Protesters Make Last Stand As Seattle Police Dismantle Violent District (+Video)

Protesters Make Last Stand As Seattle Police Dismantle Violent District (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Video footage released Wednesday shows protesters scrambling to barricade the streets in Seattle, US state of Washington, as the Seattle Police Department cleared out the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’.

Seattle police officers descended on the so-called ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’ (CHAZ, or CHOP) on Wednesday morning, clearing out the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters who had occupied the six-block area for nearly a month. Columns of cops in riot gear, backed by officers on bicycles and in armored vehicles, arrested those who refused to leave, and set about removing tents and debris from the garbage-strewn streets, RT reported.

Some refused to go silently. As police directed a crowd of stragglers to move, they formed a human wall in front of the police ranks, before toppling graffiti-tagged port-a-potties and forming makeshift barricades.

“This is a peaceful protest!” one demonstrator shouted, though it was unclear if she was trying to calm her comrades or the police.

As police and city workers swept through the area, they discovered homemade spike strips, designed to puncture vehicle tires.

Several reporters on the scene described the hangers-on throwing traffic cones at the riot cops, but across the short-lived anarchist encampment, officers retook the streets with little effort, thanks to overwhelming numbers and equipment.

By 7:45am, police had arrested 29 people for “failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault.” One of the arrestees was found with a large knife and improvised bat when he was taken into custody.

Once described by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan as a “summer of love,” the CHAZ (or CHOP) has degenerated in recent weeks into a hotspot of violence. Durkan gave the order to clear the zone on Wednesday morning, after two black teenagers were shot on Monday, one fatally. Police say two people have died since activists first took control of the zone in early June, and multiple overdoses, assaults, and instances of vandalism have been reported.

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