Seattle’s far-left police-free nirvana is already falling apart.
A wave of violence has struck the anti-government zone set up by protesters in the middle of the city’s Capitol Hill district, with at least four shootings and one death.
Now, the people who live there — and the businesses trying to function inside it — have had enough. They’ve filed a lawsuit demanding that the city retake control.
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They say they favor the protests overall, but don’t support their neighborhood being abandoned to lawlessness.
“This lawsuit is about the constitutional and other legal rights of Plaintiffs – businesses, employees, and residents in and around CHOP – which have been overrun by the City of Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood,” the lawsuit states, according to local media.
They complain that this zone –- full of hard-working taxpayers and legitimate businesses –- has been left “unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public at large.”
That’s left workers, residents, and businesses facing danger and even unable to access their own homes and workplaces.
The site was initially called the “CHAZ” for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Now, it’s the CHOP – for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest or Capitol Hill Organized Protest, depending on who you ask.
But what the zone is best known for isn’t its name.
It’s the fact that leftists seized control of a portion of a major American city, kicked out the police and put themselves in charge. They’ve essentially overthrown the local government.
And the result has been an unmitigated disaster.
Seattle police chief, Carmen Best, said at a news conference that there have been reports of “shootings, a rape, assaults, burglary, arson, and property destruction” inside the zone.
“This isn’t a debate about first amendment rights,” she said. “This is about life or death.”
Police say they’ve been unable to respond to some of the calls in the zone, and during the deadly shooting, the officers “were met by a violent crowd that prevented officers’ safe access to the victims,” according to a city’s police blotter.
Instead of getting professional help from police and EMTs, the CHOP’s own “medics” took the victims to a hospital, where one died.
Now, facing growing violence and a lawsuit, the city seems finally ready to respond.
“It’s time for people to go home,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a news conference this past week. “It is time for us to restore Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill so it can be a vibrant part of the community.”
One of the local organizers agreed as community leader Andre Taylor told CNN that the CHOP is done.
“It is over because of the violence,” he said. “I’ve told people here don’t be focused on the location. CHOP is not a location, it is an idea.”
But it’s not quite over – because a core of holdouts remain, and it seems they have no plans to “go home” anytime soon.
Mayor Durkan isn’t just facing resistance in the CHOP.
It’s also coming from within the city’s own government.
Kshama Sawant, a socialist member of the city council, on Twitter called for a 50 percent cut in the police budget and said police should not be allowed to return to the CHOP.
“Our movement needs to urgently ensure East Precinct is not handed back to police, but is turned over permanently into community control,” she wrote on Twitter.
She also implied that the deadly shooting in the zone could have been committed by Trump supporters.
“If this killing turns out to be a right-wing attack, Trump bears direct responsibility,” she wrote.
CHOP protesters have also blamed drinking, gang violence, and a personal history between the suspects for the shooting, according to local media reports.
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Sawant is part of a group trying to create an “Amazon Tax” aimed at Seattle’s biggest businesses, especially Amazon. This bill, if passed, would take in $500 million from those companies.
At least, that’s the intent.
With half a billion on the line, it’s almost certain that Amazon would simply move.
Without businesses – and without taxpayers – the leftist dream would finally come true. The city would have no police or any other services… no money, after all… turning Seattle into one big CHOP.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”