American Elephants


They Are Vacating the Autonomous Six Blocks of CHOP That Had Seceded From the Rest of the Country. by The Elephant's Child

This is all extremely weird. The national news is reporting that the occupiers of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) are vacating, moving out. Their officials say that any protesters can stay as long as they went, but they seem to be tearing up the newly-planted vegetable garden and attempting to return it to ordinary park status, except that it has been all dug up.

Capitol Hill businesses have filed a major lawsuit against the City of Seattle. The merchants said in the suit that they have suffered economic ruin because the city allowed CHOP to happen. CHOP leader Naudia Miller confirmed reports that the area is being dissembled. She added “The burden of owning a business doesn’t compare to struggles of living in a nation that’s built on anti-black racism,” directed at businesses that are a party to the lawsuit.

A local investment firm closed it’s doors and announced that they were moving to Arizona. No local news purveyor managed to take pictures of the emptied streets, if they indeed are emptied. This is a screen capture from a hard-to-find video. Perhaps after the shootings, reporters and photographers decided to play it safe. This is the same view as in previous pictures that were decorated with barriers, signs, tents, debris and more signs. They talked about setting up at Seattle Center, by the Space Needle or elsewhere. The feckless Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, was perhaps right when she called it a “summer of love” thing.

The CHOP (formerly CHAZ) has been major news across not only the country, but the world, turning the city of Seattle into something of a laughingstock, and suddenly they’re seeming to pretend that it never happened. There was a murder there, and people hospitalized.

CHOP leaders insisted their efforts are far from over: “We need every one of us to step up in a way that’s in our capacity, because we are dealing with trauma,” Miller said, adding that the only difference going forward is that Capitol Hill will no longer be a staging ground for Black Lives Matter.

Miller also spoke about everything that’s happened at the East Precinct, saying protesters’ takeover of the building was fair game after police used tear gas to disperse CHOP attendees.

“The Seattle Police Department chose that location when they terrorized people on Pine Street, and when they tear gassed people in their homes,” she commented.

The city says that the East Precinct will be reoccupied by next week. Stories about the six-block CHOP are pretty much absent from the news here, where one would think it would be big and welcome headlines. I had to really hunt to find anything.

Did they all suddenly recognize that this mess was giving Seattle a major black eye?

Capitol Hill is distinctly uphill from downtown Seattle, which is on a slight gradual slope down to the west and the water of Puget Sound, where the ferries dock. Seattle was famously built on seven hills, and some were plowed down to make them more acceptable for stores and businesses. If you assume that the CHOP area was in downtown Seattle, that’s incorrect. Capitol Hill is home to Seattle University, hospitals, schools and businesses. It slopes down on the eastern side to Lake Washington, and expensive residential areas along the lake.

Protesters have been shutting down the freeways too, or trying to. The Police keep them under control. As far as I can recall, we haven’t much here in the way of statues, or Confederate anything. Some totem poles.


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