CHOP Hosts Black-only Event in Park for Juneteenth; White ‘Allies’ Asked for Security, Money
The radical enclave in Seattle known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) will apparently feature a Juneteenth celebration on Friday that will be restricted to black people, while white people are being asked to provide security and donations.
Fox News reported Friday that the CHOP, formerly known as the “CHAZ” (for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), would be entirely closed to white people.
However, it appears that the segregation is only taking place in Cal Anderson Park.
tomorrow at #CHOP from 8 AM-8 PM we are having a #BLACKOUT for Juneteenth. That means Black folks on grounds only, we ask that this is respected and observed, non-Black friends are welcome to protect the borders!! #chopcomms #seattleprotest— kaylah (@liveforthejuice) June 19, 2020
A Facebook page for the event, called “Juneteenth Blackout at the CHOP,” details the plans for the 12-hour observance:
We’re blacking out CHOP…the viral death of black bodies was the catalyst for this current movement and we need to make sure we remain focused. This means both policy and systemic change to our systems and healing space for black people.
So that’s exactly what we’re creating. A series of events in which we center black healing and community.
What we need from our non-black allies are donations of money and supplies and the willingness to support by quietly protecting sacred space for black healing. We need allies on the outskirts who are willing to be a physical barrier of protection and to peacefully deter potential interruptions.
We will be socially distancing. Please wear masks. If you don’t have one, we will have some extra available to make sure we are protecting ourselves.
The schedule for the day includes a “grief ritual” and “community art healing.” There seems to be no formal acknowledgement of the significance of June 19 — namely, that it marks the moment in 1865 after the Civil War when slaves in Texas were informed that they had been liberated more than two years earlier as a result of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
There is also a GoFundMe page, “Black Out at the CHOP,” that appears to be run by the organizers of the Juneteenth event.
The Cal Anderson Park also hosts the CHOP’s community garden, which includes a portion set aside for “black and indigenous folks and their plant allies.”
It is not clear how much of the 11-acre park will actually be used for the Juneteenth event.
The CHAZ/CHOP began as an outgrowth of local Black Lives Matter demonstrations, after riots caused local authorities to order police out of the area.