The controversial Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in Seattle has “formally closed” as of Wednesday, with organizers telling their “comrades” to “continue supporting the kind of revolutionary change we just created by voting for Joe Biden as president of the United States in November and Jay Inslee as governor of Washington.”
Calling itself the CHOP “Solidarity Committee,” the leaders of this movement, which has resulted in a lawsuit against the city by CHOP-area businesses, also threw its support to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, claiming she has “shown the leadership that will help us heal.”
What about the neighborhood this group occupied for 16 days? How will the businesses “heal?” That, presumably, is what the lawsuit is about.
According to Fox News, plaintiffs in the lawsuit include “an auto repair shop, a tattoo parlor and a property management company.” The story also says “workers and residents also joined the lawsuit,” alleging Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best “and other city leaders” turned the neighborhood over to “anarchists.”
The Seattle P-I.com and KOMO reported that more than a dozen businesses are involved in the class-action lawsuit. While insisting they support free speech rights, the plaintiffs are sticking up for the rights of their employees and local residents. KOMO said the complaint spans 56 pages.
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 lawsuit complains of graffiti on private buildings, barriers, streets and sidewalks. The suit alleges, “Graffiti that is painted over almost immediately returns, and property owners have been told by CHOP participants that if they dare to paint over graffiti, their buildings will be more severely vandalized or even burned to the ground.”
This suggests that news coverage of the occupation was not all fun and games for residents and business people. Were these people too afraid to speak out, fearing reprisals? That will have to be sorted out in the days and weeks ahead.
One unidentified volunteer security guard told a KING News reporter, “We don’t want violence. We don’t want people coming in there thinking they’ve got immunity. We don’t want no sexual assaults, we don’t want nobody raped and hurting, killing, no gunshots; people come down there and they push the envelope. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used my mace.”
Some hardcore demonstrators are reportedly refusing to fold their tents and go home.
Perhaps further pressing their luck, a far left group calling itself Seattle Indivisible is out with a communique declaring that Mayor Durkan’s reported plan to lop 5 percent of the police department’s budget is not enough to satisfy their expectations.
“This business-as-usual proposal is thoroughly tone deaf in the midst of a national movement against racially motivated police violence, and is hardly a good-faith offer when Black Lives Matter and other Seattle-area activists are calling for 25-50% cuts to SPD’s budget,” Seattle Indivisible says.
The group wants its followers to flood Durkan’s office with telephone calls and emails, providing both the telephone number and email address.
In the past, Seattle Indivisible has supported gun control and anti-gun politicians. As with other groups on the far left, they’ve looked at the Second Amendment as a regulated privilege rather than a fundamental right.
Their approach may not go over well with the public, considering the declaration Wednesday by Hawk Newsome, head of Black Lives Matter for Greater New York, who told Fox News in an interview, “If this country doesn’t give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it.”
The CHOP Zone began deteriorating following three shootings over the past weekend, one of them fatal. Seattle police could not enter the zone to reach the victim because they were blocked by protesters. Volunteer “medics” transported the fatally-wounded teen to Harborview Medical Center, but he died. Two other shootings within 48 hours left two other people wounded.
Socialist Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who has led the charge to defund the police, had the audacity to issue a statement, “Our movement should also demand and insist that the Seattle Police fully investigate this attack and be held accountable to bring the killer(s) to justice,” in the wake of the killing. She still wants to demolish the department.
Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat to observe, “(T)he CHOP has ended up demonstrating the reverse of its no-cop Utopian goal. It turns out we still need those homicide detectives and the CSI and probably much of whatever else was going on in that boarded-up East Precinct.”
Perhaps the most important lesson from all of this is that the far left extremists who are now being encouraged to help elect Biden and re-elect Inslee really have no clue what they want, except that they expect everyone else to provide for them and support their vision, whatever it is, and those who don’t are reflexively branded as right-wing racists.