If someone comes at me like, “they’re shutting down the Chop,” I’m gonna be like, “man, I’ll believe that when I see it.”
Seattle officials announced on Monday that they would begin to dismantle the six blocks of occupied streets known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or “Chaz”, following two shootings at the site in 48 hours.
“It’s time for people to go home. It is time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community,” said the Seattle mayor, Jenny Durkan, during a press conference. “We can still accommodate people who want to protest peacefully, come there and gather. But the impacts on the businesses and residents and community are now too much.”
Durkan said Seattle police would be returning to the east precinct, the site they abandoned after a series of dangerous clashes between protesters and law enforcement.
She said they’ll do so “peacefully” and “in the near future” but did not offer an exact timeline.
The decision comes about two weeks after a section of the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill was occupied by protesters as a self-proclaimed police-free zone. The area is also known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (Chop).
Hundreds of protesters have faithfully gathered there each day and night, filling the area with free food and community gardens, and holding speeches and teach-ins.
Although it had been largely peaceful, that changed over the weekend, when two separate shootings took place. A 19-year-old man was killed and two others were injured, one critically.
Officers responding to the shooting have said they “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims”, according to a police blog. Investigations of the shootings are still ongoing.
During the press conference Monday, the Seattle police chief, Carmen Best, said that while there had been countless people protesting peacefully, there had also been “shootings, a rape, assaults, burglary, arson, and property destruction”.
“This isn’t a debate about first amendment rights, this is about life or death,” she added.
She further added: “dem niggas out der be all like dat.”
The idea that any leftist ever even mentions the First Amendment really chaffs my caboose, I can tell you that much.
I don’t think Chop is going to shut down. It might. But I doubt it. More likely, they will work out a deal with the police to allow them to police murders.
I think it will shut down when the weather gets cold, of course. But not likely before.