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Tensions Rise In Seattle's 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone' as Occupiers Try to Figure Out What to Do Next

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Posted: Jun 12, 2020 4:00 PM

Seattle, Wash. — Occupiers inside Seattle's "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" are still trying to determine what to do with their area as the city and state government appears to be in no rush to reclaim the few blocks around the Seattle Police East Precinct. Because of the lack of clear leadership and the large number of people in the zone, arguments have broken out on how to proceed.

The morning was peaceful as people in the zone broke off into groups to discuss different topics, such as zone security and how to work with the people who live in the apartments that are inside the zone.

A packet being handed out in one of the groups gave a few suggestions, such as: Permanently taking over the East Precinct, move the zone to another location, or to dissolve the zone completely.

A member of the Seattle Fire Department and a worker with the Seattle Department of Transportation were negotiating with some of the occupiers on Thursday, with the fireman expressing frustration because promises made after negotiating with them are not being honored due to the many different groups in the zone who have different demands.

One of the leaders talked with the crowd to say they are not leaving anytime soon and went on to compare their actions to the Boston Tea Party.

Things became heated in the zone after two Seattle police officers entered the area to go inside the East Precinct. Some in the crowd worked to ensure the officers were not harmed, though others in the crowd began asking why they were letting the police in "their" territory. Trying to talk with the protesters, an officer explained their 9-1-1 response time has increased because they can't enter some of the streets because of the barricades.

Tensions were still high during their "town hall" meeting right outside the police station, as one speaker accused a black man of not being black, which the crowd took offense to.

Only time will tell if the loose coalition of occupiers will be able to put their differences aside and work together to hold the area the city government gave them.