The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, has dubbed the CHAZ — the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” which is basically a 2020 reboot of the Occupy Wall Street rabblements set in the American Northwest, taking over six blocks in Seattle for some sort of vague experiment in alternative living — the city’s “newest neighborhood” and said it was trying “to create its own narrative.”
I suppose coming from the remove of Spokane, in the eastern part of Washington state, the CHAZ might appear like a 1960s kind of utopian project, something we’ll all look back on as a “social change ecosystem” (to use the words of one participant) that sparked some small modicum of change in our political and cultural consciousness.
WARNING: The following videos and tweets contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
From a closer vantage point, however, it looks less like Woodstock and more like Altamont.
Don’t ask me, though, ask an African-American man who tried to carry an American flag through “Seattle’s newest neighborhood.”
The video of the event was posted to Twitter on Sunday by Andy Ngô, chronicler of all things antifa in the Pacific Northwest, as well as TheBlaze’s Elijah Schaffer:
“Keep on walking you race traitor ass bitch,” shouts a man over a bullhorn to a black man carrying an American flag through the Seattle “autonomous zone.” People then try to steal his flag. A woman carrying an American flag was robbed moments earlier. Both were chased out #antifa pic.twitter.com/nXl8qCwAFy
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 14, 2020
Citizens of #CHAZ chase off black man carrying American flag
Call him a race traitor & imperialist b*tch over the megaphone
One person threw beer onto him and the flag
While a crowd continued to form
Yelling black lives matter
Absolutely no social distancing here either pic.twitter.com/RU7g808kCv
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) June 14, 2020
Now, the CHAZ community was sparked by the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, whose neck was knelt on for nearly nine minutes by a Minneapolis police officer during a May 25 arrest. Nominally, then, you would think one of their goals is to give black Americans more of a voice.
Here’s a black American. He has a political point to make. He decided to show his support for the United States by carrying a flag. And what did we get?
“Keep on walking you race traitor a– b—-.”
Several of the CHAZ participants then decided they wanted to take the flag, leading to one individual telling them to “de-escalate! De-escalate!”
Ngô also alleged that there was “[a] woman carrying an American flag [who] was robbed moments earlier,” although there doesn’t appear to be video of that.
So, how do you square this with the values one might ascribe to the “social change ecosystem” of CHAZ? Well, to quote one of the people involved in a video where a street preacher was held down, “the Autonomous Zone has the right to reject you.”
“the autonomous zone has the right to reject you”
A citizen of #CHAZ yells at a street preacher being held down by Antifa
As he screams “I am free citizen!”
While they pry his speaker from his hands
And chokehold him at one point face down like George Floyd (video below) pic.twitter.com/a1pry438jA
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) June 13, 2020
That’s some rejection. In another video involving the street preacher, a gay CHAZ participant engages in a forceful “hug” with the preacher that looks a lot like sexual misconduct, particularly given that he kisses him:
This is what “Defund the Police” looks like
In #CHAZ a street preacher is surrounded by ANTIFA
A professing homosexual man holds onto him,
kisses him (unwarranted)
they eventually released him
There are no cops,
but there are definitely rules in the Automomous Zone pic.twitter.com/2b1NTLjSk8
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) June 13, 2020
Meanwhile, Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best says that “rapes, robberies and all sorts of violent acts have been occurring in the area and we’re not able to get to it,” adding that response times in the area had tripled.
Seattle Police Chief: “Rapes, robberies and all sorts of violent acts have been occurring in the area and we’re not able to get to [them].” #capitolhillautonomouszone #antifa #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/Oe5YfVz3uL
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 12, 2020
According to Fox News, Assistant Chief of Police Deanna Nollette said that they’d “heard, anecdotally, reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area. This is the crime of extortion. If anyone has been subjected to this, we need them to call 911.”
Utopia! “Social change ecosystem!”
Apologists for the CHAZ often point out that the community is mostly peaceful — a statement which is likely accurate if you subscribe to the leftist groupthink that came up with a concept like CHAZ in the first place. The individuals in the videos above were no doubt there to be provocative.
But that was supposed to be the point. This isn’t an exercise in free thought. It’s a safe space for the kind of person who would look at a black man holding an American flag and call him a “race traitor a– b—-.”
Last Thursday, Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that CHAZ has “a block party atmosphere” and said it could turn into a “summer of love.”
I’m not sure what Durkan knows about the Summer of Love or what kind of block parties she goes to. However, those preposterous thoughts make clear her impressions of her city’s “newest neighborhood” are dangerously flawed.
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