Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)–2020

A Beginning Note–This post ought to keep the old farts busy for awhile sling insults and spreading their manure……enjoy.

The newest situation that has the lie machine working overtime is that of the Autonomous Zone in Seattle……a new way to protest….or is it?

Before let me give mt reader a little context…..

The very term makes people with a history background think about 1871 and the Paris Commune….

The Paris Commune was a popular-led democratic government that ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. Inspired by the Marxist politics and revolutionary goals of the International Workingmen’s Organization (also known as the First International), workers of Paris united to overthrow the existing French regime which had failed to protect the city from Prussian siege, and formed the first truly democratic government in the city and in all of France. The elected council of the Commune passed socialist policies and oversaw city functions for just over two months, until the French army retook the city for the French government, slaughtering tens of thousands of working-class Parisians in order to do so.

Then there is the term Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ)…..a construct from the 1990s…..

Coined in 1990 by poet, anarcho-immediatist and Sufi scholar Hakim Bey, the term temporary autonomous zone (T.A.Z.) seeks to preserve the creativity, energy and enthusiasm of autonomous uprisings without replicating the inevitable betrayal and violence that has been the reaction to most revolutions throughout history. The answer, according to Bey, lies in refusing to wait for a revolutionary moment, and instead create spaces of freedom in the immediate present whilst avoiding direct confrontation with the state.

A T.A.Z. is a liberated area “of land, time or imagination” where one can be for something, not just against, and where new ways of being human together can be explored and experimented with. Locating itself in the cracks and fault lines in the global grid of control and alienation, a T.A.Z. is an eruption of free culture where life is experienced at maximum intensity. It should feel like an exceptional party where for a brief moment our desires are made manifest and we all become the creators of the art of everyday life.

Temporary autonomous zone

Now this brings me to the Autonomous Zone in Seattle…..or as it is called Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)……

“THIS SPACE IS NOW PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PEOPLE.” So read a banner draped Tuesday on the city’s East Precinct police station, part of what the Seattle Times reports is a newly installed “protest society” called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. Most notable about the CHAZ is there are no police there, after authorities retreated Monday and boarded up the building, per the Washington Post. It’s all part of the protesters’ eventual goal to defund the police and find a way to “more compassionately organize our city,” one of the movement’s leaders tells the Times. Per and WPTV, it’s unclear how long police will stay away, or how long protesters will be allowed to stay in the six-block area. One person not thrilled about this new setup: the president.

“Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats,” Trump tweeted Wednesday night. “LAW & ORDER!” He also accused “Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle” of “being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before,” adding, “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!” “‘Stoop’ tweeting,” Inslee responded, referencing Trump’s typo. “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business.” As for Mayor Jenny Durkan: “Make us all safe,” she posted. “Go back to your bunker.” More here and here on the CHAZ.

More on the similarities between Seattle and Paris of 1871……

Reports from CHAZ, described by The Stranger as “exceedingly chill,” make it sound like a mix of Occupy Wall Street and a college independent cooperative dorm. The cordoned-off area includes apartments, businesses, and the precinct, with protesters free to gather away from any police. According to news reports and accounts from observers, there is a “No Cop Co-Op” with free food, vegan pizza, LaCroix (and White Claw), a hot dog stand (not free), a medical center, a Mutual Aid Books table, a garden, and a giant Black Lives Matter mural.


There are 30 demands coming out of CHAZ….read them here…..

There are some untruths (go figure) coming out about CHAZ……

Local reporters confirm that there are some CHAZ residents walking around with firearms (Washington is an open-carry state) but that they claim they are providing safety for CHAZ and other protesters accept their presence in the area. Seattle police walked back a previous claim that some businesses were being extorted to be able to operate in the area, with Best clarifying that they have not actually had any formal reports of extortion occurring.

Amazing nothing has changed in a hundred and fifty years…..the only answer for power brokers is to send in troops when the people want a better life.

It is easier to stomp down protests than to find answers to societal problems…..Trumpy is a true authoritarian at heart.

Learn Stuff!

Be well….Be Safe…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

11 thoughts on “Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)–2020

  1. Reports about this situation differ. I read that organised crime is moving into the area, demanding protection money. Then I read that some residents were unhappy about the police leaving the area because of demonstrators carrying firearms. Conflicting reports paint a picture of harmony and cooperation in once case, whilst another is claiming that the protestors are not residents of that area, or even of Seattle.
    I suppose the only way to know the real truth would be to go there.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Seems like nothing new … way yo go!! … “Amazing nothing has changed in a hundred and fifty years … the only answer for power brokers is to send in troops when the people want a better life. It is easier to stomp down protests than to find answers to societal problems … Trumpy is a true authoritarian at heart.”

  3. Drop leaflets in the middle of the occupied zone warning the inhabitants to get out by a certain time and then send in the hellfire missiles and level it to bare earth. If that does not seem practical, then let the government send some facial recognition drones over the area for a few days, identify the perps, and then send in a couple of night raids by the appropriate special forces teams, arresting those who do not resist and using whatever necessary force needed to subdue those who do. I can see another David Koresh possibility brewing here.

  4. I lived in Seattle when the Capital Hill precinct was first built and the local community opposed it from the outset. The African Americans in the community knew from the outset why the site was chosen – to better enable cops to target African Americans for harassment, assault, and worse. Now that it’s finally closed, community sentiment is finally being honored.

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