CHOP organizers have delivered the final blow to the two-week-long protest in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, asking the remaining protesters to please pack up and leave, and announcing that the “mission” of CHOP is shifting to its “next phase.”
Fox News reports that in a statement addressed to “comrades in the struggle,” CHOP organizers and at least one anti-police brutality activist ordered CHOP residents to vacate the six-block “autonomous zone” and return home in order to engage more fully in the “next phase” of CHOP’s activism — a phase that will be mostly online, safe from the looming threat of gun violence that has dogged the CHOP for the last several days.
“The CHOP project is now concluded,” the note from leaders said. “While we expect a very small handful of holdouts may try to remain in the CHOP no further organizing will be occurring to support this presence and the number on-site will be too small to be more than an annoyance for pedestrians rather than a zonal blockade.”
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
The note explains that remaining members of the CHOP “solidarity committee” now feel that remaining in the CHOP is too dangerous for most activists and that, given that only a handful of hardcore protesters remain to hold down CHOP’s borders in the overnight hours, “it is time we shift to the next phase of our organizing and move from direct action to virtual activism.”
The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest will “continue the struggle through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.”
The group also notified remaining CHOP residents that those who choose not to leave will be forcibly evicted by members of the Seattle Police Department who intend to “retake” their East Precinct headquarters by the end of this week.
“We have been briefed that full rehousing of the SPD East Precinct staff into the station will occur no later than early next week and will be preceded by the removal of barriers and the reopening of streets to traffic,” the note says.
CHOP organizers appear to be the last group to get on board with the plan to dismantle the ongoing protest. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other city officials said, over the weekend, that they believe the time has come for CHOP’s protesters to move on, even though, Durkan explained, she believes that CHOP had the right intentions at heart.
While decrying the several shootings that have occurred since last Thursday, leaving at least one person dead, one critically injured, and at least two others wounded, Durkan suggested that the CHOP had once been a place of “healing” and “education” before violence took over the “no cop co-op.”
CHOP organizers hope that their mission to rid the world of police violence won’t be “tied to a place” that now has a reputation for gun violence.
“CHOP is an idea and with that idea, you can take this idea around this country and then around this world,” one organizer said. “Ideas can’t be killed.”
Author: Emily Zanotti