Seattle police descend en masse to retake CHOP

Seattle police descend en masse to retake CHOP
Seattle police retake CHOP, 1 July 2020. Twitter, Andy Ngo

Well, that didn’t take long.  At least, let us say, it didn’t take as long as it took for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to come up with a much milder, wholly indecisive response to shootings and murders in the Antifa-held “CHOP” zone in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Shootings and murders in someone else’s neighborhood were certainly to be deplored.  But it wasn’t until after a crowd of protesters showed up at Mayor Durkan’s personal home on Sunday that the city of Seattle got in gear to do something about the burgeoning thugocracy in CHOP.

Independent journalist Andy Ngo has been following the action on Wednesday morning.

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After the first three shootings, two of which produced murders, Durkan sent the Seattle Department of Transportation on Friday (26 June) to begin removing barricades and other accoutrements of the CHOP occupation.  The minimal police presence was for “observation.”

No work was begun; instead, the SDOT chief, his workmen and equipment idling on the streets around the zone, promised to send occupiers a formal memo outlining the department’s intentions.

Durkan followed this up with an extended parley with the occupiers.  Nothing conclusive resulted from that.

Finally, on Sunday, City Council member Kshama Sawant, one of the main agitators of the CHOP “movement,” led a large group of demonstrators to Durkan’s home, there to present demands.

That was pushing it over the line, for the mayor who had envisioned CHOP as ushering in a summer of love.  She issued a statement pointing out that her personal address was supposed to be protected, because of her previous job as a U.S. Attorney, and in any case she didn’t appreciate her family being put at risk.

On Tuesday, she took the drastic step of formally requesting the City Council to remove Sawant on the basis of “disorderly or otherwise contemptuous behavior.”

Wednesday morning, apparently with no prior notice, the Seattle police showed up at CHOP and took it by force.

CHOP-ites had been at odds among themselves as to how to respond if a massed police action made such an attempt.  Tuesday had also seen the removal of some of the barricades at the edges of the zone; in retrospect, a move preparatory to bringing the police in.  Andy Ngo’s tweets indicate the reaction from the CHOP leadership was minimal.

It’s probable that retaking Capitol Hill could have been accomplished much sooner.  (It’s quite certain that the need for it could have been prevented at the outset.)

Three people have lost their lives in an unpoliced zone: a zone the police and EMTs couldn’t enter in small numbers for normal law enforcement and emergency functions.

Businesses in the zone have suffered hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars in property damage and loss of revenue.  Some will probably have to close and never come back.

Residents of the zone lived for several weeks without emergency services, and next to growing disorder and unsightliness in the streets their homes are on, from broken windows and graffiti to constant noise, argumentative street-dwellers, and the suddenly acute threat of intimidation, muggings, and rape.

Businesses, taxpayers, homeowners: on to the post-CHOP clean-up. NBC KING5 Seattle video

But that was all “peaceful protest,” as described by local Seattle media.  It was when a crowd made its way to Mayor Durkan’s house that it suddenly became a real threat.

Comments at Twitter have minced no words.

And they’re not wrong.  If you want to see “white privilege” in action – more accurately, elite privilege (as witness the many white residents of Capitol Hill who were just as discommoded and ignored by their mayor as everyone else) – this is it.  If you want to see more of it, elect radical-left Democrats.  They’re the ones who, systematically and as a party, repeatedly demonstrate willingness to sacrifice other people’s property, livelihoods, and even lives to “woke” politics.

They empower agitators to “afflict the comfortable.”  The “comfortable” always turn out to be the ordinary middle class, the people of all races and backgrounds who work every day for a living, pay taxes for police because they can’t afford private security (and don’t have paid security as a perk, as elected officials do), and have little or no cushion when disaster strikes.

But the same radical-left Democrats do whatever it takes to protect themselves.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.