For Americans across the country, the nationwide protests against the murder of George Floyd by police symbolize a long-awaited shift in public opinion regarding the epidemic of police brutality against Black Americans.
Some of these protests have transformed their communities.
In Seattle, Washington the East Precinct of the city's Police Department has been abandoned, leaving protesters in a six-block commune with no police presence or oversight. They've since developed food co-ops and painted murals. Businesses in the area have reopened, with some of these businesses declaring themselves community centers in support of the effort.
Protesters have barricaded the perimeters, deeming it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ.
after an 8 day standoff, law enforcement has abandoned the east precinct. this is what it looks like now!a whole ne… https://t.co/aN9ylrpuIO— cam 🦋كاميرون (@cam 🦋كاميرون)1591858671.0
The development comes as President Donald Trump is seeking to establish himself as the so-called "law and order" candidate—even if that just means sporadically tweeting the words "LAW & ORDER!" to his 80+ million followers.
The President is none too happy that CHAZ hasn't been met with further police aggression, blaming the city's Democratic governor, Jay Inslee, and its mayor, Jenny Durkan.
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Co… https://t.co/HOIkLdX1ug— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1591844506.0
He referred to the CHAZ inhabitants as "domestic terrorists."
Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1591846691.0
Inslee wasn't having any of it.
A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. “Stoop” tweeting. https://t.co/O6i04qmZ9v— Jay Inslee (@Jay Inslee)1591851091.0
Nor was Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who told the President to go back to his bunker.
Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/H3TXduhlY4— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@Mayor Jenny Durkan)1591847942.0
Though the President and his supporters are painting the development as a hostile takeover of Seattle by violent domestic terrorists, most of those on the ground say that the commune is a welcome change from the weeks of tear gas and unrest in the area.
If you want to know what the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is like, it’s beautiful. #CHAZ https://t.co/v61ECgi7Yv— Sarah Johnson (@Sarah Johnson)1591848835.0
#CHAZ is busier than its first two days. More tables set up. People painting the streets. https://t.co/ZazJfdMqCM— Chase Burns in the CHAZ (@Chase Burns in the CHAZ)1591842873.0
@LindaSuhler @realDonaldTrump @JayInslee Dawg we literally aren't being held hostage by anybody. Trump is lying thr… https://t.co/t3EzHisCWD— Sean Landers (@Sean Landers)1591886283.0
Trump's tweets were met with further mockery.
@realDonaldTrump @JayInslee "Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will." Yeah, because you handled your… https://t.co/XtvdG2PVuT— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@Mrs. Betty Bowers)1591845004.0
@realDonaldTrump @JayInslee You’re literally the most ridiculous tweeter ever.— Holly Marie Combs (@Holly Marie Combs)1591860030.0
@realDonaldTrump Nah, Spanky. Domestic terrorists brandish guns, and shoot up schools, and discos, and movie theat… https://t.co/CDgHtqY6IP— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1591849518.0
@realDonaldTrump It's better for America that you go and sleep in bunker without Internet connection.— Pantomath (@Pantomath)1591846863.0
it's unclear how long the CHAZ will stay in Seattle, but what's clear is that the situation—for now—is as nonviolent as it's been in over a week.