SEATTLE (AP) – Crews arrived with heavy equipment arriving early Friday in Seattle’s ‘occupied’ protest zone, apparently ready to dismantle the barriers set up by protesters, but ceased operations when protesters resisted, including on top of some of the the improvised structures.
Stefanie Formas, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jenny Durkan, said the goal is to improve access for neighborhood residents. She said city officials would discuss the plans with protest organizers later on Friday morning.
The collective of protesters, activists, educators, and volunteers in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest was created after clashes with police gassed people with tear gas protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Durkan expressed support for the protest, calling it “a peaceful expression of the collective grief of our community and their desire to build a better world.”
But after several recent shootings in the area, Durkan said this week that the city would cut off the protest zone, initially by encouraging protesters to leave, and that police would return to a nearby district they had left after clashes with protesters.
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