Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city will not be accepting federal troops to move out protesters who are occupying the area in front of a downtown police station.
“The threat to invade Seattle – to divide and incite violence in our city – is not only unwelcome, it would be illegal,” Durkan said at a news conference Thursday.
President Trump tweeted earlier Thursday to Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will.”
Durkan said the overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.
“One of the things this President will never understand is that listening to the community is not a weakness,” Durkan said. “It's a strength.”
The Seattle Police Department East Precinct building was emptied after crowd control barriers in front of the building were removed. Police Chief Carmen Best said their efforts to ease tensions have not been reciprocated.
“Instead of marching, the protesters, after complaining about police barricades, established their own barricades,” Best said.
Durkan said he believed the Capitol Hill protests are not more dangerous than demonstrations that regularly occur in the community.
“I've got news for people: It's been ‘autonomous’ my whole lifetime,” said Durkan. “It is not an armed Antifa militia no-go zone.”