Lawless in Seattle: City lets anarchists seize downtown blocks

Even for 2020, events in Seattle are bizarre: Armed radicals have taken over six blocks downtown, with the de facto blessing of city officials.

It’s the 2011 Occupy Wall Street takeover of Zuccotti Park, but multiplied by a factor of 10 or 20. Indeed, the OWS radicals were tame by comparison, with their drum circles and chants: This crew has at least one guy running around with a pistol and an AK-47.

After nights of violent attacks on the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered a pullout.

The cops boarded up their building — and the radicals moved in, throwing up barriers (sorry, John Lennon), dubbing the area the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, and declaring it cop-free.

Yet guards, who’ve reportedly been checking IDs at the CHAZ borders, are declaring that they are now the police — even if they have no authority or proper training. (Untrained “police”: That’s a fine response to George Floyd’s death.)

Photos suggest the area has been peaceful so far, with occupiers speechifying, painting, watching films and enjoying music. Trash collection and most other city services continue.

Yet the real cops say they’ve gotten many complaints and cite potential extortion of businesses and residents. Given that the area was peaceful until the radicals began attacking the East Precinct, there’s every reason to expect things to head downhill.

Zuccotti Park saw rapes, theft and disease under its occupation. CHAZ promises more of the same. The zone also resembles OWS in its lack of coherent leadership; demands from various quarters include abolishing the SPD to “de-gentrifying” Seattle to the mayor’s resignation.

Durkan says she’s committed to maintaining a space for peaceful protests but wants to dialogue with the invaders. Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday actually pleaded ignorance of the situation.

This has nothing to do with any legitimate protest. It’s a motley gang’s power grab, plain and simple — encouraged by Durkan’s appalling weakness.

The people of Seattle need to wake up: In the face of violence, their government is willing to abandon them to the mercies of a pack of invaders.

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