Not all Seattleites are fans of the CHAZ/CHOP in Capitol Hill

Jun 16 2020, 1:10 pm

The Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), formerly known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) and Free Capitol Hill, is a six-block space that’s been occupied by protestors for a little over a week.

Although protests have remained peaceful in the area, some residents have complaints and are calling for its closure.

Several alleged residents have shared online that they’re looking for peace and quiet at night and that “telling us that this is better than tear gas and flash bangs is not making this noise any more bearable.”

Since June 8, the area has since been plastered with murals and has hosted its own town halls and movie nights.

According to Reddit user chocolatefondant, even earplugs aren’t drowning out the sounds. “How am I supposed to be supportive of police-free environment if in this environment no one cares about people who actually live here? You blast music 24/7 and don’t give us ANY BREAK,” they posted.

Some have even begun comparing the activity to a street festival, with one person calling it “Burning Man in the middle of the city” and another deeming it the “Capitol Hill-a-Palooza.”

“Having been through the zone several times, my observation is that most people visit to hang, listen to the music, and check out the art. Definitely has a block party vibe,” said darwinsbutterchicken.

 

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Besides the noise, some Seattleites believe CHOP has taken away a large percentage of what the movement is about — justice and police reform.

The City of Seattle has responded to CHOP positively within the last few days, saying that “first amendment activities can continue” as protesters maintain public safety and allow access for residents and businesses in the area.

On June 16, in coordination with protesters on-site, the City removed a tent barrier at 10th and Pine and replaced it with a sturdier concrete barrier to improve public safety. According to the City, working with protesters, they’ve reconfigured the CHOP “to allow for public safety and better access for the local community. That has involved rerouting traffic, freeing up alley access, opening streets, and replacing makeshift barriers with heavy concrete barriers that can be painted.”