It’s finally over. Barring any suicidally brave protesters, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), formerly known as the Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), is no more. Following almost a month of inaction and apologetics, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan declared the self-proclaimed territory an unlawful assembly Wednesday morning.
With CHOP, Americans were given a taste of the violent lawlessness that their leaders seem increasingly willing to tolerate.
In the end, CHOP proved to be more of a den of rabbits than a Paris Commune. The retaking of occupied American soil took two hours and caused zero casualties on either side, though a few dozen protesters were arrested for refusing to obey the order to disperse.
What lessons can we take away from this short-lived workers’ paradise?
First, communists continue to be incompetent at food production. If anything, they’ve regressed in comparison to their forerunners. From begging for soy donations to creating the world’s saddest community garden, they never quite managed to turn their live action role playing exercise into a self-sustaining polity. As the days went by, most of the CHOP proletariat gave up and just resorted to ordering food from local (and very much capitalist) restaurants.
Second, we were reminded of the age-old truth that revolutions eat their enablers. Mayor Durkan, who sat on her hands as protesters terrorized neighborhoods in her city, had a sudden change of heart when said protesters showed up outside her house Sunday. She responded by swiftly and forcefully denouncing everyone involved for endangering her family and ordered CHOP to be dissolved shortly after. Another liberal mugged by reality?
Finally, and most tragically, Americans were given a taste of the violent lawlessness that their leaders seem increasingly willing to tolerate. The belated decision to end the protest was spurred in part by a shooting on Monday morning that left a 16-year-old black boy dead and another 14-year-old black boy fighting for his life. The shots were fired by CHOP’s self-proclaimed “security,” presumably so-called because “police” would have been too triggering a name.
It turns out that if you crunch the numbers to compare this fatal “police shooting” to the number of people that Seattle police have killed over the last two years, you discover that CHOP security’s police brutality problem is over 150 times worse on a per-capita basis than that of the regular police. These are the same people who tell you that they have a plan for abolishing the police.
While this was the first confirmed shooting by CHOP-affiliated individuals, the area around Capitol Hill claimed by the autonomous zone had become particularly violent in general. A total of four shootings including this one had occurred since CHOP’s founding on June 8, including one on June 20 that also resulted in a death. Two killings in three weeks — compare that with the single murder that Capitol Hill (of which CHOP is only a small portion) experienced in all of 2018.
So the next time a bright-eyed young anarchist tells you that putting them in charge will solve inner-city violence and police brutality, curb your enthusiasm. There are already plenty of places in Central America for people who enjoy living in low-intensity war zones.