“Many” protesters have left the Seattle autonomous zone, says leader

The de facto leader of the Seattle autonomous protest zone said Wednesday that “many” protesters have already left the area following a call from the mayor days earlier for protesters to clear.

The Capitol Hill Busy Protest, or CHOP, in a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday said “very few” people remain in the protest area, and the “CHOP project is now complete.”

The statement was signed by the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Solidarity Committee”.

CHOP hip-hop artist and de facto leader Raz Simone also told CNN that many protesters have already left the area after some suffered damage.

“The CHAZ protesters [Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone] they have targets behind them, and that’s a problem, “Simone told CNN.” Many peaceful protesters are being harmed, so it is sad that this is where we are in the United States. “

As a result, Simone told CNN that “many people are going to leave,” adding that “many people have already left.”

The CHOP committee said in its statement that it expects “a very small handful of holdouts to remain in the CHOP,” but said they will no longer organize to support the presence. The committee said it will move into a phase of virtual activism.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said Monday that the city’s police department would return to the abandoned East Precinct after a weekend during which three people were shot in CHOP.

He said protests would still be allowed, but authorities would try to cut down on nighttime activities by asking them to leave voluntarily instead of using force.

“It is time for people to go home, it is time for us to restore … Capitol Hill so that it can be a vibrant part of the community,” Durkan said. The Seattle Times reported. “The impacts on businesses and residents and the community are now too much.”

Thousands of protesters have occupied the area in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood since June 8 as part of protests over police reform sparked by the George Floyd police murder in Minneapolis.