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11 Jun, 2020 22:52

‘Unconstitutional & illegal!’ Seattle mayor shocked by Trump’s ‘threat to invade’ & clear out anarchist zone

‘Unconstitutional & illegal!’ Seattle mayor shocked by Trump’s ‘threat to invade’ & clear out anarchist zone

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has rebuffed US President Donald Trump’s vow to send in troops to remove protesters occupying an abandoned police station if local officials don’t act, saying it would be an “illegal” invasion.

Responding to the president’s remarks earlier on Thursday – in which he threatened to directly intervene if Seattle officials don’t “take back” the city – the mayor insisted any such move would violate the protesters’ constitutional rights.

“Lawfully gathering and expressing First Amendment rights, demanding we do better as society… is not terrorism, it’s patriotism,” Durkan said.

The threat to invade Seattle is not only unwelcome, it’s illegal.

Also on rt.com ‘If you don’t do it, I will!’ Trump threatens Seattle & WA govt with INTERVENTION if they don’t clear protester-occupied ‘Zone’

A group of protesters has occupied an area in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood encompassing several city blocks since last Sunday, creating a self-styled “autonomous zone” after police vacated their East Precinct headquarters in a show of “deescalation.” 

The president has labeled the occupiers “domestic terrorists” and repeatedly called on Durkan to have them removed, but city officials have so far shown little willingness to do so.

Not only advocates of law and order but even protesters themselves have demanded both the mayor and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best resign amid the controversy – although for different reasons – but Durkan shut down those calls, saying neither had any plans to step down.

Also on rt.com Post-revolutionary blues? ‘Warlord’ of Seattle Autonomous Zone struggles to be the police he hates as real cops have 2nd thoughts

Though officials have been reluctant to clear away the demonstrators, Best acknowledged that the autonomous zone has put a strain on emergency responders in the area normally served by the East Precinct, saying average response times have shot up from five to 18 minutes. She also clarified that the decision to abandon the police station was not hers, noting that was “something I was holding off.” It remains unclear who gave that order, but Best previously said the city had “relinquished to severe public pressure.” 

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