It is no doubt that Seattle protest has peaked Black Lives Matter movement in U.S since George Floyd’s death on 25 May 2020 in Minneapolis under police custody.
The establishment of 6-block radius Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, later renamed as Capitol Hill Organized Protest/CHOP, has became a brand to push series of ambitious demands. Among others are police dismantlement, retrial for all people of color in prison after being convicted of violent crimes, and independent anti-crime system.
The movement claimed it is leaderless. Something that makes the focus and the actual messages lost in CHOP, followed by confusions. Especially after Seattle Peoples Party Nikkita Oliver and Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant advocating socialist goals through the movement, then some even more serious questions and critics arise.
Rex Murphy writes on National Post questioning how precisely Antifa in Seattle will implement cop-free policy to protect public safety, when CHOP as the ‘self-governance experiment’ actually pose a dangerous threat to residents of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood. While Mayor Jenny Durkan told media that the autonomous zone is merely a block party, Police Chief Carmen Best admitted there are rape, robbery and sort of violent acts there and the police cannot get to them.
Anarchy is the Endgame
Americans not only consist of white and black people, poor and rich, leftists Antifa who support autonomous cop-free zone or right-wing nativists who build borders. There are also law abiding Americans who uphold law enforcement and expect to hold structural leaderships accountable. As Omari Salisbury writes, those people are the Black Lives Matter activists that believe the only thing all Black people in Seattle want is to “start a dialog” with the city and that a dialog is a great first step. These are also the same Black people wanting to convince protestors to “take a knee”.
Perhaps Mayor Durkan and Chief Best need to look up to Nashville and Portland on how authorities should deal with autonomous zones planned by radical activists, where the jurisdiction works by mob rules instead of democratic process. Creating armed paramilitary vigilantes, either inside the autonomous zone or outside from the one who oppose them. Just a matter of time to see what the Seattle police officer said come to real life, that “It is not hyperbolic to say the endgame is anarchy.”
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 14, 2020
The hijacking issue aside, that’s exactly how the world outside U.S sees about this nationwide Black Lives Matter movement. Property destruction, looting, criminal violence and riots inflicting long-term economic harm.
France and Hong Kong experienced the agony. Yellow vest movement and anti-China protest damaging small businesses in those regions up to permanent level. No investors would be interested in limited business activities and “State of Emergency” situation. Not to mention global economic slowdown due to COVID-19.
U.S economy declined even faster in early months of 2020. Financial experts expressed their concerns that continued unrest will be negative catalyst for stocks and hurt consumer confidence. Thus, complicate the process of economic recovery. Moreover if this massive protests where people gather in close proximity, followed by second wave of coronavirus.
According to Lawrence Reed, President of Foundation for Economic Education, Seattle autonomous zone is no different than Paris Commune in 1871 when Marxist-inspired working class formed socialist-style Commune government. The regime lasted 71 days before the French army retook the city and slaughtered thousands of Parisian working class. Despite the Marxist-root similarity, we can be sure 100% it will not be the endgame of Seattle autonomous zone. But we still cannot be sure how it will serve the purposes and goals of Black Lives Matter and anti police brutality movement, when even the activists involved questioning the actual agenda of such place.