Even the progressive Democratic mayor of Portland thinks what the Democratic leadership up in Seattle is allowing to take place in the city is absurd.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who just last week gave city employees 40 hours of bereavement leave to “mourn 400 years of African-American oppression, including the police killings of African-Americans across the country,” says he is “absolutely” against the “autonomous zone” that fellow Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan has allowed to be established in multiple city blocks downtown. The “cop-free” area enabled by Seattle Democrats is both a “distraction” and dangerous, warns Wheeler.
As The Daily Wire has documented, over the last few weeks, Durkan has allowed radical protesters to take over multiple city blocks, ordering police to abandon the East Precinct and empowering radical protesters to establish what they initially declared the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ). CHAZ – which the occupiers have since rebranded CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) because “autonomous” clashes with their demands for various services and resources from the city – has also established its own armed “patrol” group to impose “justice” in the police-less city blocks of the zone.
When a similar situation appeared to be developing in Portland, the city took a far different approach, ordering residents to “shelter in place” so that the police could more quickly clear out the would-be occupiers early Thursday morning.
Officers are clearing the closed area. Arrests are being made. Leave the area immediately or you are subject to arrest or force. Residents in the area shelter in place.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 18, 2020
Asked Thursday while trying to help clean up the mess by the thwarted occupiers if he would allow an “autonomous zone” to be established in his city, Mayor Wheeler said “absolutely” not and took aim at Seattle over its handling of the ongoing downtown debacle.
“I do not want an autonomous zone set up in Portland,” Wheeler told reporters. “I’m watching what’s going on in Seattle, and I’m not impressed. I think it’s a distraction from the larger movement, and the movement is justice for black people.”
“What I’m hearing coming out of Seattle concerns me,” he added. “Armed people walking around in the autonomous zone? People being asked to show their papers and demonstrate where they’re from at the entrance to the autonomous zone? Businesses being potentially shaken down to be allowed to operate within the autonomous zone?”
“So if you’re asking if that’s something I support, let me be unequivocally clear: I absolutely do not support that,” he stressed. “And I do believe that it’s a distraction from the larger movement, which is to support and uplift black voices in our community.”
Meanwhile, up in Seattle, Durkan and various city departments have worked with the CHOP organizers this week to help make their semi-autonomous section of the city a little “safer.”
“This morning, City departments including [Seattle Department of Transportation], [Seattle Fire Department] and [Seattle Public Utilities] worked with the CHOP organizers to make some important public safety and access changes to the area,” the city announced on Tuesday.
Durkan is touting the city’s attempts to empower CHOP. “The [CHOP] has emerged as a gathering place for community to demand change of their local, state, and federal government,” she tweeted Tuesday. “At the [City of Seattle], we’ve made a few changes to facilitate first amendment activities while also maintaining safety and access for all of our residents.”
The #CHOP has emerged as a gathering place for community to demand change of their local, state, and federal government. At the @CityofSeattle, we've made a few changes to facilitate first amendment activities while also maintaining safety and access for all of our residents. https://t.co/0j60qWFCL8
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 16, 2020
Related: CHOP Pushes Back After Seattle Inks An ‘Agreement’ With Organizers To Shrink Protest
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