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My roommate and I weren't sure what to think about CHAZ before we went, but now I think it is an extremely effective protest. I'll give you eight reasons ITT.
1. Keeping an area police-free but safe sends the message that we do not need so much policing.
2. Seattle is extremely segregated. That is the most interaction I've seen between BIPOC and white people in this city since I moved here. That alone is good for this movement.
3. There is a sense of community which helps people heal during a difficult time.
4. Civil disobedience is mostly used to make a point. For example, protesters control the police station, but do not burn it down. Instead, they use it as a memorial for Black people who have been murdered by the police.
5. Free social services and food show what the world could be like if we invested in those things.
6. The homeless community blends in with everyone else. Which makes you wonder why we spend so much time policing homelessness instead of integrating the homeless into our communities.
7. Outdoor dancing and art provide safe socially distanced outlets during a stressful time.
8. It is a political hotspot, with speeches, petitions, and voter registration forms to help you participate in the movement more broadly.
Overall I entered a pretty moderate supporter, like cutting SPD funding in half and investing in social services and our Black community. But I left wondering if we can do even better. I'll have to reflect on that.
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