To say people in Seattle are getting sick of the rioters and protesters who took over several city blocks to create what is now called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, is an understatement.
In just the last few days, multiple stories from the protest area, formerly known as CHAZ, have caught the nation's attention and put Democratic Mayor Jenny Durkan's lack of action against the movement in an even worse light, including multiple shootings and a class-action lawsuit from businesses within the CHOP zone.
One Seattle resident decided he wasn't waiting any longer for Durkan's government to clear the area and started tossing barriers on his own.
Finally, Durkan announced this week that the city would be removing the barriers in the streets that form the CHOP's borders.
So crews arrived bright and early Friday morning ready to work — only to be sent home two hours later.
Seattle Department of Transportation crews showed up at the CHOP at 6 a.m. Friday to get prepare to get things moving, KCPQ-TV reported. The SDOT workers brought in trucks and heavy machinery and waited for orders to begin.
BREAKING: City begins dismantling CHOP www.youtube.com
By 7 a.m., nothing had started, but the protesters were there, preventing the crews from working. At least one protester decided to lie in the street to prevent a front-end loader from being able to proceed, KING-TV
By 8 a.m., the crews and cops at the scene had left.
So, why did things suddenly stop? According KING, a CHOP organizer named David Lewis announced that the city was giving protesters 72 hours "to confer with demonstrators" before taking down the barriers.
The station reported that after the waiting period, the removal of the barriers will be "negotiated."
Durkan has been under pressure to remove the barriers in order to help businesses that wanted to increase traffic flow — not to mention to end the general takeover of a vital downtown portion of a major American city.
Apparently, the CHOP people still have demands, though.
"We have heard them in recognizing that some of the establishments are wanting more through traffic," Lewis told KING. "We get it. We want to work with the city, but we require that our demands are met."
Those demands include cutting police funding by 50% and sending that funding to specific communities within the city.