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June 11, 2020

Seattle’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ Experiment

Radical leftists have taken over six blocks of the city, declaring it autonomous from the U.S.

They call it Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ — a six-block area in downtown Seattle that has been taken over by the radical leftists of antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the John Brown Gun Club. A cardboard sign on the edge of CHAZ reads, “You are now leaving the USA.” Rapper Raz Simone, who appears to have become the self-appointed “police chief,” patrols the area with an AK-47 slung around his shoulders. There have been several reports of Simone assaulting individuals who failed to obey his orders. Former mayoral candidate and hard-left activist Nikkita Oliver has taken leadership of CHAZ, declaring, “[We will] align ourselves with the global struggle that acknowledges [that] the United States plays a role in racialized capitalism. Racialized capitalism is built upon patriarchy, white supremacy, and classism.”

How did this happen? As protests escalated last week, Seattle law enforcement, following the order of Police Chief Carmen Best, abandoned the East Precinct station on Monday, allowing the leftist mob to take control. Seattle’s leaders are fearful of running afoul of the anti-police sentiments roiling the country and are essentially at a loss as to how to respond.

As City Journal’s Christopher F. Rufo reports, “The city government has not developed a strategic response to the takeover of Capitol Hill. According to one Seattle police officer with knowledge of internal deliberations, the city’s ‘leadership is in chaos’ and ‘the mayor has made the decision to let a mob of 1,000 people dictate public safety policy for a city of 750,000.’ The officer said that Chief Best had dispatched high-ranking police officials to the autonomous zone to establish a line of communication, but the officials were immediately sent away by armed paramilitaries at the barricades. ‘The tide of public opinion is on the side of the activists and they’re pushing the envelope as far as they can,’ said the officer. ‘It’s not hyperbolic to say the endgame is anarchy.’”

Further complicating the issue is the fact that several Seattle City Council members are supportive of these leftist radicals. Councilwoman Kshama Sawant actively championed CHAZ, calling it a “victory” over “the militarized police force of the political establishment and the capitalist state.”

Meanwhile, Washington’s Democrat Governor Jay Inslee claimed he was entirely unaware of CHAZ, replying when asked by a reporter on Wednesday, “Well, that’s news to me.” It’s certainly not news to President Donald Trump, who called for law and order and blasted the non-response of Washington state leaders: “Radical Left Governor Jay Inslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”

These Democrat leaders are playing with fire. Clearly, they’re motivated by political calculations, believing that their feigned support of these anti-police protests and riots will benefit them. However, as the situation is allowed to spiral out of control, how many businesses looted and destroyed, how many assaults, how many lives lost will it take for these feckless politicians, protected behind their personal police details, to act? Trump is correct. This in’t a game.

UPDATE, 6/12/20.

In a recently leaked video, Seattle Police Chief Best claims that the decision to abandon the East Precinct wasn’t hers. “You should know: leaving the precinct was not my decision. We fought for days to protect it. I asked you to stay on that line, day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened, and in some cases, hurt. Then, to have a change of course, nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community. … I am angry about how this all came about. I understand that my comments and this message may be leaked to the public, but I’m not concerned about that. I stand by what I’m saying.”

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