Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from demonstrations and other events on Thursday, June 11, as the day unfolded.

It has been more than two weeks since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed on May 25 by a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The protests over Floyd’s death, police tactics and systemic racism continue, not just in Washington and the United States, but around the world.

Earlier this week, Seattle police took down barricades near the East Precinct on Capitol Hill and boarded up the building. Since then, protesters have claimed the area, renaming it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). The following graphic shows what this portion of Capitol Hill looks like now.

Throughout Thursday, on this page, we’ll post updates from Seattle Times journalists and others on protests in the Seattle area. Updates from Wednesday can be found here.

If you’ve taken part in these protests, we’d like to hear from you: What has been your experience? What has being out there meant to you? Click here to let us know.

Live updates:

Poets and artists perform on Capitol Hill, sharing experiences and thoughts

Protesters are still sitting at the corner of 12th Avenue and Pine Street in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, cheering — and staying silent at times — as Black poets and artists voice the love, pain and fear they continue to feel.

Community organizer Nikkita Oliver helped facilitate the teach-in, according to multiple livestreams, introducing each artist one by one.

Rio Chanae stepped into the circle of protesters to perform a number of spoken word poems, touching on the terror that exists in catcalling culture and the necessity of "showing up when you're tired."

"I worked a full day before coming out here," Chanae said to the group, before launching into her next poem.

Another artist, Christopher Lee, reminded the crowd the gathering was not a party.

"This was fought for, but it's symbolic," Lee said, gesturing to the Seattle Police East Precinct. "It was not a win by any means. At any point ... They could take this building right back from us."

As Lee began his spoken word piece, the crowd quieted.

"Who in their right mind would murder our leaders for having dreams?" he rapped.

The next poet, Mattie, spoke about their experience as a first-generation child of African immigrants.

"I am a trans, queer single parent and my life matters," Mattie said.

Poets Chelsea and Ebo Barton wrapped up the set of performances before the crowd began to disperse.

—Elise Takahama
Advertising

'This is a story of reparations.' Areas of Cal Anderson transformed into community gardens

Marcus Henderson fills a bucket for water in the new community garden in Cal Anderson park on Thursday. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)
Marcus Henderson fills a bucket for water in the new community garden in Cal Anderson park on Thursday. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

In a grassy area of Cal Anderson park, circles the city mowed to encourage social distancing among visitors have now become community gardens. Tomatoes, herbs and lavender sprout from newly laid soil. The plant starts, like so much else in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, were donated to the new communal effort.

“We’re forced to build new plots because people are giving us so many plants,” said Marcus Henderson, one of a group of people who showed up to the park with the same idea and worked together to create the new gardens.

As night was falling Thursday, the gardeners unrolled chicken wire and poured from watering cans. Using no-till methods, they hope to avoid hitting pipes or anything else that may lie beneath the city park.

Like other acts of “guerilla gardening,” the group is “trying to rethink public spaces into places that also nourish us,” Henderson said.

Throughout the CHAZ, people were careful Thursday to remind each other that despite the festival-like atmosphere, the gathering came about as a protest against police violence and systemic racism and is meant to demand change.

“The real reason I’m inspired by gardening and farming is because it connects us to the land,” Henderson said. “This is a story of reparations.”

Land can offer economic stability and intergenerational wealth to Black people and other people of color, he said.

There is “a history of Black people taken off their land,” from slavery to sharecropping, he said. Then, “finally we managed to scrounge up some money and buy some land started building communities and they burned it down and then created economic structures that supported white farmers. If you really get down to it, it’s all been a fight for the land.”

If they’re allowed to stay long enough to see their new plantings bear fruit, the food will be donated, Henderson said.

“I hope it makes it to that point and the city doesn’t come in and tell us this is a nuisance or that we’re vandalizing this land because I think we’re actually bringing value to this land,” Henderson said.

“We were able to tell the police to leave,” Henderson added. “Maybe we can get to the point where we can challenge the Parks and Recreation to put some of those funds they’re taking away from police into getting people who can actually manage the land.”

—Heidi Groover

Sawant wants to turn East Precinct into community center

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant said on Twitter on Thursday night her office would introduce legislation to convert the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct into a "community center for restorative justice."

The process for converting the precinct should involve Black organizations, those involved in CHAZ, labor unions and others, Sawant said.

Tribal leaders speak to CHAZ protesters about other victims of police brutality

Seattle protesters spent hours adding to their street art — specifically to their "Black Lives Matter" mural — and listening to speakers as night fell on Capitol Hill.

Around 9 p.m., a crowd formed at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Pike Street to listen to a group of tribal members speak about indigenous people killed by police.

"We have to remember this is Duwamish land, that this is stolen land," one speaker said.

Helping facilitate the discussion was Roxanne White, a prominent Seattle activist who works with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.

One woman took the microphone to talk about her father, Cecil D. Lacy Jr., a Tulalip Tribes member who died in 2016 during a late-night struggle with law officers, according to the Everett Herald.

“I didn’t say 'I love you Dad' before he left. ... I wish I could say 'I love you Dad and I miss you,'” the woman said, adding that it's time to “hold police accountable as normal citizens."

—Heidi Groover and Elise Takahama
Advertising

Tacoma woman accused of torching five police vehicles during Seattle protest

A Seattle Police car burns during downtown protest on  May 30. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)
A Seattle Police car burns during downtown protest on May 30. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

A Tacoma woman was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly setting fire to five Seattle police vehicles during a downtown Seattle protest two weekends ago, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Margaret Channon, 25, is accused of of burning police vehicles parked near Sixth Avenue and Pine Street on May 30, the statement said. She was arrested without incident at her Tacoma home.

She is charged by criminal complaint with five counts of arson.

Read the full story here.

—Elise Takahama

Protesters say police officers fired pepper spray as they attempted to leave East Precinct

Things were mostly peaceful in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone early Thursday evening, but there was at least one tense moment between protestors and police, several of whom had returned to the East Precinct on Thursday afternoon.

About 6 p.m., dozens of officers on bicycles and in an unmarked van converged at the barricade at 12th Avenue and East Pike Street – the south entrance of the occupied area that protesters are calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

“It was really startling because they all just showed up at once,” said Zachary Coon, 30, a tech engineer who has been volunteering to support the movement and was monitoring the entrance at the time. “We thought they were going to rush us.”

A team of officers who had been inside the East Precinct were exiting the building, and apparently the arriving officers were assigned to meet and escort them out of the area, Coon said.  As the exiting officers headed southbound, toward the other officers at the intersection, protesters began flanking them and chanting for them to leave, he said. One demonstrator attempted to push a barricade across the sidewalk in front of the officers exiting the zone, Coon said – and that’s when things got confrontational.

“I heard people yelling, and saw some shoving, but it was hard to see exactly what was happening,” said Coon, who videotaped and photographed the encounter. “A couple of people claimed later they were pepper-sprayed.”

One of Coon’s videos, which he provided to The Seattle Times, appears to show at least one officer with a red canister drawn among a group of officers escorting the others out of the zone.

Another witness showed a Seattle Times reporter video and a photo from the scene immediately after the incident took place. In the footage, one nearby demonstrator appeared to have been sprayed.

Protesters were heckling and filming officers as they attempted to leave the precinct along 12th Avenue when officers told the protesters to stay back and shoved them. Two officers then sprayed pepper spray from red canisters, witnesses said.

“We were trying to let them out,” said one protester, who gave only his first name, Dave.

“I don’t see any reason to pepper-spray people. They could’ve just backed off,” Coon said. “The protesters were being confrontational, but so were the police.”

Coon said he and others involved with the movement have tried to secure the precinct by blocking the entrances with fencing and barricades so that demonstrators don’t enter it.

“The organizers here agree we don’t want people going inside,” he said. “I’m not sure what’s going to end up happening here, but it would be great if police just started talking and working with us, rather than being adversarial. They’re posturing.”

Seattle Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Thursday night.

—Lewis Kamb and Heidi Groover

CHAZ protesters: 'We need to have some of our demands met'

Francis Vann, 15, is one of the protesters in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. (Heidi Groover/The Seattle Times)
Francis Vann, 15, is one of the protesters in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. (Heidi Groover/The Seattle Times)

Throughout a warm and peaceful afternoon Thursday, several hundred people mingled in the CHAZ — Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — stopping to observe a memorial to people killed by police, chat in the “conversation cafe” or sign petitions at a booth set up by the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In the park, tents and newly planted gardens offered more signs the group is here to stay.

Francis Vann, a 15-year-old high school freshman, said young people are demanding change inside the newly occupied area and during other recent demonstrations against structural racism and police violence.

“I think a lot of times, the older people criticize the young people for how we choose to show our grief,” Vann said. “It kind of takes a lot to stir up emotions with the young people, but once we’re mad, we’re mad. And we’re mad. It’s the young people’s energy that’s out here and the old people’s wisdom that’s keeping us out here.”

Vann said she wants to see money taken from the Police Department, charges filed against officers who kill and better discipline policies for police. Although there are discussions in the CHAZ about the various details of running a new community, taking over the area “needed to happen,” Vann said. “It says a lot that the (Seattle Police Department East Precinct) building hasn’t been burned down already … We want things to be peaceful.”

But for police to get the East Precinct building back, “we need to have some of our demands met,” Vann said.

“My grandparents marched and they were scared of getting dogs on them and tear gas,” Vann said. “Tear gas isn’t going to hurt me, isn’t going to stop me. I’m young. I just really want a change.”

Near the front of the precinct, where speakers have gathered throughout the afternoons this week to share an open mic for brief speeches, Roma McGee, 38, said there must be an end to structural racism in the health care system as well as the justice system.

McGee, who is disabled, said she has seen “so many barriers trying to get the proper care I need” while she has seen white people have an easier time getting help.

Police departments should not be abolished, but training and accountability must improve, she said.

“People are tired because we have tried to be peaceful with the police. We have tried to protest: ‘Not another one. Not another one. Not another one.’”

—Heidi Groover
Advertising

How the Black Lives Matter street mural came together on Seattle’s Capitol Hill

“Black Lives Matter” is painted Thursday on East Pine Street in Seattle, on a block that is part of what protesters have named the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
“Black Lives Matter” is painted Thursday on East Pine Street in Seattle, on a block that is part of what protesters have named the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Kimisha Turner’s brush boldly stroked black paint around a cardboard cutout shaped like an arrow to create the geometric figures within the big “B” – the first letter of the new block-long mural emerging across the concrete on Seattle’ Capitol Hill, capturing a moment both in history and art.

From Turner’s “B,” near 10th and East Pine, 15 more white block letters measuring 19 feet from top to bottom, neatly spread 177 feet due east along East Pine Street, spelling out the cause that’s brought thousands of people to this protest on a hill:

B L A C K  L I V E S  M A T T E R, the letters read.

Throughout Thursday afternoon, artists – most of them Black — crafted their own unique renderings within each letter of the mural, articulating through artistic expression what the moment means to them.

The sprawling new street mural took shape throughout the night — from Turner’s B, all the way to the final R at 11th Avenue, which marks the block surrounding Seattle Police’s East Precinct that demonstrators now occupy and call the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

Read the full story here.

—Lewis Kamb

King County Metro says its buses will no longer deliver law enforcement officers to protests

King County Metro Transit says its buses will no longer deliver law enforcement officers to political protests and demonstration sites.

The decision, announced Thursday by General Manager Rob Gannon, responds to public reaction, since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

During related protests in Seattle, Metro approved requests to transport officers from Seattle, nearby cities, the King County Sheriff’s Department and Washington State Patrol on Saturday, May 30 and Monday, June 1.

Officers also traveled in bicycles and SUVs, while some from outside Seattle reached Westlake Park on May 30 within military-style SWAT vehicles.

Metro buses weren’t used to transport arrested citizens, Gannon said.

Metro told Seattle Police Department on June 3 it would no longer facilitate requests to carry police, and law enforcement must go through the county’s Emergency Operation Center, Gannon said.  Since then, he said, Metro decided that even if the emergency center asks, it won’t deliver law enforcement to demonstrations and protests.

Gannon said the county considered social justice goals that include dismantling racism, and  “the role that law enforcement has played historically in our nation and continues to represent for many within the communities we are most called to serve.”

The new policy will still allow Metro’s involvement “if public safety demanded, such as following an earthquake,” he wrote.

Far back in 1999, during the World Trade Organization protests in downtown Seattle, police did take handcuffed protesters and a Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalist to jail, via transit bus.

This spring, bus drivers in Minneapolis, New York and a few other cities have refused to transport demonstrators to jail.

King County buses have also been used over the years to deliver officers to festivals, marches and parades.

—Mike Lindblom

Black Lives Matter march Friday will be silent to honor those who've died, reduce coronavirus spread

Black Lives Matter Seattle - King County reminded those who plan to join the organization's march on Friday that the demonstration will be silent and Black-led.

“We want this to be a moment to honor and hold space and mourn those who’ve lost their lives to police brutality and institutional racism in this country," chair Ebony Miranda said in a video news conference. A silent march will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Miranda said.

Black people and youth will lead the march, which will leave Judkins Park at 2 p.m., Miranda said.

The organization said it has received donations of water, food and PPE that will allow people to march safely. Leaders are also calling for a statewide general strike along with the march Friday.

Black Lives Matter Seattle - King County will be distributing donations received Friday to other organizations, including the Lavender Rights Project, a civil-rights law firm that supports trans people, as well as local Black media including the South Seattle Emerald and other outlets.

—Heidi Groover
Advertising

Police entering precinct, but CHAZ remains peaceful

On the fourth day of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, the group of demonstrators occupying the area near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct continued to speak about dismantling racism and hashing out the logistics of holding on to the newly declared Free Capitol Hill.

Police have said they intend to return to the boarded-up precinct, and Chief Carmen Best was at the site Thursday morning. But they have not set a date or stated clearly whether they plan to force people to leave and how.

At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, at one entrance to the area, demonstrators shouted at two Seattle police officers to leave. To the south, on another edge of the six-block zone, an officer entering a side door of the precinct spoke to a protester who criticized the department’s recent use of tear gas and pepper spray in the neighborhood during earlier demonstrations.

Nearby, speakers took turns on a microphone discussing their demands and how to address the police presence. Down the street, between 10th and 11th on Pine, artists continued painting a block-long mural on the street reading, "Black Lives Matter."

Watch the Black Lives Matter speakers here.

—Heidi Groover

Demonstrators rally at Capitol to urge police reforms

OLYMPIA – Several hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday afternoon on the Capitol steps calling for reforms to end systemic racism in policing and the courts.

Sitting peacefully on the north steps of the Capitol with signs saying Black Lives Matter, the demonstrators heard from several speakers. Workers in tents erected nearby prepared food for the crowd.

“Basically we’re here to stand up for Black people and stand up against police brutality,” said Erin Sarvis, one of the people who worked to organize the rally.

A 24-year-old Tacoma resident who is Black, Sarvis said she became active in the effort just five days ago and attended demonstrations in her city. She formed a Facebook group titled The New Generation 2.0, she said, which already has 500 members.

Sarvis said she wants to see several law enforcement reforms, including mandated body cameras and annual mental-health assessments for law enforcement officers around the state. Sarvis said she also wants an end to the use of tear gas against demonstrators.

The crowd also heard from Don Rivers, a longshot Democratic challenger to Gov. Jay Inslee in the August primary election.

“The pain that a Black man goes through matters,” Rivers said. “The pain that a Black woman goes through matters.”

Demonstrations Thursday brought some security personnel with them, Sarvis said, after they had been threatened by white counter-demonstrators in Tacoma.

The demonstration also had “peacekeepers” intended to keep the crowd calm, she said. “We know we’re angry, and we know we’re upset, but we do not want to be violent,” she said. “Unless provoked.”

—Joe O'Sullivan

Neither Seattle mayor nor police chief plan to resign

Despite calls to resign over their handling of protests against racial injustice and police violence that have resulted in tense escalations between officers and civilians over the past two weeks, neither Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan nor Seattle police Chief Carmen Best plan to resign from their posts.

"No and no," Durkan said when asked in a news conference Thursday.

Durkan and Best addressed their management of the Seattle protests in response to recent killings of Black people at the hands of police. Handling of the protests has drawn national attention, including from President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted a string of condemnations of Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday night. In one Tweet, he implied that national troops would descend on the city.

In response, Durkan said "it is unconstitutional and illegal to send the military" to Seattle and "there is no imminent threat of an invasion."

The mayor and police chief also responded to questions about the use of tear gas against protesters in Capitol Hill this past weekend. The use came after Best pledged to ban the use of tear gas on protesters, except for situations that caused "life safety" concerns.

Best said it was her decision to deploy tear gas, after a man drove into a crowd of protesters, shot another man and started waving a gun around, and she "owns" the decision.

—Michelle Baruchman
Advertising

Police walk back report that Capitol Hill protesters extorted businesses

The Seattle Police Department walked back its claim, widely repeated in the news media, that denizens of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone are extorting businesses.

"That has not happened affirmatively," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best in a news conference Thursday afternoon, adding that the police department had based earlier claims on anecdotal reports, including in the news and on social media. "We haven't had any formal reports of this occurring."

That contradicts earlier statements from the police.

In a news conference Wednesday, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Deanna Nollette said police have heard from Capitol Hill community members that some protesters have asked business owners to pay a fee to operate in a roughly six-block area around the precinct. Best repeated the claim in a video address to officers Thursday morning.

The police narrative rang false to many in the Capitol Hill business community. Restaurant owners said they hadn't heard any reports of extortion in the Autonomous Zone. On the contrary: Sales are strong and the increase in walk-up business is cutting down on delivery costs.

"This protest has not hurt us at all," said Bok a Bok Chicken co-owner Brian O'Connor. When he came to the Autonomous Zone Wednesday, rather than extortion, he said he was met with an offer of a free bagel-and-cheese sandwich.

The claim seems to have gained traction after it was published in conservative blog The Post Millennial, in an article written by former Seattle City Council candidate Ari Hoffman. The article quoted unnamed police officers who alleged protesters were extorting businesses for protection money. Hoffman said his sources were "rock solid" and that he had first heard of the alleged extortion on conservative talk radio station AM 770 KTTH.

The claim was later repeated by a commenter under the name "Marcus S." on the Capitol Hill Seattle blog, and in a tweet by Andy Ngo, editor-at-large of The Post Millennial.

Apart from those sources, Christina Arrington, who heads the Capitol Hill branch of the Greater Seattle Business Association, said she has had "no other indications that this is taking place." The GSBA "found no evidence of this occurring," the group tweeted, based on conversations with area business.

The Seattle Times, among other local news outlets, repeated Nollette's claims that the police had received reports of extortion from community members.

This article has been updated to include information from an interview with Hoffman.

—Katherine K. Long

Trump threatens to 'take back' Seattle where protesters set up 'autonomous zone'

After days of clashes with protesters outside the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, authorities backed down on Monday, removing barricades and boarding up the building. Since then, protesters have moved in, proclaiming the area the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, where there are no police, food is free and documentaries are screened at night.

To some protesters, it’s a first step toward their demands to defund the police and end racial injustice.

But President Donald Trump suggested another term for the demonstrators late Wednesday: “Domestic Terrorists.” Trump blasted Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Twitter, threatening federal action if local leaders don’t “take back” the city.

“Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before,” Trump tweeted. “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”

Both Durkan and Inslee swiftly hit back at Trump.

“A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business. ‘Stoop’ tweeting,” Inslee wrote on Twitter, mocking Trump for a misspelling in his tweet.

Durkan tweeted: “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker,” referring to when Trump was rushed to a safe room in the White House last month during protests over the death of George Floyd.

—The Washington Post

Chief Carmen Best tells Seattle police officers the decision to leave East Precinct was "an insult"

In a message to Seattle Police Department officers posted in a YouTube video on Thursday, Chief Carmen Best tells the force she's angry about the city's decision to retreat from the East Precinct on Capitol Hill.  The decision felt like "an insult" to officers who worked for nearly two weeks to defend the property, she said.

"The decision to board up the precinct, our precinct, our home, the first precinct I worked in... was not my decision," she said.

"You fought for days to protect it. I asked you to stand on that line, day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened and in some cases hurt.. and then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community.

"Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure... I'm angry about how this all came about."

In response to Best's video message, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said, "It didn't ever have to come to that. If people were allowed to march by the building from the start, it would not have come to this point."

Michael Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, said on FOX News that the retreat was "unbelievable to us."

 

—Christine Clarridge
Advertising

New CHAZ website answers questions about border checks, food, leadership

A new website has been created for the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ.

The home page says "YOU ARE NOW LEAVING THE USA" and "WELCOME TO FREE CAPITOL." It  states the currently understood mission of CHAZ and answers some most-asked questions, such as whether there are border checkpoints, whether there are official leaders and whether folks ran out of food. (The answers are no, no and no.)

"Established on June 8th 2020 in the midst of nationwide civil unrest triggered by the murder of George Floyd the CHAZ is still young. Within the self governed blocks you can find food vendors, daily marches, public film screenings and community councils hosted throughout the day," the site says.

The  site says the six-block section around the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct, claimed as CHAZ, was seized by anarchists, racial equality demonstrators and other protesters after it was "left to rot" by city officials.

You can read more information on the protesters' demands and check out a gallery of images from inside. A livestream hosted by SeattleProtest2020 can be viewed as well.

—Christine Clarridge

Protesters topple Jefferson Davis statue in Virginia capital

Protesters pulled down a century-old statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the former capital of the Confederacy, adding it to the list of Old South monuments removed or damaged around the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The 8-foot bronze figure on grand Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., had been all but marked for removal by city leaders in a matter of weeks, but demonstrators took matters into their own hands Wednesday night, tying ropes around its legs and toppling it from its towering stone pedestal onto the pavement.

A crowd cheered and police looked on as the monument — installed by a Confederate heritage group in 1907 during the Jim Crow era — was towed away.

There were no immediate reports of any arrests.

The toppling came on the same day NASCAR banned Confederate flags — a common sight for decades in a sport steeped in Southern tradition — at its stock car races. Also this week, the streaming service HBO Max temporarily removed the 1939 movie “Gone With the Wind,” criticized for romanticizing slavery and the Civil War-era South, to add historical context.

In the weeks since Floyd’s death under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee set off protests and sporadic violence across the U.S. over the treatment of Black people, many Confederate monuments have been damaged or brought down, some toppled by demonstrators, others removed by local authorities.

Read the story here.

—The Associated Press

Young people are protesting, but will they vote?

Young adults have filled streets across the country on a scale not seen since the 1960s to protest for racial justice after the death of George Floyd. But whether that energy translates to increased turnout in November is another question.

They could make a difference in the presidential race — polls show President Donald Trump is deeply unpopular with young voters — with control of the Senate and hundreds of local races also at stake. But some activists are concerned their focus will be on specific causes instead of voting.

“In a normal election year, turning out the youth vote is challenging,” said Carolyn DeWitt, executive director of Rock the Vote, which works to build political power among young people. “That’s even more true now. People’s minds are not on it.”

Voters under 30 have historically turned out to vote at much lower rates than older voters, though the 2018 midterm elections saw the highest turnout in a quarter-century among voters ages 18-29 — a spike attributed in part to youth-led movements like March for Our Lives against gun violence.

There are signs young people are getting more politically engaged. DeWitt said more people registered to vote through Rock the Vote’s online platforms last week — some 50,000 — than in any other week this year. The organization’s social-media accounts had as many impressions between Monday and Friday of last week as it typically has in a month, with more than 1 million.

“It will just be incredibly important to us to make sure we’re protesting now and voting later,” DeWitt said.

Read more here.

—The Associated Press
Advertising

Welcome to the CHAZ, where protesters gather without Seattle police

Much is free — speech, snacks, movies — in the newly named Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a protest society born from the demonstrations that pushed the Seattle Police Department out of its East Precinct building.

Protesters spent last night listening to speakers, dancing and painting a giant message on Pine Street, with a small concert popping up in one spot. See how the day unfolded.

Catch up on the past 24 hours

Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered an independent probe into the killing of Manuel Ellis by Tacoma police, after new revelations that Pierce County sheriff’s deputies and a State Patrol trooper were at the scene. Ellis was killed March 3 while being arrested and restrained.

Seattle's protests drew a threat from President Donald Trump, who tweeted yesterday that he'll "take back" the city if Inslee and Mayor Jenny Durkan won't. Inslee and Durkan fired back with their own tweets.

How the Seattle Police Department uses its money: The city is spending more on police this year than its general-fund spending, combined, on arts, culture, recreation, health and human services, neighborhoods and development. Details of where the money goes are emerging as the City Council begins a budget "inquest."

Amazon is halting police use of its facial recognition technology for a year. The controversial technology has been shown to misidentify people of color more frequently than white people.

Hundreds of faculty and students are calling on UW to cut ties with Seattle police, as Seattle School Board members also push to get officers out of the schools.

The man who shot a protester on Capitol Hill last weekend likely provoked the incident, prosecutors said as charging documents painted a picture of what happened. Separately, a North Carolina man faces federal charges, accused of bringing a homemade shotgun to the Seattle protests "in order to kill police officers."

Confederate symbols are toppling. Protesters tore down a famed statue last night in Richmond, Va. — the former capital of the Confederacy — and NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. But Trump says he won't consider changing the names of the 10 Army bases named for Confederate Army officers.

And retailers are changing their ways. Walmart says it will no longer lock up hair and beauty products sold predominantly to Black people, and Sephora is among companies signing a new "15% Pledge" to carry more Black-owned brands.

—Kris Higginson