US CHOP: Leader of Seattle's 'autonomous zone' says many protesters are leaving
Trump Says He’s Planning Crackdown on Seattle Protesters
President Donald Trump threatened to crack down on Seattle anti-police brutality protesters who’ve taken over several blocks of the city unless municipal and state leaders move to reclaim control of the streets. © ASSOCIATED PRESS Visitors walk near a sign that reads "Welcome to CHOP," Sunday, June 14, 2020, inside what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. Protesters calling for police reform and other demands have taken over several blocks near downtown Seattle after officers withdrew from a police station in the area following violent confrontations.
The de facto leader of the autonomous protest zone in Seattle said Wednesday "a lot of people have already" left the area, days after the mayor said she was going to persuade people to leave.
A statement fromwith the protest zone -- known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), or Capitol Hill Organized Protest -- said that "few people remain in our beloved CHOP."
Another shooting in Seattle protest zone leaves 1 wounded
SEATTLE (AP) — One person was wounded in what was the second shooting in Seattle's protest zone in less than 48 hours, police said. The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle's downtown that is known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” police tweeted, adding that one person was at a hospital with a gunshot wound. The person arrived in a private vehicle and was in serious condition, Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg said in a statement.The zone evolved after weeks of protests in the city over police brutality and racism, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.
The statement, signed by "The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Solidarity Committee," added that "the CHOP project is now concluded."
Thousands of protesters have occupied the area, a four- to six-block portion of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, since June 8 in an effort to demand police reform and in reaction to the death of George Floyd.
However, in recent days, at least four shootings have been reported in the area, one of which left a person dead.
Hip-Hop artist and de facto CHOP leader Raz Simone acknowledged that the protesters have drawn attention from critics.
"The protesters of CHAZ have targets on their backs, and that is an issue," Simone told CNN. "A lot of peaceful protesters are being harmed, so it's sad that's where we're at in America."
Seattle Protesters Set Up Barricades, Prepare to Defend CHOP From Police
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans to dismantle the police-free zone after two shootings took place over the weekend.Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a news conference on Monday that the city is working with the community to bring the occupation by protesters of several blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood to an end.
As a result, Simone said "a lot of people are going to leave -- a lot of people already left."
Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday that "it's time for people to go home," as she announced that her office would be working to get protesters to clear the area.
Seattle community leader Andre Taylor, who has been tasked by Durkan to try to get people to leave peacefully, said Wednesday the original motivation for CHOP was lost after the violence. He told CNN that from his point of view, CHOP is over.
"It is over because of the violence," Taylor told CNN, adding, "I've told people here don't be focused on the location. CHOP is not a location, it is an idea."
Neither Durkan nor the police offered a timeline for clearing the encampment, but the statement from the group said they were told it would occur "no later than early next week."
The statement from the CHOP committee said it expects "a very small number of holdouts" but that they will be "too small to be more than an annoyance for pedestrians rather than a zonal blockade."
Police violence: protesters from the Seattle "autonomous zone" evacuated .
This Seattle neighborhood had been occupied for three weeks by protesters protesting against police violence. © AVID RYDER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP Protesters were evacuated early in the morning in Seattle - David Ryder / Getty Images / AFP Police deployed in a neighborhood in the American city of Seattle on Wednesday transformed into an "autonomous zone" by demonstrators protesting against the abuses of the police force .