by Frank Holmes, reporter
Left-wing radicals in Seattle said if they’d establish a new people’s republic, without police or capitalism, you’d see paradise on earth.
It took them less than a week to turn their six-block commune into a criminal hellhole, with rapes, violent crimes, and armed thugs shaking down businesses and bullying people on the street.
Last Tuesday, during nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death, looters seized the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and renamed the area the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or “CHAZ.” (It’s since been renamed the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or “CHOP.”)
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Rioters busted windows and spray-painted everything in the district. When the city’s liberal Democratic leaders abandoned the local police precinct, the looters renamed it the “Seattle People’s Department” and hung a banner on the building that says, “THIS SPACE IS NOW PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PEOPLE.”
CHAZ’s organizers said they had set up their own private, left-wing, independent nation—and the cops aren’t welcome there.
But almost immediately, a string of serious lawlessness broke out—and residents trapped inside the protesters’ paradise bombarded the police and fire departments with calls for help.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told local KIRO TV that, since CHAZ dwellers still call “our 911, our response times have tripled in the area. They’ve gone from just under 5 minutes to about 18 minutes.”
They report serious felonies in the zone, including “rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to,” she said.
Disturbing video emerged almost immediately of armed gang led by an obscure rapper named Raz Simone. Local residents call him the first CHAZ “warlord.”
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In another video, a CHAZ resident is interrogated by an angry mob and threatened with a baseball bat.
The sight of anonymous people prowling the alley with rifles and a 50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol has the people who actually lives in the area back when it was still called Seattle scared witless.
“We’re not real easy with the autonomous zone,” a 72-year-old man who lives nearby told The Seattle Times. “They’re just random guys and they have a gun.”
“The street’s barricaded so emergency vehicles can’t get through,” he said.
Another resident, who asked to be identified only as Brandon, said, “I’ve been scared every day since Sunday, and I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep.”
“For the first time in my life in Capitol Hill, I hear gunshots every single night. I’ve heard people screaming every single night outside…screams of terror out there, and I don’t know what’s happening out there.”
The new militias are turning to old mob tactics, the Seattle Police Department says.
“Citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area,” said Assistant SPD Chief Deanna Nollette on Wednesday. “This is a crime of extortion.”
The open-borders types in CHAZ, who demand amnesty for illegal aliens, have been policing their own borders, demanding an ID to enter.
Police officers have “been hearing from community members that they have been subjected to barricades set up by the protesters with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints in the neighborhood,” Nollette said.
But the next day Seattle’s Democratic mayor, Jenny Durkan, threw her own police force under the bus and openly sided with the rioters.
CHAZ is more like one big party, she said, like the hippie-era “Summer of Love.”
Durkan said she remains “committed to listening”—to the rioters—inviting them “to reimagine how we do things as a city.”
While the Democrat admitted there had been “some vandalism” and “a fight,” she claimed that anything else was just a story that police had “heard anecdotally.”
As usual, the Democrats said the real threat to safety is President Donald Trump.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee—who was one of the dozens of Democrats to run unsuccessfully for president in 2020—said CHAZ’s “peaceful protests are fundamentally American.”
Trump called lawbreaking CHAZ organizers “domestic terrorists” and threatened to send in the National Guard to restore order, if Durkan and Inslee won’t.
Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
Inslee replied that “the U.S. military serves to protect Americans, not the fragility of an insecure president.”
But conservatives say crimes always spike when liberals pass soft-on-crime legislation.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told Fox News if you like the CHAZ crime spree, you’ll love it when Democrats “defund the police.”
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CHAZ is “a dress rehearsal for life in America without law enforcement,” he said.
Governor Inslee and “the mayor needs to take her meds. She can’t maintain order in Seattle without her law enforcement officials.”
If she’d listened to her own constituents instead of the left-wing vanguard in CHAZ, she’d already know that.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”