Seattle Democrat Mayor: CHAZ 'Armed Takeover' More Like a 'Block Party'
Six-block area seized by 'protesters' and named 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone'
Seattle's Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan has likened the armed takeover of a six-block zone of her city to a "block party."
Anti-Trump Durkan told CNN host Chris Cuomo that the area of her city known as the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" (CHAZ) is “more like a block party atmosphere” than an “armed takeover.”
While introducing Thursday night's “Cuomo Prime Time” segment, Cuomo brought up President Donald Trump’s criticism of the activists who seized the huge area of Seattle and declared a "cop-free" zone.
Trump slammed the "protesters" as "domestic terrorists" and demanded that Durkan “take back” her city.
The president warned Seattle and Washington state officials that he will intervene if they fail to take control of the situation.
"Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game," Trump blasted.
Durkan contended that the president “is perhaps not getting an accurate or truthful picture” of the goings-on in CHAZ.
"We’ve got four blocks in Seattle that you just saw pictures of that is more like a block party atmosphere,” she claimed.
"It’s not an armed takeover. It’s not a military junta.
"We will make sure that we can restore this but we have block parties and the like in this part of Seattle all the time. It’s known for that.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the six-block autonomous zone in her city known as CHAZ, where armed Antifa types have driven off police and set up checkpoints, is "more like a block party atmosphere" than an "armed takeover." pic.twitter.com/5S5RcXyID1— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) June 12, 2020
On Thursday, during a joint press conference with Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best, Durkan also took a swipe at President Trump for threatening to get involved in the situation.
"It is unconstitutional and illegal to send military to Seattle," Durkan claimed.
"If you don’t believe me, you can take the word of a line of highly decorated generals who have said so and have rebuked him.
"I have spoken to [anti-Trump Democrat] Governor Inslee, and together we will assure the people that this will not be happening; many people actually are afraid that it would happen because the President of the United States said it.
"We would like to be able to trust what the President of the United States says, but I want people to know there is no imminent threat of an invasion in Seattle," the mayor continued.
"But just as we did at the beginning of this pandemic, and as we have done many times before, we will not wait for a change in Washington for Seattle to act …"
Durkan then segued to echoing the leftist mantra that the American system has promoted racism for “hundreds of years.”
“Peoples’ voices have been drowned out during this time, and for several hundred years we have allowed a system to build and promote racism to continue to benefit us,” she claimed.
Durkan was asked what the plan was regarding the Capitol Hill area.
"It has been described by the president and others as what it is not; it is not a armed Antifa militia no-go zone," Durkan responded.
"It is a number of people there, we’ve had ongoing communications with them, with the business, with the residents, and we will make sure we find some way for people to continue to protest peacefully while also getting ingress and egress.
"We’ve had blocks of Seattle and Capitol Hill shut down every summer for everything from block party to Pride; this is really not that much of an operational challenge."
"But we want to make sure that the businesses and residents feel safe," she continued.
"And we’ll continue to move that forward.”
Durkan was also asked whether the Seattle Police will try to move back into the East Precinct that had been abandoned.
"We’ve talked about SPD moving in; they did the assessment today, and whether there’s going to be an ongoing assessment about when it would be safe and appropriate for them to move in there, including response times and the like," she answered.
The mayor was quizzed over reports that the people who had taken over “CHAZ” are armed and using weapons to intimidate and extort local residents.
"My understanding is there have been some occasions of some property damage, vandalism, a fight but there’s not been any serious incidents that have been documented," Durkan told reporters.
In a Thursday address to police officers, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best acknowledged:
"This week there have been demonstrations and what I understand were threats against a news reporter on Capitol Hill.
"There was vandalism to our city streets and to our building, but today the precinct remains standing.
"No officers were hurt, no forces used.
"We have heard that there are armed people 'patrolling' the streets near 12th and Pine.
"Of course this is very concerning, especially because we don’t know who these people are.
"We’ve also heard reports that these armed people may be demanding payment from business owners in exchange for some of that protection.
"We’ve also heard that they may be demanding to see identification from people who live in the area."
On Tuesday, The Daily Wire reported:
"The protest situation in Seattle has reached a new level of chaos after the Seattle Police, seeking 'deescalation,' retreated from a now-boarded up East Precinct building, allowing radical protesters to set up what they’ve declared 'The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone' that encompasses several blocks of the city.
"After a showdown between left-wing rioters and police on Sunday, Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced late Monday an effort to 'de-escalate' the situation by ordering the police to pull out of the East Precinct."