EXCLUSIVE: ‘The fight is not over,’ says CHAZ activist
Photo Credit: Brian Gomes Bascoy / License
Police took back Seattle’s autonomous zone following a 48-hour executive order issued by Mayor Jenny Durkan in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Police are now holding a perimeter around the area while city workers clean up what’s been left behind.
Seattle’s widely-known peaceful protest, known as “CHOP,” “CHAZ,” or “Free Capitol Hill,” has lacked focus over recent weeks. In the past month, four violent shootings have taken place.
In a video provided exclusively to the American Wire, Seattle’s autonomous zone still lives on, according to one activist. Many who occupied the zone have laid blame on police for pushing them out of Capitol Hill.
The activist in the video above speaks to a crowd of people, saying, “I’m just out here making sure things remain peaceful.”
“We understand that all lives matter, but we can’t say that all lives matter until all lives start to matter… until black lives are done being killed, we can’t sit there and say all lives matter,” he says.
“So again, I don’t care. They talk about Jesus Christ. I’m not Jesus, but my name is Malcolm, and I’ve been out here showing leadership, showing guidance, and doing my part in this.”
Seattle’s autonomous zone originally began as a means to protest police brutality towards African Americans following the death of George Floyd. Protesters demanded the release of Seattle’s East Precinct from police patrolling, declaring it a ‘cop-free zone’ when the area was abandoned on June 8.
On Wednesday, Mayor Durkan finally called for a halt to the violence after Seattle saw a 525 percent spike in crime during the month of June.
“Our job is to support peaceful demonstrations, but what has happened here on these streets over the last two weeks is lawless, and it’s brutal, and bottom line, it is simply unacceptable,” the mayor said in a briefing.
Though, “the fight is not over,” according to the activist in the video. “Make sure you continue these marches, make sure you continue this dialogue, and make sure you continue to support the movement however way you feel you need to.”
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