Remembering Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP in the Era of Pro-Hamas Encampments

Because nothing opens hearts and minds like an urban encampment!

Mallory Mosner
The Judean People’s Front

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An image of multiple murals, signs and graffiti from Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP protest zone in 2020. Signs say things like “Amnesty for all looters, rioters and protesters” and “Abolish the police” as well as memorials for Black people like George Floyd who had been killed by the police leading up to the protests.
Photo of Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP in 2020 (from the author)

It was the summer of 2020, and uprising was in the air. After the tragic killing of George Floyd, people mobilized across America to protest for Black lives. It was a watershed moment in transforming the collective consciousness around racism, though the full impact of these protests remains to be seen.

I was deeply involved in activism during and in the years leading up to 2020, and I also happened to be unemployed throughout that summer of protests. Consequently, I found myself attending a large volume of protests, and devoting much of my time to spreading awareness about the cause.

For the record, “the cause” remains important — policing in America is broken, and Black people are disproportionately (though far from solely) victims of police killings and brutality. Though four years later, I certainly don’t agree that policing itself is inherently wrong and should be defunded or abolished, that ACAB (all cops are bad/bastards), or that the tactics of the 2020 protests (in particular the violence, theft and rioting) were “good” or successful in affecting meaningful change.

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Mallory Mosner
The Judean People’s Front

Queer non-binary (they/she) Jewish writer and Ayurvedic Health Counselor who loves puzzles, cats and meditation.