Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

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loomer
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Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-09 10:57am

Protesters Establish Autonomous Zone Around Seattle PD Building as Police Retreat
In Seattle, protesters are claiming victory after they established a barricaded zone around a police precinct building that had been the site of protests — and a brutal police crackdown — for eight days. The precinct building is now boarded up. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best described the move as an exercise in “trust and deescalation.”

On Friday, Seattle announced a 30-day ban on the use of tear gas, but officers continued to use it against protesters over the weekend. Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council has begun discussing demilitarizing or defunding the police force. On Monday, Seattle City Councilperson Kshama Sawant introduced a bill to ban police from using chemical weapons and chokeholds.
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Coverage is still scanty, but I have two words. Hot. Damn.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Akumz Razor » 2020-06-09 02:56pm

I'm a Seattle journalist. Autonomous Zone sound a bit hyperbolic, but yes the cops did evac the precinct and board it up last night.

https://twitter.com/wwconverge provides imo the best on-the-ground coverage of the protests in Seattle.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-09 10:16pm

Yeah, I was wondering what they meant by "autonomous zone".

If its just that the police have withdrawn, good. Its a victory for the protesters, and a good move to deescalate by the city. If it were a case of the protests trying to set up their own politically autonomous area, however, then I acknowledge that I'd have problems with that. I am deeply opposed to anything that carries the whiff of secessionism- partly because I'm an internationalist, and desire a more united world, not less, and partly because the US government could never allow such an act without surrendering its own authority, and therefore I expect it would end in mass bloodshed if it achieved any significant success, and partly because once Leftists start setting up autonomous enclaves, the Right will too, only theirs' will involve purging minorities with assault rifles.

Very near the top of the list of hypotheticals that scare the hell out of me is the prospect of a balkanized United States divided into hundreds of conflicting microstates.

Bottom line: there are very few situations where I would support attempts to create independent authorities within the United States, in name or in fact. I'll support the sovereignty of indigenous tribes to the extent it is protected by treaty. But beyond that... probably not. Even if this were a full-scale civil war, I'd be on the side fighting to overthrow the government and create a new democratic America, not any side seeking to break the United States apart.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Jub » 2020-06-09 10:59pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-09 10:16pm
If it were a case of the protests trying to set up their own politically autonomous area, however, then I acknowledge that I'd have problems with that. I am deeply opposed to anything that carries the whiff of secessionism- partly because I'm an internationalist, and desire a more united world
What's stopping a collection of smaller states, enclaves, etc. from forming alliances and functioning smoothly as a member of the global whole? You don't literally need a single world government like you see in sci-fi to have a world that is unified and equitable for all and smaller autonomous collectives may actually aid rather than hinder this.

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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-10 12:57am

Since they haven't further reinforced the barricades during the day - John Brown Gun Club turning up with a few extra fences aside - I doubt the zone will be a going concern that much longer. It's a nice pressure valve but if the police decide to roll in the barricades they have up won't stop them for more than a second.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Akumz Razor » 2020-06-10 02:38pm

It would take a major show of force for SPD to retake the area at this point. There are rumblings about a hugely demoralized police force essentially throwing in the towel at this point. It will be interesting to see what happens if/when other first responders or municipal services attempt to go into the area.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by RogueIce » 2020-06-10 04:05pm

Apparently some local rapper named RAZ is causing problems, running around with his armed buddies playing police (ironically enough) and being something of a dick, apparently beat up somebody spraying graffiti (reddit link, with video)

Other than that it's apparently been mostly pretty chill from what I can gather off the local Seattle subreddits. Haven't seen a ton of reporting besides that.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-10 11:19pm

Yeah, that's my concern with setting up police-free autonomous zones: some jackass is going to start running around playing vigilante with their private militia. In which case, you've basically got the police back, except with even less rules and oversight.

Its basically a live illustration of the truism that the absence of law is just a quick and messy transitional phase to authoritarianism.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Jub » 2020-06-10 11:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-10 11:19pm
Yeah, that's my concern with setting up police-free autonomous zones: some jackass is going to start running around playing vigilante with their private militia. In which case, you've basically got the police back, except with even less rules and oversight.

Its basically a live illustration of the truism that the absence of law is just a quick and messy transitional phase to authoritarianism.
How is that any different than jackasses that commit crimes in areas nominally covered by the police?

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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-11 01:27am

It's one of the issues with unplanned transitions to anarchist organization - it needs all participants to be on the same page and commit to dispute resolution mechanisms from the jump or you get some ugliness that either spirals out and destroys the whole thing or has to be addressed and made right once the community course-corrects and implements a code of conduct and resolution mechanisms.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Bedlam » 2020-06-11 01:02pm

loomer wrote:
2020-06-11 01:27am
It's one of the issues with unplanned transitions to anarchist organization - it needs all participants to be on the same page and commit to dispute resolution mechanisms from the jump or you get some ugliness that either spirals out and destroys the whole thing or has to be addressed and made right once the community course-corrects and implements a code of conduct and resolution mechanisms.
And if a significant proportion of the community don't agree with (or come up with a different) code of conduct and resolution mechanisms?

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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-11 01:10pm

Bedlam wrote:
2020-06-11 01:02pm
loomer wrote:
2020-06-11 01:27am
It's one of the issues with unplanned transitions to anarchist organization - it needs all participants to be on the same page and commit to dispute resolution mechanisms from the jump or you get some ugliness that either spirals out and destroys the whole thing or has to be addressed and made right once the community course-corrects and implements a code of conduct and resolution mechanisms.
And if a significant proportion of the community don't agree with (or come up with a different) code of conduct and resolution mechanisms?
Then either you hash out one both can agree on - and you can even have two seperate ones in the same community - or one group leaves.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by FaxModem1 » 2020-06-11 01:38pm

The funny thing about Political Science is that you really can't experiment on communities to see what develops, and have to use case studies to see what happens.

If this part of Seattle goes fully autonomous, then this is going to be a very interesting case study for political scientists in how a society runs.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-11 01:44pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-06-11 01:38pm
The funny thing about Political Science is that you really can't experiment on communities to see what develops, and have to use case studies to see what happens.

If this part of Seattle goes fully autonomous, then this is going to be a very interesting case study for political scientists in how a society runs.
Unfortunately I suspect it'll function as yet another example highlighting the necessity of a swift, conscientious establishment of a code of law if they don't get rid of Raz sooner rather than later.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Jub » 2020-06-11 01:58pm

I suspect that this zone isn't destined to be a long term thing. It'll last roughly as long as the protests do and, aside from a few hold outs, vanish into memory shortly after this all ends. Even if they do try to hold ground, I doubt that this was ever planned well, if it was planned at all, and thus will probably implode under the weight of rising tensions and conflicting ideals.

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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-06-11 06:34pm

Not to mention the police eventually wanting their precinct back. They have the illusion of independence for as long as the authorities let them have it and not a minute longer. Give 'em a week, they'll be asking people to send them snacks a la the Bundy Bunch at the Malheur refuge. :razz:
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by loomer » 2020-06-11 10:30pm

The Seattle PD are now agitating to take their precinct back. CHAZ has begun self-organizing and reinforcing the barricades but honestly, it's a bit late in the game for that - if they were serious about making a stand they needed to bring it to brick and mortar within the first day, since water-filled highway barriers and light fencing won't stand against a police assault and it takes time for mortar to cure.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-12 12:59am

If they did fortify and repel the police, that would likely just mean that it would be treated as a full-scale insurrection rather than a riot, and it would end with the National Guard or the Army bringing in tanks rather than just the police. The US is not going to allow individual precincts to act as independent territories- and I'd bet that most countries wouldn't. Nor, as I've said before, do I personally think it is desirable for the US to be broken up into hundreds or thousands of autonomous city states.

If I were the Seattle/Washington State government, I'd offer defunding of most police forces and other concessions in exchange for taking the barricades down. And failing that, I'd have the area blockaded and effectively sieged until the protesters stood down. Storming it should not be done, because there's no way that doesn't lead to a lot of innocent people hurt or killed, and further escalation elsewhere. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that's how its going to end, and where it was heading ever since this "autonomous zone" was declared.
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Re: Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms out of Seattle protests

Post by The_Saint » 2020-06-13 03:21am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-12 12:59am
...
If I were the Seattle/Washington State government, I'd offer defunding of most police forces and other concessions in exchange for taking the barricades down.
...
I haven't read enough about those who have organised this CHAZ and the reasoning behind it but from what I have seen it could easily be expected that that is the entire end goal of the situation.
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