The entrance sign is still bright as ever as CHOP’s borders are shrinking. JK
This morning saw the “fall” of the westernmost barricades along 10th and Pine in Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) came and scooped up all the concrete barriers over there, leaving protesters to organize a makeshift barrier made of considerably less heavy-duty materials like wood panels, trash cans, and, uh, a deep fryer. This was done in the name of preserving the Black Lives Matter street mural that has yet to be sealed for normal street use.
Walking around along Pine earlier today, it felt like this barrier removal really signified a big change for the protest. As cars and through traffic will be allowed onto Pine in an attempt by Seattle government to lowkey return to “normal,” my guess is that a lot of the graffiti, murals, paintings, and objects that decorate non-traditional surfaces of CHOP will also erode away.
Especially as Seattle Parks and Recreation announced this morning that in addition to temporarily closing Cal Anderson Park, they are working with “a range of stakeholders” to memorialize parts of CHOP like the garden, art, and “speaker’s corner.” It sounds like institutionalization is waiting in the wings for a lot this art—get ready for a CHOP-themed exhibition at MoPOP in five years, mark my words.
So, in the interest of archiving some of the art in CHOP in its original context, here’s how Pine Street between 10th and 11th Ave looked on June 30, 2020:
A sign near the new improvised barricade at 10th and Pine. JK
Another Black Lives Matter mural on the parking lot behind Rancho Bravo, covering the Kurt Cobain mural put there last year. JK
The southeastern corner of the Rancho Bravo parking lot that has become a site of tagging and graffiti since CHOP started. JK
A tag on the ground near 11th that combines the Black Power fist with an umbrella, in reference to the tactic Seattle protesters used to protect themselves from getting pepper sprayed and tear gassed by the police. JK
11th Ave has been rechristened “George Floyd Way.” JK
That same sign, but from the other side. “Road to Glory.” JK
The wooden panels over Rhino Room with the faces of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Oluwatoyin Salau. JK
The vigil along 11th that has shrunk in size to make way for the pedestrians on the sidewalk. JK