“CHOP,” Seattle’s lawless Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, is no longer occupied.
The “Solidarity Committee” of CHOP, the six-block cop-free area previously named CHAZ for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, addressed their “Comrades in the struggle” on Twitter Wednesday to break the news: “The CHOP project is now concluded.”
An important message from #CHOP #CHOPSeattle. Please amplify. Thank you for your support over the last two weeks. #ChopWasASuccess #CHOPcomms #CHOPCHAZ ☂️☂️☂️ #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/7e5ISrWvX6
— Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (Official Account) (@CHOPOfficialSEA) June 24, 2020
“Over the last two weeks, we achieved what no one thought possible. We successfully built a self-governing community and convinced city leaders to enact meaningful police reform, including substantial budget cuts to the SPD,” the committee said of their “beloved CHOP,” where very few demonstrators remain. The committee noted that their morning “census” revealed fewer than two dozen CHOP occupants near the police precinct and only 11 near Seattle’s Space Needle.
“Thank you to everyone for your support over the last two weeks and congratulations on your victories. You should feel proud!” the statement continued, accompanied by the hashtag #ChopWasASuccess on the announcement tweet.
While the committee championed CHOP’s victory in convincing Seattle authorities to cut the police budget, their achievement was far from monumental. Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed a $20 million, or 5 percent, cut to the Seattle Police Department’s budget as part of a plan to remedy the city’s $378 million budget gap resulting from increased Wuhan virus response spending and plummeting revenue. This is a far cry from CHOP occupants’ demands for a 50 percent, or over $200 million, budget cut — and not even close to “defunding the police.”
So it remains unclear as to which “success” the committee is referring.
Was it the wildly successful community garden?
A homeless Chad has taken over the garden in CHAZ and destroyed it. pic.twitter.com/7Cv4LGRhgH
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 13, 2020
Or perhaps the communal food shortages?
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 11, 2020
In discussing CHOP’s success, one must not overlook its demonstrable safety and harmony.
#BREAKING: 1 dead, one critical in early morning shooting at Seattle protest zone known as CHOP; police say they attempted to respond but were met by a “violent crowd” & victims were taken to hospital by ‘CHOP medics’ pic.twitter.com/jj7EaqOeRD
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 20, 2020
CHOP leaders must not have heard about the alleged sexual assault that occurred in the encampment, when a man lured a deaf woman into his tent, tried to kiss her, and covered her mouth and told her not to scream while he climbed on top of her and tried to take off her clothes. After a medic intervened, he even tried to drag the victim back into his tent.
The Seattle police chief gave reporters quite a list of crimes that had occurred within CHOP, including shootings that left one person dead and more injured, arson, burglary, an assault, a rape, and destroyed property, according to NBC News.
So far, about a dozen residents and businesses have sued the city over the anarchic zone that violated their constitutional property rights, and one shooting victim is reportedly considering suing the police, which would boil down to another lawsuit against the city.
CHOP’s Solidarity Committee concluded its announcement by urging onlookers not to “let the momentum die” — and of course by endorsing Joe Biden for president and rallying behind Jay Inslee and Mayor Durkan.
They came, they saw, they killed and raped and pillaged. What #Success.