Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee have both issued scathing responses to President Donald Trump's threats to intervene in the city's protests. Late on Wednesday night, the president took to Twitter to call protesters in Seattle "domestic terrorists," and suggesting Inslee and Durkan were incapable of stopping them. Both of them answered with tweets of their own, including Durkan's mocking: "Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker."
Seattle is still seeing massive protests as well as violent clashes between police and activists in the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement around the country. On Friday, May 29, protesters surrounded the White House, prompting Trump to moved to a secure bunker beneath the building, according to a report by USA Today. As reports of this move circulated, Trump tried to change the narrative, saying that he just so happened to visit the bunkers for an "inspection" that night. Now, he is continuing with his forceful rhetoric about Black Lives Matter protesters.
"Radical Left Governor [Jay Inslee] and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before," the president tweeted on Wednesday. "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST! Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!"
The tweet has since been deleted, but not before Inslee mocked the typo near the end. In his response, he wrote: "A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state's business. Stoop (sic) tweeting."
Protesters are calling for massive overhauls to policing and the criminal justice system in general in the United States, with one popular rallying cry being: "defund the police." These demonstrators point out the over-sized budget of police departments in many major cities, especially when compared to the poor funding for other social services — many of which they argue would better address the root issue of crime in the first place.
A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. “Stoop” tweeting. https://t.co/O6i04qmZ9v— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) June 11, 2020
Despite the uproar among politicians, the demonstrations have already shown some results, with the Minneapolis City Council agreeing to dismantle the local police department. Now, all eyes are on the city for a model of what this new form of law enforcement could look like.
As for Seattle, the city is still seeing clashes between demonstrators and heavily-armed police, but residents have installed heavy barricades around the Capitol Hill neighborhood, declaring it a police-free "autonomous zone." This radical new community is a controversial experiment in self-governance.