SEATTLE — Seattle Department of Transportation crews re-opened part of the CHOP protest zone Tuesday morning after removing barricades, but occupants there are still trying to preserve the area.
SDOT crews arrived at 10th and Pine with multiple pieces of heavy machinery around 9:10 a.m.
At least a dozen Seattle police officers were there to offer support and security for SDOT crews if CHOP occupants tried to interfere.
While nothing happened while the barricades were being taken away, after most of the work was done, people began replacing them with furniture, garbage cans, plywood, signs and anything else they could find to create a roadblock.
Protesters there said the barricades provided protection and removing them would put those camping in CHOP in danger.
“These barriers, (on) multiple nights, have stopped a number of cars from driving through,” said one person.
One protest leader said they just plan to have the temporary barricade on 12th in place until they can preserve the Black Lives Matter mural on the pavement.
In another move by the city, Seattle Public Utilities uninstalled a hand washing station next to Cal Anderson Park and removed it.
City employees will be coming to the park later Tuesday to clean up, offer services, and try to get people camping at the park to leave.
Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Adrian Diaz said that right now, there are no plans to remove the barricades that are immediately outside the department’s East Precinct and it’s not known when officers will move back into the building.
After another shooting at the zone on Monday killed a 16-year-old boy and injured a 14-year-old, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Diaz decried the violence.
“There are people who live here. There are multiple people who are being injured and hurt. And we need to do something about it. It is absolutely irresponsible for this discontent to continue,” she said to a crowd at CHOP on Monday.
The protesters, however, remained defiant, declaring they will not leave willingly until their demands, principally to defund Seattle police, are met.
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