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A group claiming to be behind the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — a six-block area in Seattle where armed protesters have ousted police and seized control — have published a list of demands that amount to a strange mix of anarchy and socialism, with some having absolutely nothing to do with police reform.
The CHAZ group's lengthy list of demands was published on Medium Tuesday and makes just one mention of George Floyd, whose May 25 death in Minneapolis spawned nationwide protests over police treatment of black Americans.
Rather than seeking justice for Floyd's family, the demands seek a wish list of anarchistic and socialistic reforms including the abolishment of the city's police department and its "attached Criminal Justice Apparatus," the end to all use of armed force, widespread wealth redistribution, free college — and a bizarre requirement that hospitals employ "black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients."
Here's what they said
The post's transcribers, @irie_kenya and @AustinCHowe, broke down the demands into four categories: The Justice System, Health and Human Services, Economics, and Education.
"In credit to the people who freed Capitol Hill, this list of demands is neither brief nor simplistic," the Medium post says. "This is no simple request to end police brutality. We demand that the City Council and the Mayor, whoever that may be, implement these policy changes for the cultural and historic advancement of the City of Seattle, and to ease the struggles of its people."
Here are some of the items that follow on the list of justice system demands:
The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.
We demand a retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community ...
We demand the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.
The last item on the justice system list goes full-fledge socialist in stating: "We demand that the funding previously used for Seattle Police be redirected into: A) Socialized Health and Medicine for the City of Seattle. B) Free public housing, because housing is a right, not a privilege. C) Public education, to decrease the average class size in city schools and increase teacher salary. D) Naturalization services for immigrants to the United States living here undocumented. (We demand they be called 'undocumented' because no person is illegal.) E) General community development. Parks, etc."
At this point in the post, things really get zany as the demands stray away from any form of police or criminal justice reform. Under the Economics section, the post states:
We demand the de-gentrification of Seattle, starting with rent control.
We demand the restoration of city funding for arts and culture to re-establish the once-rich local cultural identity of Seattle.
We demand free college for the people of the state of Washington, due to the overwhelming effect that education has on economic success, and the correlated overwhelming impact of poverty on people of color, as a form of reparations for the treatment of Black people in this state and country.
Under the Health and Human Services and Education sections, the demands continue to drift away from anything even remotely related to police and criminal justice reform:
We demand the hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.
We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability ...
We demand that thorough anti-bias training become a legal requirement for all jobs in the education system, as well as in the medical profession and in mass media.
And with that, the criteria for utopia are complete.
CHAZ has caught the attention of President Trump, who referred to the protesters as "domestic terrorists" and "ugly anarchists" in a pair of Wednesday tweets.
The president also called on Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to "take back" the city from the protesters.
"If you don't do it, I will," he threatened.
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