide protests — borne from hundreds of years of immense grief of our Black community, communities of color, and so many others — and the call to become an anti-racist society, as an opportunity to build a better nation.”

She said Trump will not intervene, tweeting that “it is unconstitutional and illegal to send the military to Seattle. We will not allow this to happen.”

Durkan said the situation in Seattle can help society change for the better.

“Centuries of slavery and systemic racism won’t be dismantled overnight, but I believe that Seattle can be a model for our country. We must work to make progress together, and it is clear that Seattle is ready to act,” she wrote.

“This will build off our existing work to provide childcare and free college to every public high school student, provide jobs for youth, and institute criminal justice reforms, including vacating convictions for marijuana use.”

Durkan’s tweets received a hostile reception on social media:

As protesters took over the part of the city they now claim operates outside of city laws, police withdrew from the East Precinct building that is now in the occupied zone.

Durkan said there is no plan for them to return, according to the Seattle Times.

“We don’t want to introduce additional flashpoints,” she said Thursday, claiming that the absence of police de-escalated the situation.

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