On Wednesday morning, Seattle police finally removed the anarchist and antifa rebels/protesters from the Capitol Hill
Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) Occupied Protest (CHOP), which Todd Herman cleverly dubbed “antifastan.” Yet as the police went about restoring order to the six-block area unlawfully seized in the wake of the George Floyd protests, the police department reported a rather unnerving sight. It appears armed militants were patrolling the area in cars stripped of license plates.
“Officers are investigating several vehicles circling the area of today’s operation. Police have observed individuals in the vehicles with firearms/armor. The vehicles also appear to be operating without visible license plates,” the Seattle Police Department tweeted.
Andy Ngo, a victim of antifa violence and editor-at-large at The Post Millennial, condemned these “terrorist tactics.”
Ngo also highlighted ominous warnings about further antifa violence to follow the dismantling of CHOP.
All the same, the restoration of law and order in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district is worth celebrating. In fact, Ngo had to suspend his disbelief to report the final return of police on Wednesday. Last Monday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) announced that she would break up CHOP after two shootings the previous weekend, one of which tragically claimed the life of a 19-year-old black man. Yet she only sent city workers, not police, in to break up the lawless occupation, and her efforts failed. After another black person, this time a 16-year-old boy, tragically lost his life in a shooting this Monday, it appears she finally did what was necessary to get the job done.
“Breaking: The Seattle Police are retaking the Capitol Hill neighborhood that was taken captive by BLM and antifa militants for more than three weeks,” Ngo tweeted. He emphasized, “This is no joke,” sharing a picture of police on bicycles rolling into the area. The journalist added that “CHAZ was retaken by police in a matter of minutes.”
Police have made at least 32 arrests for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault. In one case, they arrested a 29-year-old man who held a large metal pipe and a kitchen knife. City workers also removed improvised spike strips, designed to puncture vehicle tires.
This decisive action came one day after Horace Lorenzo Anderson, the father of the 19-year-old man killed in a CHOP shooting last week, asked for the National Guard to put down the lawless occupation.
“I ain’t been sleeping. You see my eyes. I’ve been crying. I’m trying not to cry on TV,” Anderson said in a heartbreaking interview with KIRO 7. “This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more. That just looks like they just took over and said, ‘We can take over whenever we want to.'”
Anderson called for the National Guard to end the lawlessness.
“They should deploy them here to say, ‘Man, it’s time to go, it’s time to move on.’ And break this up,” he said.
Anderson’s 19-year-old son died in a shooting on Saturday, June 20. The shooting also injured a 33-year-old man. The next day, another shooting left a 17-year-old boy injured in the arm. Another shooting on Monday morning took the life of a 16-year-old boy and left a 14-year-old boy critically injured.
The lawless occupying rioters originally named the area CHAZ, claiming to set up an “autonomous zone” outside the reach of U.S. law. This made them legally rebels against Seattle and the U.S., and President Donald Trump rightly urged Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) to restore law and order. The Democratic leaders, however, condemned Trump. Durkan and Inslee said it was “illegal and unconstitutional” to put down a rebellion.
It may seem silly that a bunch of protesters occupied a six-block area of Seattle and tried to set up an anarchist utopia, but the occupation was deadly serious for locals whose lives have been damaged by the lawlessness.
Sixteen residents and businesses sued the City of Seattle, alleging that the city failed to protect their rights by not taking action to restore law and order in the CHOP area. The occupation followed looting, vandalism, and arson across America that destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 20 Americans, most of them black, have died in the riots. In the case of CHOP, two black teenagers have lost their lives in this lawlessness.
Americans are rightly angered about the horrific police killing of George Floyd, and it seems the men involved will face the justice they deserve for their evil actions. But anger over that horrific death does not justify the destruction of property, the seizure of land, and the lawless violence that takes even more innocent life.
It appears the story of CHOP has ended — for now. But as the police report noted, antifa anarchists are still active in Seattle, and the unrest is sadly far from over.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.