The Seattle Commune is no more.
Declared three weeks ago by radical leftists as CHAZ, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, rechristened CHOP, the Capitol Hill Occupation Protest, the six-block enclave inside Seattle ceased to exist July 1. The cops shut it down.
As Marx said, history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce. If the Paris Commune of 1871 is the archetype, that mass uprising and swift slaughter of the communards who rose against the regime, what happened in Seattle is the farce.
Police Chief Carmen Best, who opposed Mayor Jenny Durkan’s surrender of one of her precinct stations to the mob, explained in exasperation why her cops finally acted:
“Enough is enough. The CHOP (had) become lawless and brutal. Four shootings — two fatal — robberies, assaults, violence and countless property crimes have occurred in this several block area.” The shooting death of a 16-year-old and critical wounding of a 14-year-old on Monday finally forced the mayor’s hand.
Some journalists touring the CHOP had burbled on like Lincoln Steffens on his first trip to Lenin’s Russia, “I have been over into the future and it works!” They wrote of “peaceful” meetings, “documentary screenings” and “concerts.” Best was more hardheaded about what she found after recapturing the CHOP: “After walking through the area I was stunned by the amount of graffiti, garbage, and property destruction.”
Apparently, however, Mayor Durkan does not want posterity to forget the glory days of what she had predicted would be a “summer of love.”
Writes The Washington Post: “Durkan called for charges to be dismissed against those who were arrested for alleged misdemeanors . . . The mayor also said that Seattle arts and parks departments would preserve a community garden and artwork and murals that protesters created within the zone.”
Hard to believe. Statues of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are dragged down, while the murals and graffiti of misfits who trashed downtown Seattle are to be preserved.
This raises a larger question.
Have the six weeks of protests since the death of George Floyd — weeks featuring riots, looting and trashing of city centers, desecration of monuments from Columbus to the Founding Fathers, presidents and Confederate generals, proven to be a cultural and political victory for the radical left?
More precisely, is the mob winning? The case can be made that the mob has won already.