CHAZ: Seattle's Anarchist Commune Is No Laughing Matter
From Cameron@email@example.com to alt.politics.trump,alt.politics.media,sac.politics,alt.politics.liberalism,alt.fan.rush-limbaugh on Mon Dec 14 04:07:50 2020
From Newsgroup: alt.politics.media
Most revolutions don’t end in liberty; rather, they typically
end in bloodshed and merciless tyranny.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, created in Seattle is
being billed as a cop-free zone (or something along those lines)
and treated by more than a few media organizations as little
more than a social justice street festival.
CHAZ—now being referred to by some by a new acronym, CHOP—was
carved out of six city blocks and a park surrounding the now-
abandoned Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct building.
So far, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the chief of police have
taken no steps to regain control of the area, which is now
surrounded by various blockades.
Much of the media coverage portrays CHAZ as a sort of peaceful
urban enclave where social justice activists have gathered to
air their complaints about the police and racism in America.
“What has emerged is an experiment in life without the
police—part street festival, part commune,” reported The New
York Times. “Hundreds have gathered to hear speeches, poetry,
and music. On [the night of June 9], dozens of people sat in the
middle of an intersection to watch ‘13th,’ the Ava DuVernay film
about the criminal justice system’s impact on African Americans.
[The next day], children made chalk drawings in the middle of
The Associated Press called CHAZ a “festive zone,” and other
outlets have followed suit.
So, what exactly is the Seattle autonomous zone, and what does
it stand for?
On June 8, some of the protesters drew up a list of what my
colleague GianCarlo Canaparo called “foolish and dangerous
policy proposals,” including abolishing courts, prisons, and the
They also demanded citizenship for illegal immigrants,
socialized medicine, and reparations for black Americans.
The zone has a mix of peaceful occupiers and some not so
peaceful ones, combining that so-called social justice street
festival with the threat and occasional eruptions of robbery,
property destruction, and bloodshed.
“Security, some armed, are stationed at borders fortified with
metal and plastic traffic barricades,” Jason Rantz wrote at
National Review. “There’s only one entrance that allows drivers,
but you must first check in with CHAZ security. One protester
said they monitor who comes in and out, looking for white
supremacists they think may show up to start trouble.”
There are a few historical comparisons to what’s currently going
on in Seattle, a city known for its history of left-wing labor
agitation dating back more than a century.
It could also be described as a kind of rehash of the “utopian”
communities that were tried and mostly spectacularly failed in
the early 19th century, the difference being that most of those
societies were created in lightly populated rural areas.
Or perhaps the better description would be that it’s a small-
time re-enactment of the Paris Commune of 1871.
The so-called communards—basically, communists—created the
commune in Paris after France was defeated in the Franco-
Prussian War. The independent socialist paradise lasted two
blood-soaked months in which escalating starvation and violence
eventually led to the French military rolling in and retaking
So far at least, CHAZ appears to be less violent, but a mob is
still a mob. Anarchy and radicalism tend to turn to destruction
Although the acronym for the zone has been changed by some to
CHOP, what the “O” stands for is ambiguous. According to some
reports, the acronym means Capitol Hill Organized Protest, but
regardless, the message is certainly ominous.
It’s not a good sign that “citizens” of the autonomous zone, if
they can be called that, are drawing their own comparisons to
the French Revolution.
True enough, opponents of the French Revolution went to the
guillotine. So did proponents. Before the bloody reign of terror
was over, even the most fervent Jacobin leader, Maximilien
Robespierre, went to the chopping block to the chorus of a
Such is the nature of the end of most of history’s revolutions.
The bottom line is, CHAZ—or CHOP, or whatever the autonomous
zone is being called at the moment—represents a city in a state
of anarchy, but that anarchy won’t continue long.
Despite claims to be above needing sordid things such as police,
the CHAZ occupiers have already begun implementing enforcers to
control outbreaks of violence and theft, a border to ensure that
not everyone can come in and the distinction between occupants
and outsiders, and some kind of rudimentary political system
(specifically, a warlord in rapper Raz Simone).
They have all this while eliminating the elements of a free
society that elevate us above savagery and hold back tyranny.
They are missing courts (which they seek to abolish), elections,
or really any kind of political or legal accountability.
An incident that took place Sunday, as described by Christopher
Rufo, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth,
Poverty, and Morality, illustrates where this experiment may be
Sunday night, the CHAZ nearly erupted into a wider conflict. A
man dressed in black broke into the Car Tender, a local
business, allegedly stealing some items and setting the building
The shop’s owner and a heavily armed companion put out the fire
and detained the alleged thief, prompting a mob of protesters to
swarm the area, break down the fence, and confront the shop
owners, believing a rumor that the thief was being held at
After a tense exchange, Raz Simone and the mob eventually chased
down the alleged thief and forcibly detained him. Despite
multiple calls for service, the police refused to intervene.
It’s clear that in the Seattle autonomous zone, most basic
rights to life and property can’t be protected. Though CHAZ
occupants say they seek justice, at least rhetorically, they
have no avenue to carry it out other than through the use of raw
In essence, the Seattle autonomous zone is a revolutionary
movement that has few safeguards to stand up to the whims of the
strong or the mob.
It’s malpractice for the media to portray this development as
little more than a peaceful block party.
If nature abhors a vacuum, the vacuum of anarchy is rarely
replaced by liberty and justice for all.