Thousands marched peacefully from Seattle’s Capitol Hill to City Hall on Wednesday, chanting demands to “defund the police.” The demonstrators gathered at Cal Anderson Park, the site of repeated clashes with police over the past several nights, and made their way through the neighborhood toward downtown Seattle.
Andrea Hart stood outside her building near Broadway and Pine with her 5-year-old daughter, holding a sign directed at police that said, “Kids live here — no tear gassing.”
“The gas is coming in our buildings. My daughter and her brother were sleeping when they were gassing,” she said. “This is unnecessary. They don't need to treat protesters expressing their First Amendment rights like enemies of the state.”
The marchers paused several times along the way, including to applaud health workers who had come out from the Polyclinic and Swedish Medical Center in solidarity with the protests.
There was little visible police presence along the route, until they reached City Hall, which was guarded by barricades and multiple lines of Seattle police officers. Demonstrators sat down on the street, blanketing several blocks of James Street and Fourth Avenue. Speakers addressed the crowd, while inside the building, several protest organizers met with city and police officials.
Demands to "defund the police" ranged from calls to disarm and demilitarize police responses to signs that that said, outright, "Abolish the Police."