A Seattle city council member who encouraged protesters to form up the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP), formerly the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), and gave demonstrators her key to city hall so that they could “occupy” that building as well, now claims a CHOP shooting that left one protester dead and one in critical condition could be a “right-wing attack.”
In a statement released late Saturday, Kshama Sawant expresses her condolences to the CHOP community and doubles down on demands to “defund the police,” even though violence inside the “cop-free” CHOP has increased markedly over the past week according to long-term residents, who now say they no longer feel safe with the ongoing protest.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the loved ones of the black protester who was tragically killed this morning by gunfire at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP),” Sawant said. “Socialist Alternative and I stand in solidarity with the family and friends of the victim, and with the injured protester now in the hospital, as well as with all community members and fellow activists.”
She then goes on to claim that the attack shows signs of a “right-wing” plot.
“Though we await confirmation of the details of the killing, there are indications that this may have been a right-wing attack. If so, this would not be the first such attack on the Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter protest,” Sawant suggests.
“We need immediate solidarity with the protest at the CHOP, and unity in our movement against reactionary violence. Our movement refuses to be intimidated.”
Aside from Sawant, no other official has accused right-wing saboteurs of the melee that broke out inside CHOP in the early hours of Saturday morning. Details are scarce, of course, because CHOP “residents” formed a mob, preventing law enforcement officials from attending to the victims or investigating the shooting.
Sawant, though, is clear that she wants the real culprit behind Saturday’s shooting — President Donald Trump — investigated and punished for his role in the “attack.”
“It is no accident that right-wing hate and violence has grown dramatically with Donald Trump in the White House. If this killing turns out to be a right-wing attack, President Trump bears direct responsibility, since he has fomented reactionary hatred specifically against the peaceful Capitol Hill occupation, and even threatened to intervene with federal troops,” Sawant wrote.
Shockingly, Sawant also accuses Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, who notably called CHOP a “block party” and a “summer of love” of being complicit in CHOP’s reputation for having a violent atmosphere.
Sawant’s rant goes on, doubling down on calls to “defund” and “disband” the Seattle Police Department, but she does admit that she wants no movement on that particular issue until the same Seattle Police she wants to be eliminated gets to the bottom of Saturday’s violence: “Our movement should also demand and insist that the Seattle Police fully investigate this attack and be held accountable to bring the killer(s) to justice.”
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