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Post-CHOP protests and arrests continue for second night on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: 12th and E Pine reopened

(Image: Tom Walsh)

The flip in the Capitol Hill protest zone that has put police back into a defensive perimeter encircling the blocks around the reclaimed East Precinct brought another night of arrests.

Social media accounts and Seattle Police reported “several arrests” again overnight Thursday into early Friday morning at the new core of the ongoing clash at Broadway and Pine.

“Shortly after 10:00 PM on Thursday, July 2, officers arrested three people outside the West Precinct for property destruction,” police reported. “Beginning about 1:00 AM on Friday, officers arrested seven individuals near Broadway and East Pine Street for assault, harassment, and failure to disperse.”

(Image: Tom Walsh)

King County Jail records showed one person booked for assault, one for failure to disperse, one booked for obstruction, and three jailed overnight for investigation of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute and a possible felony. UPDATE: A representative for the King County Prosecutor says the bookings were in error. Seattle Police told the prosecutor’s office two people were arrested for investigation of malicious mischief — a misdemeanor unrelated to malicious harassment —  for spraypainting on a building. The third person booked for harassment was not involved in an incident related to the protest.

While the demonstrations gathering on the western edge of the police perimeter set up after Wednesday’s raid and camp sweep are so far much smaller, the clashes with police remain equally if not more intense. 25 were reported arrested overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

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Several arrests captured on video since CHOP’s clearance show police quickly and aggressively rushing in over even small provocations. One scene shows a person near the police line on E Pine sparking a rush of officers. Another showing a protester dropping a sign and setting off a melee with police echoes with the “pink umbrella” scene at 11th and Pine that escalated the Capitol Hill street protests to another level and led to the formation of CHOP. Police also continue to use pepper spray and controversial tactics like kneeling on necks as people are detained.

(Image: Tom Walsh)

The city’s media is also encountering new pressure from police. The Seattle Times reports that it and other media outlets are facing subpoenas from the city for photography and raw video from the weeks of protests in Seattle sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Times also reports on a federal judge’s order calling for Seattle police to stop using crowd control weapons and Seattle City Council legislation banning crowd control weapons didn’t stop SPD in its raid on cHOP.

Businesses near and outside the zone are allowed to operate as Mayor Jenny Durkan’s order to clear the occupied protest area remains in effect. Customers must join residents in checking in with police as they enter and exit the cordoned off areas around Cal Anderson and E Pine between Broadway and 12th Ave. Many are waved through without delay, especially during daytime hours. Others have reported run-ins with police and, especially at night, intimidation by heavily armed police in ready mode for continued protests.

UPDATE: As this video posted Friday morning shows, walking into the zone continues to be problematic. We’ve asked Seattle Police for clarification on the interaction recorded here and access for people living, working, and doing business in the area.

UPDATE 12:41 PM: Seattle Police have opened the perimeter and say 12th Ave and E Pine are now reopened. “Mayor Durkan’s order remains in effect and some officers will remain in the area of the East Precinct as SPD works to reestablish police services in the building,” the announcement reads.

CHS is checking into reports that access for people on foot or bikes remains restricted and that Cal Anderson remains closed. UPDATE x2: The sidewalks were being transitioned to allow access and police in the area said Cal Anderson could be back open soon.

A chain-link fence and barriers are now in place in front of the East Precinct. It seems likely with the reopening of the zone, further demonstrator and police standoffs will now — again — be centered here at 12th and Pine. But it remains unclear just how open the zone is with reports of people being stopped and pictures showing officers and police tape still blocking off some side streets in the area.

So far, the protests blocking Broadway at night and marching to the West Precinct or onto I-5 have not been joined by larger crowds or demonstrations organized by groups like the Seattle-King County chapter of Black Lives Matter or the Democratic Socialists of America. King County Equity Now Coalition led by the Central District’s Africatown and dedicated to increasing economic development opportunities for Black communities as well as the BLM #defundSPD goals, is planning a July 4th “day of action” at 23rd and Union.

Thursday, Socialist Alternative leader and Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant condemned Durkan’s order.

“Socialist Alternative and I are deeply saddened by the violence and tragic loss of life in these past two weeks, and my heart goes out to the families of the community members who died and those who were injured,” the statement reads. “Yet, as many have pointed out, violence has unfortunately been happening for years near the East Precinct when police were present, with themselves not infrequently contributing to it.”

“I look forward to standing alongside thousands of others to win our movement’s demands,” Sawant writes.

Meanwhile, cleanup continues inside the former occupied protest zone with remaining tents and belongings being added to piles of trash to be hauled away. City workers were also busy washing away graffiti from buildings and roadways as the Seattle Department of Transportation pressure washed “Black Lives Matter” tags from the city streets and installed plastic bollards and speed bumps to protect the large mural in the middle of East Pine. A large chain-link fence has been installed in front of the East Precinct and trucks carrying new barriers were reported entering the area through the day.

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8 thoughts on “Post-CHOP protests and arrests continue for second night on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: 12th and E Pine reopened

  1. What, no comments? Been up for 20 minutes.
    Are we all jaded and burnt out?
    Or is everyone on their way to Mount Rushmore for a grand celebration?
    (Prediction: someone will deface or steal the bust of Obama in Rapid City, SD)

  2. Subpoenas are issued by courts at the request of attorneys, in this case prosecutors. Its the city then and not the police who are asking for footage. At this point these are not “protesters” made up of the general public but are a group reflecting a particular set of politics. The community members who are made up of a people ranging from low income subsidized renters to people of color to techies want their community back free of a destructive mob. (the “protesters” to be clear) A 16 year old and a 14 year old were shot by CHOP participants. This is not a peaceful protest. Find another way to advocate your point, which seems to be authority abolition. Since CHOP itself shot two people of color we cannot really say its still about BLM.

  3. What is the purpose of these gatherings? Who is inciting all these little mobs to gather at all the barricades?

    From my perspective it looks like a bunch of ex-CHOP people, upset that they were kicked out, who want to get back in. Reading their social media, they’ve come up with a bunch of phony excuses for going back in like “I want to get my art” or “I want to get my plants.” And since the police won’t let them back in, they stand there at the barricade and scream abuse at the cops for hours on end, desperately trying to start some sort of confrontation that will play well on social media.

    CHOP is over. You had your chance and you blew it spectacularly. Just leave them alone and let them clean up the mess you made.

    • Omari nailed it in one of his posts that no one has any coherent demands that are aligned to BLM.

      At this point the main ask seems to be to allow anarchy and rough sleeping in Seattle parks.

      • There are three very coherent demands:
        1) release all protestors charged for protesting
        2) defund the olice by 50%
        3) increase funding for BIPOC communities

      • Omari is a great journalist. His viewers/readers though need to seperate his thoughts and perspective from his journalism. Same applies to all media coverage.

        His platform can and has been used to spread various viewpoints, including one that state demands aren’t clear specificially as a propaganda drop. That’s a large simplification of a complex and fluid situation.

        bug has a clear list that has been present in CHOP since very early on, and refreshed to reflect the rest of the initial demands not yet met with any action by those in power in concrete ways yet. A few early simpler demands were met, though recent days are showing those demands may need to come back after possible TPO violations occured.

  4. It will never be defunded by 50% so drop that one. The communities have been and are getting and will get money money. Felons Like arsonists and assaulters and thrives won’t have cases dropped. So you get one out of three .

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