Retailers and Residents Sue Seattle, Claim Protests Are Causing ‘Ever-Increasing’ Economic Woes
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A coalition of retailers, landlords, and residents in Seattle filed a lawsuit against the city on Wednesday, arguing that they had suffered "great harm" from an "occupied" protest zone.
Since June 8, numerous demonstrators have been stationed in multiple blocks around the Seattle Police Department's East Prescient. Demonstrators have designated the area as a Capital Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). In the lawsuit filed with the United States District Court for the western district of Washington, the plaintiffs state that they support Black Lives Matter and understand the importance of fighting racial injustice and police brutality. However, they claim that the "city's decision to abandon and close its neighborhood" has created financial difficulties and challenges for everyday life.
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"The owners, businesses, and residents of the region are experiencing more and more property damage and economic loss every day CHOP exists in their neighborhood, all because of the city's active support, encouragement, and support for the occupation," the Laut file said The plaintiffs experienced difficulties such as loss of revenue, loss of value and property damage.
The lawsuit alleges in particular that the city has assisted CHOP demonstrators in providing them with public toilets, stronger barriers, and medical care, and that the Seattle Police Department will only enter the area if it is a "life-threatening" crime acts. In addition, companies state that customers cannot visit due to blocked access routes and that delivery services either cannot or do not want to enter the zone. Some companies also claim that they were threatened when trying to remove graffiti from their outposts.
While the city allowed the protests to continue for about two weeks, Mayor Jenny Durkan said this week that it was time for protesters to go home on consecutive nights after three shootings in the zone. Durkan did not give an exact date by which the demonstrators would have to go home, although she said that the demonstrators would first be asked to go with the police to return to the area.
The plaintiffs are demanding compensation for loss of business, deprivation of property rights and property damage. They also call for the resumption of full public access to the area.
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