In Seattle, Washington, a strange experiment has been underway for several weeks now.
Originally known as the “CHAZ”, or “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone”, a six block area within the heart of Seattle is now being referred to as the CHOP – which stands for “Capital Hill Occupied Protest”.
The reimagining of that moniker was due to confusion among the media and the American people who wondered if these were secessionists in Seattle, or some other brand of rebellious rabble rousers.
But, to be fair, it doesn’t much matter now, as the CHOP is getting the axe.
Seattle will move to end the police-free zone known as the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest,” or “CHOP,” after two recent shootings, one of which was deadly, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday — signaling that a stunning chapter in the city’s history could be drawing to a close.
The mayor said the violence was distracting from changes sought by thousands of peaceful protesters seeking to address racial inequity and police brutality. Activists set up “CHOP” in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood about two weeks ago, barricading off the area after police evacuated a ransacked precinct building there.
“The cumulative impacts of the gatherings and protests and the nighttime atmosphere and violence has led to increasingly difficult circumstances for our businesses and residents,” Durkan said at a news conference. “The impacts have increased and the safety has decreased.”
Several people have been shot inside of the CHOP in recent days as well.
As police and first responders struggled to reach the area of those incidents, it became apparent to the Mayor that this could not go on.
“There should be no place in Seattle that the Seattle Fire Department and the Seattle Police Department can’t go,” Durkan said.
Much of the nation would surely agree.