Seattle ‘autonomous zone’ leader says many protesters are leaving

A statement from a Twitter account associated with the protest zone, known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), or organized Capitol Hill protest, said “few people remain in our beloved CHOP.”

The statement, signed by “The Capitol Busy Protest Solidarity Committee,” added that “the CHOP project is now complete.”

Seattle Mayor Announces City to Regain Police-Free Autonomous Zone Taken By Protesters

Thousands of protesters have occupied the area, a four to six-block portion of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, since June 8 in an effort to demand police reform and in reaction to the death of George Floyd.

However, in the past few days, at least four shootings have been reported in the area, one of which left one person dead.

Hip-hop artist and de facto CHOP leader Raz Simone acknowledged that protesters have caught the attention of critics.

“The CHAZ protesters have targets behind them, and that is 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 said that “many people are going to leave, many people have already left.”

Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday that “it is time for people to go home,” as she announced that her office would be working to get protesters to clear the area.

Neither Durkan nor the police offered a schedule to clean up the camp, but the group’s statement said they were told it would happen “no later than the beginning of next week.”

The CHOP committee statement said it expects “a very small number of holdouts,” but that they will be “too small to be more than a nuisance to pedestrians rather than a zone block.”