The sad, strange tale of the Capitol Hill Occupy Protest just keeps on going, doesn’t it?
Since taking control of six blocks of Seattle real estate, those within the CHOP have had a number of demands. One of those was the resignation of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Yes, the same mayor that referred to the CHOP as a second coming of the “Summer of Love.”
That comment did not age well, now did it?
Regardless, they still want her gone. Now, I have to offer some respect to Durkan for not turning on them just because they wanted her resignation. There’s something to be said with standing on your principles even when you have to defend someone who despises you, and that seems to be what Durkan did.
It didn’t stop them from essentially doxing her by showing up outside her home–an address that’s confidential–to protest and demand her resignation again.
Seattle’s CHOP protesters “put families and children at risk” by going to her home, Mayor Jenny Durkan suggested on Sunday after a city councilmember led the protesters to the mayor’s “confidential” address.
“Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant joined a large group of protesters outside the CHOP zone who marched to Durkan’s house on Sunday afternoon,” local NBC affiliate KING-TV reports. Durkan had recently announced plans to disband Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone, which had seized a portion of the city.
The protesters went to Durkan’s home “to bring the demands of the movement” to the mayor, one demonstrator told KING-TV.
The problem here is that the mayor’s address is part of a state program that keeps her address private. You see, Durkan is a former federal prosecutor. She’s likely made some enemies along the way, the kind you don’t want finding out where you live.
Plus, she’s gotten death threats related to that work. She has reasons to be concerned and reasons to keep her home address private.
None of that mattered to the CHOPpers, nor to Councilmember Sawant. Instead, they put Durkan’s life and the life of her family at risk, all for a political stunt.
After all, they have to know that’s what they were doing, right? They can’t actually make Durkan resign. If they want her gone, she has an election coming up soon enough and that should answer any questions there. Frankly, I don’t see Durkan winning reelection with the CHOPpers wanting her gone and a big chunk of everyone else wanting her gone because she allowed the CHOP to fester for so long.
Of course, the CHOP really shouldn’t be showing up at the mayor’s house. After all, they have problems of their own.
Seattle police and other city employees worked Tuesday morning to remove some barriers at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, with heavy equipment at 10th Avenue and East Pine Street. But within an hour, protesters had erected their own makeshift barricade as a replacement.
Some people who had been staying in tents at Cal Anderson Park packed up and left on Tuesday, though, saying that after multiple shootings over the past couple of weeks, the park didn’t feel safe anymore.
Tuesday’s back-and-forth over barriers was the latest episode in a kind of stalemate between the city and protesters who have occupied several blocks around the park and the Police Department’s East Precinct for about three weeks, since the police left the precinct following standoffs and clashes with protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.
Calls to bring law enforcement back to the East Precinct and shut down CHOP have been amplified by four shootings in the area over a roughly nine-day span, including one Monday morning that killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded a 14-year-old boy.
The makeshift barricades apparently include things like garbage cans, furniture, and so on. Nothing that would stop a heavy vehicle from plowing through.
It’s likely that removing the barricades is an early step in removing the CHOPpers from the area.
What’s unclear is whether the removal of the barricades might have precipitated the march on Durkan’s home, or whether the removal might have been a response. The timeline is less than clear. Not that it matters.
Now, though, the CHOPpers have made an enemy out of someone who was actually rather supportive of them. In fact, Durkan’s support raised the ire of many in the area who wanted the CHOP taken out weeks ago. Instead, she placed barricades to keep everyone inside the CHOP nice and safe, thus preventing her police department from being able to roll in as needed.
Durkan now has a bone to pick, and that means she can rationalize any number of reasons to remove the protestors. Man is not a rational creature, after all, but a rationalizing one.
Either way, expect things to get interesting in the CHOP over the next week or two.