It’s game over for the short-lived nation of CHAZ/CHOP. While just weeks ago Seattle’s Mayor claimed that the “autonomous-in-name-only” zone could help transform Seattle into a “summer of love,” a number of recent shootings has indicated that a summer of death is more likely.
Seattle police have begun clearing out the protest area known as CHOP, making more than a dozen arrests after Mayor Jenny Durkan declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.
Police issued the order to disperse around 5 a.m. local time Wednesday, telling protesters to leave within eight minutes. At least 13 protesters have been arrested so far for failing to clear the area, police said.
Durkan’s executive order comes after a series of late-night shootings in the area killed two teenagers and seriously wounded three other people. Police said other violent crimes have also been documented in the area since demonstrators took over several blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood last month.
“Officers enforcing today’s order are wearing a higher-level of protective gear,” police said. “Police are utilizing this equipment because individuals associated w/the CHOP are known to be armed and dangerous/may be associated with shootings, homicides, robberies, assaults & other violent crimes.”
Police Chief Carmen Best said that while she supports peaceful demonstrations, “enough is enough.”
Many have analogized the failure of CHAZ/CHOP to the book Lord of the Flies, but that’s not a fair comparison because shipwrecked children in real life have proven themselves more competent and resilient than CHAZ’s residents.
In 1965 six teenage boys set out from Tonga on a fishing trip, were caught in a storm, and shipwrecked on a deserted island. Rather than descend into chaos like in the classic 1954 book, the boys survived for fifteen months before being rescued. They survived by fishing and gardening, and still had enough free time to create their own badminton court, and figure out how to create guitars from coconuts. They managed to survive despite going an entire summer without rainfall.
Or in other words, teenagers did a better job at running their own society than adult communists. And their “society” actually was autonomous!