Seattle Mayor: CHAZ Is ‘More Like A Block Party’ Than An ‘Armed Takeover’

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told CNN host Chris Cuomo that the six-block autonomous zone in her city known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) is “more like a block party atmosphere” than an “armed takeover.”

Cuomo introduced the Thursday night “Cuomo Prime Time” segment by bringing up President Donald Trump’s criticism of the activists as “domestic terrorists” and his suggestion that Durkan “take back” her city.

Durkan contended that the president “is perhaps not getting an accurate or truthful picture” of the goings-on in CHAZ.


“We’ve got four blocks in Seattle that you just saw pictures of that is more like a block party atmosphere,” she said. “It’s not an armed take over. It’s not a military hunta. We will make sure that we can restore this but we have block parties and the like in this part of Seattle all the time. It’s known for that.”

Arguing that there’s “no threat right now to the public,” Durkan called Trump’s threat to take back the city “illegal and unconstitutional.”

“The counter will be, block parties don’t take over a municipal building let alone a police station and destroy it, basically thumbing their nose at any sense of civic control,” Cuomo said, pushing back. “Do you believe that you have control of your city and that you would be able to clear those streets? Because you haven’t.”

“We do,” the Seattle mayor replied. “And the chief of police was in that precinct today with her command staff looking and assessing operational plans. But we saw that it was a point of conflict night after night between the police department and protesters and we wanted to deescalate that and what we decided the best way was to reopen the streets and that itself ended up with some ramifications for the precinct to remove anything that was valuable out of that building.” (RELATED: ‘Closest I’ve Seen To Our Country Becoming A Lawless State’: Seattle Police Union President Rips Mayor’s Defense Of CHAZ)

“But we will make sure that all of Seattle is safe,” she insisted. “We take public safety seriously. But the description the president has given is not only wrong. But if it were right, his remedy is wrong. You don’t dominate. Remember why we’re here. You know, we’re here because the nation saw Mr. Floyd murdered and that lit a match across this country. And we have to acknowledge and know that we have a system that is built on systemic racism and we have to dismantle that system piece by piece.”

Later in the interview, Durkan responded to a question from Cuomo about how long the situation could last by say, “I don’t know. We could have the summer of love.”