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The Black Lives Matter Group in Seattle meets with Mayor Durkan, calls for general strike and march

Black Lives Matter Seattle – King County calls for a state-wide general strike and quiet march on Friday, June 12, the group announced Saturday.

“We encourage everyone in the state of Washington who is able to be there. If you can’t march in Seattle, you need to organize one in your community, “said board member Ebony Miranda at a video conference asking him to attend despite the COVID-19 crisis.

“Anti-blackness is a bigger threat to our survival, and racism itself is its own pandemic. It kills us. We are struggling to survive and prosper. “

The local Black Lives Matter group had previously warned protesters about COVID-1

9 risks.

More details of the June 12 actions have yet to come, according to the group that met Saturday with Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to discuss police reform demands as protests continued over police killings of black people, including George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Marlon Brown, another board member, said the group had begun to establish a common ground with Durkan on certain requirements. He said the mayor made several commitments, though Durkan’s office said discussions were less than clear-cut and other officials should be involved in various decisions.

The Black Lives Matter group demanded that Durkan reduce the Seattle Police Department’s military-style weapons and equipment budget by $ 100 million and invest that money in other needs, such as street development, crisis intervention, mental health disparities, and housing. The mayor agreed to dispose of funds and reinvest them in community needs, Brown said.

But Durkan pledged not to cut $ 100 million from the police department and divert so much money elsewhere, Stephanie Formas, the mayor’s chief of staff, said in a subsequent interview. The police department does not spend $ 100 million annually on military-style weapons and equipment, Formas said.

Durkan believes some departmental funds should be reduced this year as City Hall tries to close a budget gap created by the pandemic, Formas said.

The mayor, in principle, agrees that Seattle should redirect some funds from military-style police surveillance to outreach, intervention and rescheduling programs, Formas said, noting that some such programs are already included in the police department.

Finally, Durkan believes $ 100 million will not be enough to meet all the needs of the community, according to Formas.

The mayor is proposing Seattle budgets to be changed by the city council. King County oversees public health programs.

Brown said Durkan pledged to demand that police face demonstrations to keep their body cameras turned on throughout their shifts, with more details to come. Formas said the mayor intends to “fast-track” the political work. Durkan also agreed to set up a Seattle commission for black leaders, Brown said.

Brown said there was more discussion on further issues. The Black Lives Matter group is calling on City Hall to end homeless plea bargains, drop a legal challenge to King County’s new mortality police shooting investigation process, and the mandate community’s oversight of the police union’s contract negotiations.

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