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CHS Pics | Notice of Proposed Gentrification

The crowd was smaller than recent demonstrations and the night was mostly uneventful from the “traditional” media end of things — no broken windows (that we know of), no building takeover, no pepper spray, etc.

But Friday night’s Capitol Hill protest against gentrification and, specifically, the city’s multi-family tax exemption plan showed wit and the kind of grass roots creativity that just might make the Occupy Seattle process work.

Of course, organizers were adamant about reminding CHS that the Friday night protest was not an authorized Occupy event. No bother. The protest march still began with a mic check and the Occupy method of repetitive chanting was in full effect for the full tour of Capitol Hill development spots. At each — including B&O Espresso’s about-to-be-demolished home, an official Notice of Proposed Gentrification was posted. It’s too bad the TV people left before the first sign went up.

Some of the politics were a little ridiculous — we’re pretty sure it’s not OK to say the Central District shouldn’t be developed — but there are fine points in the matter worth discussing. As the man’s sign says, yes, some of the new things that get built on Capitol Hill are garbage and, yes, some of the projects taking advantage of the city’s tax programs might not truly have people struggling with high housing costs in mind.

The chants were “community, not capital” and “housing for people, not profit.” Add the witty notice signs, and you had an event worth noting. By the way, B&O said OK to the posters on its wall, we’re told.

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16 thoughts on “CHS Pics | Notice of Proposed Gentrification

  1. Why are the organizers of this demonstration putting such an emphasis on their not being an OS-sanctioned event? Is it because they think OS has been discredited on the part of most Seattleites?

  2. Why did they emphasize that this is not OS “sanctioned”? There is a two-day or more process. A proposal is voted on and passed for endorsed or sponsored events. A proposal was not made either because there was not enough time for the full process, or the people here didn’t feel one was necessary.

  3. I live in a building in Cap Hill that was built a little over 10 years ago; the developer took a gamble in Capitol Hill. Presto-Changeo, now there is more life in the neighborhood than we could ever imagine. Art, food, music, still diverse neighbors, etc. “Gentrification” is an interesting term. What does it really mean? Big bad investors coming in and taking over? Or, people who are making interesting spaces out of existing buildings that were not being utilized?

  4. I don’t know what “gentrification” means now, but it has meant that someone comes into a less than great area and fixes it up and makes the place more valuable than before they were there. Of course it also usually means that after people come into a neighborhood to gentrify it the properties _do_ become more valuable and the unfortunate part of that is the properties become less affordable to those who have lesser means. So you can leave a neighborhood not gentrified and it’s not attractive or you can help to gentrify a neighborhood a better place. Gentrification is not a dirty word.

  5. *facepalm*

    Here we go. Now these people are encouraged. Look forward to the next year as being ‘protest central’ on capitol hill.

    “A teach in to educate and form a living protest in memory of the noble buffalo!”


    “A spontaneous demonstration of workers against the STATE!”


  6. Not at all. It wasn’t GA approved, which gives the official stamp of “Occupy Seattle” on any event. Not that it wouldn’t have passed, but the event was a spur-of-the-moment deal, and there is a bit of a process for getting approval for events that would not have been able to have happened before the day of the event, given some procedural rules.