Seattle retreats: Agitators establish ‘autonomous zone,’ name it CHAZ, hold movie night

Seattle retreats: Agitators establish ‘autonomous zone,’ name it CHAZ, hold movie night
Agitator in Antifa-organized crowd wields pink umbrella in Seattle. Twitter video

Organized agitators in Seattle have declared an “autonomous zone” in part of the city, which they say is not part of the United States of America.  A police precinct station was shuttered and the agitators now occupy an area of about six blocks which they have dubbed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.  This came about because the mayor, Jenny Durkan, ordered the police to abandon the area to the agitators.

This seems to be how they were keeping their cultural and educational needs met on night two of the adventure.

Curiously, the agitators (who can’t be called “protesters” because that implies something to protest, and engagement with a defined second party) have turned immediately into White Nationalists, not only grasping at their occupied territory with the imperialist device of a name but setting a border with barriers, creating political memorials, identifying property, announcing who must be excluded from their zone (police officers), and in general behaving with a censurable degree of endemic privilege that probably surprises no one, but does seem to represent everything they say they’re against.

Monetary/regulatory policy.

Port-a-potties and a smoking section.

Then there’s this.

The user account appears legitimate.

On Tuesday evening a large group flooded into Seattle’s City Hall, which they were reportedly enabled to do by a councilmember who let them in.

They sat around jawing in City Hall for a while, and then left to return to the CHAZ.

There seems to be a plan being mooted to “return” the CHAZ territory to the Duwamish.

There is a People’s Assembly scheduled for Wednesday and the flyer for it refers to the CHAZ being on occupied Salish territory; presumably there will be no dispute with other Salish tribes (i.e., other than Duwamish) over the land in question.

This being 2020, and the world being much larger than six blocks in Seattle, there is already a Wikipedia page for the CHAZ.

A therapy cat has made an appearance.

No getting away from it: they look like the generation of children that can always be quieted down with an electronic screen, big or small.

This seems to be what they’re watching.

Icon art.

Organization from outside the state.

This all has a goofy air to it, but that’s deceptive.  It probably isn’t necessary to tell readers that.  It could get ugly, rather than remaining a quizzical curiosity.  Some of this area belongs to the taxpayers; some of it no doubt to private owners.  (There are businesses there, presumably paying rent to someone.)  At some point, the childish kick of “anarchy” will run into grown-up considerations like the need for maintenance and repair.  Insurance companies won’t like what’s going on, nor will banks that hold mortgages.

We could catalogue all the ways it will go south, but there’s no need to.  Anyone who’s ever been responsible for himself knows what they are.

Does Antifa, or Group X behind the Antifa curtain, have a longer-term plan?  Probably.  Antifa’s profile would be to try to provoke an escalating response from the government, ideally one that entangled actors at the federal level.  The People’s Assembly-holders lining up importantly to harangue each other at the microphone would make useful props for such political drama, perhaps in ways that are rather careless with their safety.

The Seattle leadership seems prepared to put the taxpayers on the hook for whatever happens in the CHAZ, which of course is fine with the CHAZites because (a) they have no responsibility or any sense of one, and (b) they think the Seattle taxpayers owe “it” to the “Salish” anyway, and at least some of them will appoint themselves to facilitate the collection process.

So the state of Washington will have to make a decision.  And the feds have to be watching.  This is, after all, an Antifa-enabled enterprise, with at least some of its organization originating out of state.  If you look through the Antifa-linked accounts, they’re paying close attention to what’s going on elsewhere in the country.  This isn’t confined to Seattle.

If I’ve been reading Trump correctly, he’ll look for indirect ways to induce desired behavior out of this crowd.  It may not even be visible to observers, and probably won’t involve direct communication.  Washington state doesn’t have to let this degenerate into a pitched standoff, but the leadership is Democratic, so it probably will.  I don’t think Trump will cast himself in the Clinton-v.-Branch-Davidians role, however.

Of course, the biggest mistake would be to think this will define our summer for us.  We’ve all figured out by now that something else will knock it off the front page pretty quickly, I imagine.

The pink umbrellas, explicated.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.