by WorldTribune Staff, July 1, 2020
When the nation of CHAZ/CHOP was formed in Seattle last month, Mayor Jenny Durkan could hardly contain her jubilation. It would be a new “Summer of Love,” the mayor proclaimed.
Less than a month later, following several shootings, two resulting in deaths, and after a mob surrounded her home, Durkan is a lot less jubilant.
Less than a month after it started, the “Summer of Love”, it would appear, is over.
After the mayor issued an executive order declaring the autonomous zone an unlawful assembly, Seattle police on Wednesday morning moved in and the new nation was disbanded.
Writing for The Bulwark on Wednesday, Robert Tracinski noted of the rise and fall of CHOP: “This illusion of ‘collective’ power is an old lesson of socialist utopias. It always turns out that some people are more equal than others. When you hand over the use of force to an unthinking, unaccountable mob and the self-appointed ‘voices’ of the collective — well, we now have a perfect illustration of where that gets you.”
The ‘Summer of Love’, Tracinski wrote, turned murderous “about a week ago with two shootings in 48 hours. In one of them, a 19-year-old kid who was trying to get other protesters to stop setting off dangerous fireworks was shot and killed. The protesters prevented police and ambulances from arriving at the scene. The victim died after being taken to the hospital by CHOP ‘medics,’ and no suspects have yet been identified in his death.” He continued:
On Monday there was another shooting, which left a 16-year-old dead and a 14-year-old in intensive care. In this case, there is some indication that the shooting may have been done by CHOP “security” after they had been alerted that the Jeep the victims were driving was stolen. So much for addressing the problems of police brutality and excessive use of force.
As with the previous shooting, there are no suspects and no one in the CHOP was cooperating with police.
Both of the young men killed were black.
Police on Wednesday re-took the East Precinct stationhouse after clearing out the area, making more than 20 arrests, reports said.
“Officers enforcing today’s order are wearing a higher-level of protective gear,” police said. “Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated w/the CHOP are known to be armed and dangerous/may be associated with shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults & other violent crimes.”
Seattle police also revealed that city workers had recovered makeshift spike strips “designed to puncture vehicle tires — in the area of the CHOP.”
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told reporters: “Our job is to support peaceful demonstration but what has happened on these streets over the last few weeks is lawless and it’s brutal and bottom line it is simply unacceptable.”
Durkan’s executive order to clear out the autonomous zone cited “several gun violence incidents — two of which resulted in the loss of life — hostile crowds, the inability of emergency personnel to move quickly and efficiently in the area due to the barriers, narcotics use and violent crime — including rape, robbery, and assault — increased gang activity, business harassment, noise disturbances, property damage, open fires, and ongoing violations of the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Code of Conduct.”
On Sunday, protesters surrounded Durkan’s home after hearing she planned to dismantle CHOP.
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, an avowed socialist, joined the demonstrators gathered at Durkan’s home who were holding signs, chanting, and demanding she leave CHOP alone or meet protesters’ demands.
Durkan’s office issued a statement, saying Sawant joined the protests “without regard for the safety of the mayor and her family.”
“Mayor Durkan and her family are in the state program to keep their address confidential because of the death threats mostly related to her work as Seattle’s U.S. Attorney under President Obama,” a statement from the mayor’s office issued Sunday read. “Instead of working to make true change, Council member Sawant continues to choose political stunts. Tonight she did so without regard for the safety of the Mayor and her family. The Mayor was not even home — she was working at City Hall. Seattle can and should peacefully demonstrate but should not put families and children at risk.”
As of 7:45 AM, officers have made 23 arrests in the #CHOP zone for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault. One of the arrestees, a 29-year-old man, was in possession of a large metal pipe and kitchen knife when he was taken into custody. pic.twitter.com/12qT7psBQQ
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 1, 2020