THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Seattle officials have begun working with Black-led organizations and “partners in de-escalation” to phase out the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan stated that “it’s time for people to go home.” The announcement came following news of a series of shootings within the zone over the weekend.
The CHOP zone has been active since its establishment on June 8. The Mayor asked the protestors to leave the area but also stated there will be additional steps taken to dismantle the protest area if they do not comply. Andrè Taylor, founder of Not This Time, told The Washington Post that the CHOP has reached a crossroads, where it must decide how or whether to work with the city to see that its demands are met.
City leaders have previously faced criticism from numerous sources regarding the handling of the CHOP zone. On June 10, two days after the area was initially established, President Trump tweeted, “Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!” President Trump also criticized Seattle city leaders and Gov. Jay Inslee at his Tusla, Oklahoma, rally, referring to the area as being occupied by “anarchists.”
The city has previously given tacit approval for the protest zone to continue, providing help to reorganize barriers. Durkan vowed to try and meet some of the protesters’ demands, such as increased funding directed toward Black communities, as well as restructuring the Seattle police force.
Shootings Test Viability of Seattle’s Protest ‘Autonomous Zone’ – The New York Times – 6/22/2020 “From my perspective, it’s time for the residents and organizers of CHOP to think about where they are going to go from here to effect policy change,” Ms. Neitzel said on Monday, as Mayor Jenny Durkan tried and failed to broker an end to the standoff with protest leaders. “I don’t think that policy change is going to happen only in the middle of Pine Street.”
Seattle mayor announces city will reclaim police-free autonomous zone taken over by demonstrators – CNN – 6/23/2020 Seattle’s mayor told protesters Monday “it’s time for people to go home” and leave the Capitol Hill neighborhood they have established as an autonomous zone. Demonstrators will not be removed by force, Mayor Jenny Durkan said, but the city will be working with Black-led community organizations to speak with leaders of the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” to persuade them to leave the area.
Seattle’s Anarchy Sets Many Bad Precedents – The Wall Street Journal – 6/22/2020 Antigun liberals and progressives (and all citizens) should call for the immediate arrest of Raz Simone if he really handed out an AR-15 from his trunk to another person. The new gun safety law in Washington mandates that all gun sales or transfers (including gifts or loans of guns) must go through a background check via a licensed gun dealer. On the face of it, Mr. Simone committed an illegal transfer of a gun.
Seattle mayor regrets ‘summer of love’ comment about the CHAZ, wants to dismantle protest after shootings – The Blaze – 6/23/2020 Durkan was previously supportive of the protest, describing it as a “block party” atmosphere and saying protesters might occupy the blocks surrounding a Seattle police precinct for a longer period of time during a “summer of love.” She even defended the protest against criticism from President Donald Trump. Durkan now regrets her choice of words and claimed she was joking when she initially made the comment during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo.
- Ryan Fournier on Twitter 06/22/20: The Mayor of Seattle has just announced that they will dismantle the ‘CHOP’ zone. It took someone getting murdered for them to do this. Disgusting.
- Laura Ingraham on Twitter 06/22/20: Seattle to dismantle the “CHOP zone.” The President outsmarted them on this one. @realDonaldTrump
- MyNorthwest.com 🌲 on Twitter 06/23/20: “Pushing aside the dangerous spectacle CHOP has become, a good idea has emerged from the Black Lives Matter protests locally and nationally: Some kind of social worker embedded program,” writes @jasonrantz
- Future Tense on Twitter 06/23/20: “The one message activists and CHOP visitors I talked with seem to agree on is that Black lives matter, and that CHOP is a symbol of the powerful cultural shift currently happening in the U.S.,” writes @jane_c_hu.