Downtown Seattle business owners have had all they can take from their local government’s inexplicable failure to condemn the riots and get them under control. The last straw was the night of the inauguration when dozens of storefronts were vandalized by rampaging antifa members and not a peep was heard from city leaders.
More than that, the city hasn’t lifted a finger to help struggling companies. Between the draconian lockdown rules set by the governor and the riots, 160 businesses in the city have closed, according to the Downtown Seattle Association. Many of them are barely hanging on.
“It’s not clear what their message is,” said Gabby Cavalcanti of Bellevue. “You don’t know what to make of it.”
“They need to arrest these people,” said John Hummer in Seattle. “When they without any consequences, they’re going to keep doing it.”
Dorelea Gaffney owns the soap box in Pike Place Market.
She said she feels violated and defenseless because of the damage done to neighboring businesses by vandals.
“It’s not hurting anyone but us, small business owners,” Gaffney said.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, even now, can’t bring herself to use the term “antifa.”
Wall Street Journal:
A spokesperson for Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told us she “has consistently denounced individuals who are targeting small businesses and government facilities,” adding that property destruction was “unacceptable.” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s spokesman said he “condemns all forms of violence, intimidation and criminal destruction.” Yet both had blamed Mr. Trump as the cause of their urban violence, and both cities have imposed restrictions that hamper the ability of police to respond to violent protests and have emboldened rioters.
Prosecutors are rightly throwing the book at those on the right who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. The same should apply to those on the left who wreaked havoc Wednesday. When political violence is tolerated, it inevitably spreads.
It isn’t just a gut feeling that violence spreads when not identified by name and called out. Liberals have no trouble at all identifying the violence on January 6th at the Capitol as a right-wing insurrection — which is exactly what it was. So why play patty-fingers with antifa and not stand up for the small businesses being destroyed by the riots?
The good little liberals in Seattle and Portland are genuinely torn between a crackdown and doing nothing because they know their own radical rhetoric helped inspire the mobs and their actions, but coddling them allows the violence to continue. The Journal points out that antifa was chanting to police, “We protect people, you protect property,” which pretty much echoes the radical left’s attitude about business in general and property in particular.
It’s a vain hope for Seattle businesses. And yet, peer pressure and fear of the cancel culture prevents them from condemning the far left politicians — until now.
“It is just inexcusable,” said Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Visit Seattle. “In this city, which we protect civil rights fiercely, destruction, and violence, and even hate speech just really have no place in this city. I’m concerned because we know that the pandemic and recovery to this industry in this city is going to be years in the making and this does not help.”
Mr. Norwalk should listen to the mobs. They have made a place for violence and destruction and won’t stop until they’re forced to.