The Uneasy Existence Of Seattle's Protest Camp, 'Remember Who we're fighting for
The fiery scenes of just over a week ago seem like another lifetime in the sprawling protest camp built around the Seattle Police Department's vacated station in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Tear gas has given way to the smoke from a hot dog stand. Makeshift clinics now stand on the streets where young protesters were injured by flash-bang grenades. Music — calypso on one corner, Public Enemy on another — mingles with the sound of speeches about defunding the police. Selfies are snapped in front of signs welcoming visitors to "Free Capitol Hill."
Lest the message get lost in the new street-fair vibe, there's also a candlelit memorial for George Floyd and other black people killed by police. "Remember who we're fighting for" reads a large poster. The reminder speaks to the unease many black protesters express about the protest zone and its use of Black Lives Matter slogans. Underneath the peace-and-love vibe is an undercurrent of anxiety that this won't end well, and that black people might get the blame.