Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Seattle Says It Will Ask Protesters To Voluntarily Leave 'Autonomous Zone.' What Happens If They Don't?

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown - June 23, 2020 at 09:30AM
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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is putting a halt to the city's autonomous zone, an area recently claimed by protesters as a police-free sanctuary within the city. Since it was set up on June 8, the six-block areaalternately referred to as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) or the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP)—went from a "block party atmosphere" to seeing 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson fatally shot within its borders and two others injured in shootings there. "It's time for people to go home," Durkan said on Monday.

She added that Seattle cops would be returning to their precinct in the area but would not be clearing out protesters. "Rather, Durkan said, they'd ask people to leave the area voluntarily at night, offering resources for homeless people and working with community groups to try to cajole people to leave the area," reports The Seattle Times.

Durkan declined to say what city authorities planned to do if people refused their polite requests.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., protesters attempted to tear down a statue of Andrew Johnson that sits in Lafayette Square, a park in front of the White House. After being confronted by police, they declared an area in front of a church there the "Black House Autonomous Zone" (though this appears to be largely symbolic).


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Seattle repealed a law against "loitering" for the purpose of prostitution. The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday to repeal the law, after Councilmembers Alex Pedersen (District 4), Tammy J. Morales (District 2), and Andrew J. Lewis (District 7) requested it be repealed, following a 2018 recommendation from a working group on reentry problems faced by people exiting incarceration. "The prostitution loitering ordinance has a discriminatory legacy that impacted primarily people of color, women and our LGBTQ community," said Lewis in a statement. "I've received hundreds of emails from constituents almost uniformly in favor of repealing these ordinances."


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Pennsylvania requires licensed cosmetologists to prove they have "good moral character." The state has rejected qualified applicants for having any criminal record, no matter what the charges were, the circumstances behind it, or how long ago the offense happened, reports NBC News. And "the moral character provision of Pennsylvania's cosmetology law is one of tens of thousands of regulations used by states and local governments that make it harder for people with criminal records to find work," notes NBC's Tyler Kingkade. "These rules affect about 1 in 3 American adults who have a criminal record and can increase recidivism, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded in a report last year."


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QUICK HITS

  • The Trump administration is extending immigration restrictions put in place in April (which suspended the issuing of most permanent residency visas) and freezing all visas for skilled workers as well, it announced yesterday.
  • Police reform proposals in Congress are supposed to see some action this week:

  • Protecting and serving:


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