JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Activist plans taxpayer-funded CHOP block party a year after murders, attempted rape

May 17, 2021, 9:36 PM | Updated: May 18, 2021, 11:39 am

An activist plans a block party to celebrate the deadly Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP). How utterly disgusting. What is there to celebrate?

CHOP, also known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), came from a violent conflict with the police. It directly caused the violent murders of two Black teenagers, the shootings of two others, attempted rape of a deaf woman, multiple assaults, vandalism, a riot, and more.

Celebrate CHOP? It is a stain on our city. Yet, the man spearheading the event is seeking taxpayer funds.

Rantz: CHOP Seattle is very clearly not a peaceful utopia but maybe it can be

CHOP celebration is the worst idea since CHOP

Mark Anthony with CHOP Art Nonprofit is planning the event for the weekend of June 11. It will include artists, musicians, and speakers. His intent, he said, was to create a “positive image for change.” But CHOP wasn’t a positive image at the time it existed.

“CHOP, the people who were really there for the right reasons, we weren’t there to destroy these businesses or damage them in any way,” Anthony told KOMO TV. “Now there were bad actors there, I can’t lie.”

Those bad actors took over CHOP. They’re the reason why the autonomous zone existed.

It was an armed insurrection. It was responsible for loss of life. Activists can romanticize CHOP all they want, but it was a farce that became deadly.

We should not celebrate CHOP; we should ridicule it. It should bring shame to this city. And everyone who helped create and maintain CHOP has blood on their hands.

Anthony said he’s looking for significant donations to cover the costs for the block party. He’s raising the money from private donations and seeking roughly $9,000 from the City of Seattle.

Will tax dollars pay for this disturbing celebration?

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department could potentially help Anthony.

Parks announced it’s offering financial assistance and planning to qualified Cal Anderson Park events and activities this summer. It says it’s waiving many fees for events and that “staff is available to discuss event planning and related issues.”

It remains unclear if Anthony’s disturbing event would qualify for funds as Parks hasn’t announced grant recipients yet. But it would be hard to justify the city putting money into this event.

They might be better off sending any grant money to the victims’ families murdered thanks to the city’s incompetent leadership. Perhaps they could offer it up to the businesses negatively impacted by the vandalism. Or, better yet, they could spend the funding on an iPhone 101 course to teach how not to delete text messages potentially tied to an ongoing lawsuit.

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