Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said it best: “Boy, nation-states seem to be lasting shorter & shorter.” That was just one of a few brief jabs the senator lobbed at the failed autonomous zone on Twitter tagged with #NowThatCHAZIsGone. But all jokes aside, one must wonder how long CHOP – the anomaly formerly known as CHAZ – would have lasted had the situation not gotten so worrisome for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.
Sure, she cites the recent shootings as her reason for finally sending the police in to clear the area, but were her motives as stated genuine? There has been violence in CHOP nearly from the beginning. Only recently did protesters bring their anger to her own doorstep. And only recently was a civilian takeback of the zone organized for the Fourth of July. So, did Mayor Durkan shut down CHOP because a couple of kids got shot – or did she do it because the protesters made it personal and a bunch of American patriots threaten to show just how much Seattle doesn’t need her?
CHOP Gets the Ax
Mayor Durkan issued an executive order at 9:29 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, which declared gathering in the so-called autonomous zone “an unlawful assembly requiring immediate action from city agencies, including the Police Department.” By 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, more than a hundred officers in body armor and helmets entered the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. They issued dispersal orders and had arrested 32 people by 9:30 a.m. Reasons cited for the arrests include failure to disperse, obstruction, assault, and unlawful weapon possession.
The mayor gave a press conference Wednesday afternoon and explained her ostensible reason for finally doing her job. “For weeks we had peaceful demonstrations on Capitol Hill,” she said after opening by saying that authorities still needed to meet the protesters’ demands. “While thousands have peacefully protested in the area over the last weeks, the public safety threats in the last weeks have been well documented. The multiple acts of gun violence have resulted in tragic deaths of two individuals, both of them teenagers.” She went on to say that gun violence was what caused them to “immediately address public safety concerns.”
But something just doesn’t pass the sniff test here … wonder what it could be?
Get Your Facts Straight
Over the weekend, an incident involving two young men in a Jeep and numerous CHOP shooters resulted in over 300 rounds being fired – and the death of a 16-year-old and critical injury of a 14-year-old. Police still don’t have all the details. While it’s tempting to give the mayor the benefit of the doubt and say this is what caused her to change her tune, it seems unlikely. On the 23rd, a man in his thirties was shot at 11th Avenue East and East Denny Way. On June 21, a 17-year-old was shot at the corner of Harvard and East Pine. The day before, 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson was shot and killed at 10th Avenue and East Pine.
Anderson’s brother, in an interview filmed in front of the table covered in his brother’s blood, explained how CHOP occupants hid the body from him and said that it wasn’t the victim’s blood on the table. He pointed out that those yelling “Black Lives Matter” should have been prepared for this. Though, one must wonder just how much black lives matter to the mayor if she waited ten days after this murder to do anything about it. Back to the most recent shooting, one must wonder just how much black lives matter to the organizers of CHOP when it was CHOP security who gunned down the two black teens in the Jeep.
Far more likely, the mayor began worrying about lives threatened by CHOP violence when that violence neared her own doorstep. Durkan had been supportive of the protesters – even to the point of cutting her own police chief off at the knees by officially supporting the protest and ordering officers out of the area after Chief Carmen Best called the occupation precisely what it was. But once protesters headed for Durkan’s house, the “summer of love,” as she once called it, was officially over. Now they were dangerous people putting families at risk.
A Patriot Party for the Fourth of July
But there’s another factor the mayor didn’t mention. Several groups of patriots, beginning with Bikers for Trump, have come together on Facebook and organized a rally and march through CHOP to retake it for America. They say they aren’t going for violence – just to make their way through CHOP and clean up the mess. But if any of the protesters attack them, well, suffice to say they would be ready.
Even with CHOP cleared out, this patriot party is still on for the Fourth of July – and Liberty Nation’s Kelli Ballard will be there to cover it. But what if Mayor Durkan hadn’t ordered CHOP cleared out just three days before the planned event? What would it mean for her career as a politician if civilians had to step in and fix the problem she helped create? Even if CHAZ/CHOP hadn’t demonstrated how useless she is to the people of Seattle, this certainly would have. And if there’s one thing Durkan – or any other leftist politician, for that matter – fears more than anything else, it’s her people realizing just how much they don’t need her.
Read more from James Fite.