Updated: Jun 24
The devastating video of the moments leading up to George Floyd’s death at the hands of police sparked protests and new movements all over the USA and even in Europe and Canada. If you are not familiar with the George Floyd case, you can check it out here: https://www.thepoliticblog.com/post/police-brutality-george-floyd. Floyd’s hometown of Minneapolis was one of the first to go up in flames, attaining 55 million dollars of damage to buildings due to the protests. In Minneapolis, the protests began somewhat peaceful and then led to riots and looting. Many people discouraged all of the riots and mentioned that it’s not the way to get anything done. Honestly, this is an ignorant statement. Throughout history, being peaceful has not gotten much done. For example, women fighting for their rights had to resort to riots and that is how they made progress. Many also like to argue that MLK would not have condoned rioting, which is somewhat incorrect. He may have advocated for more peaceful protests, but he did mention how riots were for the voices of the unheard which is 100% correct and represented by the current actions going on in the US. Anyways, despite Luther being peaceful, he still ended up being killed. Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning looting and the destruction of small family-owned businesses, however, these actions have brung even more awareness to this subject.
In Seattle, a liberal city, these protests have gone to the next level. Citizens in Seattle who oppose police brutality, which radiates racism, have created the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” which is a neighborhood turned into a rallying point. This neighborhood is east of downtown Seattle and right by an abandoned police station. Businesses within the neighborhood have remained open and mostly untouched, demonstrating how protests aren’t destructive when police are not involved. Additionally, every day several speakers voice their demands. Trump has threatened to invade Seattle and he has remarked the neighborhood as rampant with anarchism. Officials in Washington have reprimanded Trump’s claims and are attempting to obtain some kind of peaceful resolution. These officials also agree that it is not necessary to invade Seattle with the military. Police officers have not had very positive views on leaving their station at Capitol Hill and have claimed to have been assaulted by citizens. I don’t see a problem with this. First of all, the police are trained to deal with these things, and second of all they have been assaulting wrongfully convicted citizens for many years, which goes against their slogan “to protect and serve.” Adding on, the ultimate goal of these protesters is to turn the police station into community service with their $$ going to the health and social services.
These protests mark the vast passion which has been sparked by the death of George Floyd, representing the last straw. Although the protests have gotten violent, this is the only way to make effective change. This year will go down in history and hopefully, real change will be implemented in the fight against police brutality and racial injustice. Thank you for reading my piece about the radical events in Seattle, stay tuned for more!