Tensions Rise In Seattle As CHOP Protesters Hang On, Demand City Defund Police Before Dismantling Demonstration

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On Thursday, organizers of the Capitol Hill Occupied/Organized Protest (CHOP) in Seattle notified demonstrators that the protest was breaking up, that police would be returning to the city’s East Precinct, located in the six-block “autonomous zone,” and that the movement would become “virtual.”

Sunday morning, though, “several hundred” protesters remain in CHOP, the Wall Street Journal reports, and are refusing to dismantle the camp until their demand to defund and disband the Seattle Police Department is met.

Seattle city officials met with a group of protest organizers on Saturday, local news reports, as a way of negotiating an end to the “autonomous zone” which has occupied six blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood for more than two weeks. The city is increasingly desperate to dismantle the CHOP, particularly after being hit with a lawsuit from longtime Capitol Hill residents and business owners who claim the city has tolerated the CHOP’s presence, allowing lawlessness.

But even after offering increased social services to CHOP’s “residents,” Seattle officials say many of the protesters are refusing to leave.

“Several hundred demonstrators are staying in an autonomous area claimed by protesters for racial justice in Seattle, even as its size is shrinking and pressure to shut it down completely is increasing from local businesses and residents, as well as city officials,” WSJ reports Sunday.


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