What Really Happened in CHOP?

Speakers address a crowd of demonstrators in the early days of CHOP. Photo by Tim Matsui.

For all it promised, all it was not, and all it actually became, Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protests (better known as CHOP) has but one clear consensus: It existed for 23 precarious days in June.

CHOP formed from the extraordinary alchemy of local protests against police brutality, a sustained Black Lives Matter movement spawned from the police killing of George Floyd, and a worldwide pandemic that confined people to their homes, unable to avoid self and collective examination of America’s historic racial inequities.

Depending on your vantage point, CHOP was either

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