With that in mind, here’s a geography quiz. How many countries are there on earth? Last week, there were a total of 195. Tonight, there are 196. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the latest addition to the global family of nations: the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, formerly known as downtown Seattle.
Massive Crowd that took over City Hall Tuesday: “WHOSE CITY HALL? OUR CITY HALL. WHOSE CITY HALL? OUR CITY HALL
Same crowd: “You about to lose your job. You about to lose your job.”
Large crowd marching down street: “Show me what democracy looks like. THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE! Show me what democracy looks like. THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!”
Man on loudspeaker while other man hangs “Cap Hill Autonomous Zone” Sign: “The point is in the end this is our street. This is our station.”
Man on stage with crowd: “WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS! WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!”
Looks pretty appealing. Before you jump on Expedia to book a trip to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — CHAZ, as the marketing department is calling it — you should know that there are no beaches. This is a tiny nation, smaller than Lictenstein. The entire country extends only six city blocks. It’s built on land that was formerly owned, in part, by the Seattle police department. The founders of CHAZ wanted that land. So they planted a flag and stole it, just like the conquistadors. The first thing they did after they declared nationhood — and this was a bit of a surprise, given that these conquistadors claim to be progressive ideologues — was establish rigid national borders. They built a wall around the place, just like Donald Trump once said he would. Their wall is made from wooden barricades. A sign at the entrance to the country warns, “You are now leaving the U.S.A.” Armed border guards — not technically ICE agents, but close — question all who seek entry. Countries have borders. The founders of the CHAZ understand that. They don’t want the place flooded with illegals. And by “illegals,” we mean the citizens of Seattle:
Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette: "We've been hearing from community members that they have been subjected to barricades set up by the protesters, with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints into the neighborhood.
Pretty smart. You can’t let just anyone into your country. An uncontrolled flood of immigrants will tank the economy. The people of CHAZ know that. They’re not libertarians. They don’t work for the chamber of commerce. They’re not pretending. They’re realists, and they want to make this work, for the sake of their people. What exactly is the economy of this new nation? That’s a tough question. With limited natural resources — and a population with virtually no skills of any kind, apart from spray painting the F word on buildings — the people of CHAZ don’t have a lot of options. So they’ve gone with extortion through violence. Again, just like the conquistadors. It’s a time-tested formula. And it’s lucrative:
(SOT: Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette: "We have heard anecdotal reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area. This is the crime of extortion.]
Like the U.S, the country it broke from, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is what political philosophers call a proposition nation. It’s based on idea ideas rather than particular people. The founding idea in this new nation — it’s Magna Carta, its constitution — is that cops are bad. Police should be abolished. Not surprisingly, the country has banned police from its territory. The city of Seattle seems ok with this. Does the government of Italy dictate local policies within the Vatican City? Of course not. Same thing here. The leaders of CHAZ would like to dictate policies in Seattle though. They’re demanding the city get rid of its police force and close all jails and prisons.
At this point, CHAZ hasn’t yet been admitted to the U-N. Presumably, that’s in the works. But as Seattle police chief Carmen Best explained, the country already has recognition from the Seattle city government:
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best: The decision to board up the precinct, our precinct, our home, the first precinct I worked in, was something I had been holding off. You should know leaving the precinct was not my decision. You fought for days to protect it, I asked you to stand on that line day in and day out, to be pelted with projectiles, to be screamed at, threatened, and in some cases, hurt. Then to have a change of course nearly two weeks in, it seems like an insult to you and our community. Ultimately the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure.
Pretty amusing. But how long can this continue? Not long, probably. Anarchy never lasts. In the end, the strong dominate the weak. It’s already happening. It took barely a day for CHAZ to get its first warlord. A week ago, Raz Simone was an up-and-coming rapper and Air B-N-B superhost. Now, he’s a monarch. In videos taken inside the zone, Simone is seen patrolling the area with his allies, armed, declaring “we are the police now.” In one clip, his men assault a man for spray painting graffiti inside the zone. Like the mafia, they won’t allow nonsense like that in their own neighborhood.
So that’s what’s happening in Seattle tonight. Seems like kind if a big story. A brand new nation within our borders. Last time we had this, it started a civil war. Yet so far, Democrats in Congress seem unaware the country even exists. Nancy Pelosi hasn’t tweeted about it. Neither has Adam Schiff.
The mayor of Seattle knows, obviously, but doesn’t seem bothered. In the last few days, Mayor Jenny Durkan has tweeted in honor of a deceased Seattle gay icon. She’s bragged about building new housing for the homeless. But so far, she hasn’t even acknowledged the existence of the autonomous zone. Last night, President Trump tweeted, quote, "Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stopped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!" The mayor simply replied “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.” If you’re wondering what will happen to the U.S. citizens now stuck behind the CHAZ border, so are we. Can we patriate them? Are they prisoners of war? The mayor hasn’t said.
Nor have the media. Barely a month ago, they were unanimous: the anti-lockdown demonstrators in Michigan were dangerous zealots:
JIM SCIUTTO: Really just an ugly, dangerous scene at the state capitol in Michigan.
JOY REID: Black people’s right to protest is secondary to white people’s to be in an ARMED protest with long guns.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: A bunch of guys camo’d up, a bunch of guys with long guns.
BRIAN STELTER: These potentially dangerous protests against stay at home orders.
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: A tiny minority with guns marched into the state capitol in Michigan today to lobby in their raucous way.
CUOMO: That when it's white people with guns and they're out and they'r e angry and in their faces with cops.
LEMON: Didn't see any of that.
CUOMO: Everybody's civil.
EDDIE GLAUDE: These folks end up in the state capitol with automatic weapons and they were treated with kid gloves.
Keep in mind, literally no one was hurt in those Michigan protests. They were actually peaceful, as opposed the new standard, in which beatings and looting and arson are quote, “mostly peaceful.” But an armed and independent country in downtown Seattle? No problem. The New York Times is fully on board. An article published in the paper today described CHAZ as, quote, “a homeland for racial justice.” The nation is, quote, “an experiment in life without the police — part street festival, part commune.” It has free food – that’s all it takes to make everything free. Just get rid of police. ABC, meanwhile, described the zone as “festive.” It’s basically like a free Tibet, except the press actually supports it.
We’d love to explore this question more. The press and Democratic party have repeatedly condemned protesters who carry weapons simply to make a point, and have no intention of using them. And of course last winter, we had an entire impeachment charade centered on the idea that “nobody is above the law”:
DEMOCRATS SAYING "NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW."
No one is above the law. Except their voters. They’re not simply above the law. They get to make the laws. They can make their own countries if they want. It’s all cool. As long as they vote in November.