'It is patriotism': Seattle's mayor rebukes Trump for saying 'autonomous zone' protesters are terrorists
- Seattle's mayor on Thursday said that "autonomous zone" protesters were patriots and not, as President Donald Trump called them, "domestic terrorists."
- Since Monday, protesters have occupied a section of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood after clashing with the police during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.
- "Demanding we do better as a society and provide true equity for communities of color is not terrorism — it is patriotism," Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted.
- Trump on Thursday tweeted that the protesters were "ugly Anarchists" who "must be stopped IMMEDIATELY."
Seattle's mayor on Thursday scolded President Donald Donald Trump for calling protesters occupying part of the city "domestic terrorists" and instead labeled them patriots.
Since Monday, a band of protesters have occupied a fenced-off section of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood after clashing with the police during protests over George Floyd's death.
The so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone consists of tents, free food, art-making, and film screenings, and has remained peaceful, as Insider's Isaac Scher reported Wednesday.
In a Wednesday tweet, Trump said: "Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!"
And on Thursday, Trump described occupants of the autonomous zone as "ugly Anarchists" who "must be stopped IMMEDIATELY."
Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle has since taken issue with Trump's characterization.
"It's clear @realDonaldTrump doesn't understand what's happening on five square blocks of our City," Durkan said in a series of tweets published late Thursday.
—Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 11, 2020
"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.
She said the autonomous area was "not a lawless wasteland of anarchist insurrection" but rather "a peaceful expression of our community's collective grief and their desire to build a better world."
In some instances she attacked Trump directly, saying in one tweet: "One of the things the President will never understand, is that listening to community is not a weakness, it is a strength."
In his Thursday tweet, Trump also addressed Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, saying: "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game."
Durkan addressed that threat, tweeting: "It is unconstitutional and illegal to send the military to Seattle. We will not allow this to happen."
Inslee also responded to Trump's tweet, saying: "A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state's business."
On Thursday, the Seattle police walked back a claim that protesters were extorting local businesses.
Other politicians have attacked Trump over his Thursday tweet.
"Don't you have a bunker to be in?" Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state tweeted, referring to the president's retreat to a White House bunker during peaceful protests in the US capital.
Some of the zone's occupants have released a list of demands.
"We do not request reform, we demand abolition," Free Capitol Hill, an anonymous collective, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
"We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus."
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