JASON RANTZ

Rantz: CHOP Seattle activists already blocking lanes city opened

Jun 16, 2020, 9:19 PM | Updated: Jun 17, 2020, 11:46 am
At 12th and Pine in CHOP, a car blocks a lane the city negotiated to remain open. (Photo: Hanna Scott/KIRO Radio) At 11th and Pine in CHOP, a car blocks a lane the city negotiated to remain open. (Photo: Hanna Scott/KIRO Radio) At 12th and Pine in CHOP, a car blocks a lane the city negotiated to remain open. (Photo: Hanna Scott/KIRO Radio) This was the original plans for CHOP that the city had agreed to. 
              A sign reads "Welcome to CHOP," Sunday, June 14, 2020, inside what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. Protesters calling for police reform and other demands have taken over several blocks near downtown Seattle after officers withdrew from a police station in the area following violent confrontations. The CHOP name is a change from CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) that was used earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
            Activists are trying to change the name of CHAZ to CHOP, but there's confusion over what the "O" stands for. (Photo: Julio Rosas)

Activists inside CHOP already helped to undo the compromise agreement the city of Seattle made with organizers. Who could have seen this coming?

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office announced Tuesday morning that there was an agreement with stakeholders, including CHOP organizers, to reopen parts of streets within the occupied zone so that they can be accessible to area residents, employees, and emergency personnel. Under the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the city brought in heavy concrete barriers separating (and protecting) the space for protesters and the lanes for traffic.

A few hours after the work was complete, cars were strategically parked to block the lanes from being used by vehicular traffic.

Phoenix Jones supports CHOP, but says ‘you can’t just not enforce laws’

CHOP activists blocked the lane

The open lanes at the intersections of 12th and Pine and 11th and Pine were both blocked as of at least 6:20 p.m., just under five hours since SDOT mostly finished their work. The cars appear to be strategically placed at the spot to block the lanes. In other words, this was almost assuredly intentional.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins explained he had been concerned about safety with the lack of vehicular access to the area.

“The neighborhood had a lot of concerns,” Chief Scoggins explained.

The CHOP difficulty

CHOP isn’t occupied by one singular group, but a number of different activists from a number of different organizations — or no organizations at all. That makes negotiating these kinds of barricade-additions more tenuous. Scoggins noted that he spoke with a “constantly changing group of people” as the city tried to execute this plan.

When you have no leadership, it means considerable numbers of people will be left out of the discussions. If a small group is unhappy, they can sabotage the plans. And it’s clear not everyone was happy with the plans. The city did not respond to a request seeking information on which organizers were part of the negotiations.

Hopefully cooler heads prevail and the cars will be gone by the morning. This is very clearly a safety issue. It’s also about allowing people who live and work in the area to not feel like they’re hostages.

If the activists have problems with the police, they should at least try to be better neighbors to the residents and businesses. Giving them back some of the space — while making it easier for EMTs and Fire to do their jobs — seems like an easy compromise. How does offering some piece of mind to residents, businesses, and the fire department fly in the face of the activists’ cause?

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

ballard...
Frank Sumrall

Ballard brewery owner nearly loses business to homeless fire

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. in Ballard was nearly destroyed after a fire created by a homeless person nearly engulfed the property in flames.
2 days ago
fentanyl...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws

Seattle Public Health is breathtakingly out of touch with the local drug crisis. It's no wonder more addicts keep dying on our streets.
3 days ago
fog...
Max Gross

Gross: Can anti-intrusion fog system stop Seattle crime in its tracks?

DensityUSA makes ‘anti-intrusion fogging systems’ that are meant to make it impossible for criminals to see once a break-in occurs.
4 days ago
women prison inmates...
Jason Rantz Show

WA Rep: Bill to protect women inmates, transgenders ‘going nowhere’

WA Rep. Jacobsen co-authored a bill that proposes if someone's been convicted of sex crimes, they cannot be housed near women inmates.
4 days ago
racism...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Identity-obsessed Progressives can’t fathom crime without racism

We were shocked, disgusted, and maybe angry, but we saw them for what they were without defaulting the blame on racism.
5 days ago
politically active...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Democrats sue to kill WA’s one election security feature, which makes fraud easier

Left-wing organizations are suing election officials over the signature verification process. This would make election theft effortless.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rantz: CHOP Seattle activists already blocking lanes city opened