Welcome to the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, CHAZ. The People’s Republic of Capital Hill.
Depending on what news network you watch you will see 2 completely different worlds going on in Washington’s largest city. Of course I’m not surprised. Fox News sees this as a full rejection of democracy in an uprising of socialists and ANTIFA anarchists. They see it as one of our largest cities falling to the mob. Tucker Carlson spent almost an entire show mocking how the city is being run and the ridiculousness of it all.
Other networks don’t see it as such, and they explain how the east precinct in Seattle was evacuated so CHAZ could become a no cop social “experiment“. It’s an idealistic society that is looking to create utopian-esque community where things are free and every day is a block party. Because remember, socialism just hasn’t worked yet. The mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, claims this demonstration could last all summer.
What’s happening is these protestors have claimed a section of the city (about 6 blocks), are restricting entrance, and demanding a variety of things from the Seattle government – mainly abolishing the police. They’re truly like a mix of a nationstate and (as of now) a peaceful protest. It’s drawing some comparisons to the ‘Occupy Movement’ of 2011. Jenny Durkan says she has the situation under control, but as you can see from this clip below, she thinks that the city having access to its municipal buildings was just a “point of conflict”. Her solution to de-escalation was letting the protestors destroy a police station and restrict cops from doing their jobs.
Some radicals see this as a strategic move in what seems to be the inching towards a civil war. The first declaration of secession. The President calls these protesters “domestic terrorists”, is demanding law and order, and wants the city to be brought back to government’s control. And as a response, CHAZ has established clear borders, put up walls/fences, and are using armed guards to defend said borders. The irony of it all is too rich. Whether they see it or not.
So as we move forward with the 4th day of this siege it will be interesting to see how the people of CHAZ proceed. Julio Rosas has done an incredible job reporting on this and giving people an insight through videos of what’s going on on the ground. You should give him a follow to stay updated.
I don’t think this is the fall of an American city that some republicans may be setting it out to be. But it could very easily be on that path. They even have declared a warlord, whatever that entails. So yes, CHAZ has had some great displays of community and as I’ve said before there is need for some serious reforms in our institutions. But the idea that armed groups of radicals are planting a stake on American soil and holding territory hostage for demands is a slippery slope towards real civil conflict. Some things are just never enough for the mob. We saw what happened when the looting and riots were left unchecked across the country, and this could have a similar ripple effect.
As much as news outlets like the New York Times are saying it’s all good inside CHAZ, there have been many videos showing signs of unrest and even fascism inside the autonomous zone. It’s supposed to be a beacon of free speech, yet they excommunicated a man who had an opposing view. Also, there seems to be dissent amongst their “leaders” of what to do next.
Washington’s elected leaders, like Jenny Durkan and Jay Inslee, must be hoping this is the case as they are either trying to let the situation burn out, or just have no idea what to do themselves. But what if CHAZ decides its next move is to expand? What if they begin attacking civilians and businesses to enlarge their district? They already claimed a big chunk of the city:
What happens if this becomes violent and it’s too late for the national guard to come in and save lives?
How can you “police” conflicts inside a cop-less territory? Seattle has had violent protests against government actions before. And there is a history of the US government using agent provocateurs who have incited violence and destruction to try squash uprisings and restore the public back to what it was. So no doubt, this is on a combustible road.
What rationally can be done to restore civility, especially when leaders are playing blind to things ultimately at play?
Personally, I feel like the acronym CHAZ really hurts the credibility of the protest. Chazz, Brad, and Chad are all in the same breath. It just immediately makes me think of some tool who gets pissed when the beer die table is being used for pong instead. He’s determined to get his tosses in. If he can get next though everything should be fine. But if someone already called the next game? Oh boy CHAZ is going to square up and get pissed. He won’t acknowledge that he was the one who blacked out and thought it’d be hilarious to jump through the folding table last Saturday, though. It’s his fault there’s only 1 table, but he refuses to see that. Self reflection would cause him to melt in his own insecurities.
I guess that’s just classic CHAZ.
Remember, freedom will prevail, it always does. But it’s up to us to pave that path.
Cheers, and stay safe.