Diminished but not dismantled, Seattle protest occupation enters fourth week

Diminished but not dismantled, Seattle protest occupation enters fourth week

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle crews on Tuesday used heavy machinery to remove some barricades around the city’s “autonomous zone”, as die-hard anti-racism demonstrators camped out for a fourth week despite legal and political pressure to end their protest. Following four nights of gun violence in the last 10 days that left two black teenagers dead and two more people hospitalized, 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 police custody have dwindled to a single free kitchen. The crowds that came by the thousands to listen to speeches about police brutality and marvel at street art commemorating black lives, have disappeared. But 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 move city officials say aimed to reduce tension. President Donald Trump has demanded the state and city eject the protesters, calling them “domestic terrorists”, but city authorities have so far taken a nonconfrontational approach. The removal of three of the six concrete barricades - which city workers installed to improve traffic flow and ensure protester safety - found no resistance. However, protesters quickly replaced the barricades with things like couches, plywood, and signs. “We are grateful that (Seattle Department of Transportation) had given us these barricades to begin with,” David ...
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