CHAZ. No, it’s not about Cher’s son. CHAZ is an acronym for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” a self-declared autonomous zone in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle which grew out of the protests over George Floyd’s killing. It was established on June 8 after police fled their East Precinct building.
The Zone, now renamed CHOP, for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, covers approximately six blocks. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan described it as a “block party,” saying it posed “no threat right now to the public.”
Questioned by Chris Cuomo on CNN as to how long this zone could last, she answered “I don’t know. We could have a summer of love.”
I don’t know. Perhaps a summer of flies, or “Lord of the Flies.” Is that the final destination for this festival of trust-fund terrorists?
William Golding’s 1954 novel tells of a group of British schoolboys stranded on an uninhabited island. It deals with the thin veneer of civilization that too often separates us from the call of chaos.
The boys establish a form of tribal democracy with three primary policies: having fun, surviving and maintaining a constant smoke signal to alert passing ships for rescue. A conch shell is used as a horn to summon all to a common area. Whoever holds the conch gets to speak at the gatherings, receiving the full attention of the group.
This semblance of order eventually deteriorates as most of the boys become idle. They spend all their time having fun, neglecting those things that would aid in survival. They develop a superstitious belief in a illusional beast existing on the island. All the “hunters” in the group are summoned to hunt down the beast, drawing away those who were to maintain the smoke signal. Ultimately the boys — having now become savage — turn on one another. They set the forest on fire, which consumes most of the island.
I’m not suggesting CHAZ (or CHOP) will go down in flames. At least not those of the pyrotechnic variety. My guess is these Birkenstock Bolsheviks will simply burn out, fading as did the communes that had attracted their grandparents. I mean, how much hackey-sack, funk-rap and DuVernay movies can one take? Eventually nostalgia has to take hold and have you longing for the comfort of video games and the couch in the folks’ basement. There’s a lot to said for food, shelter and convenient defecatoria.
Of course, some of these things have been provided by the city of Seattle. At least the portable toilets, not to mention garbage cans. The food is another story. According to a story posted on Friday by the Western Standard, CHAZ had “already run out of food, putting out pleas for ‘vegan meat alternatives’ and other soy-based food donations.”
As for peaceful, videos have been posted on westernstandardonline.com showing otherwise. One shows a graffiti artist being accosted by followers of the alleged warlord Raz. He is ordered to hand over his phone as tribute to the warlord under the threat of more violence.
“You just broke my glasses! I’m blind. You just broke my glasses and stole my phone!”
Their response? “Yeah, we should have broken your face.” According to a recent Newsweek article fights break out throughout the day and into the evening; heated debates devolve into melees.
The body politic, like those who comprise it, will generally ignore any symptoms of disease until receiving a wake-up call. One such for America was the image of peaceful demonstrators attacked by Bull Connor’s dogs and firehoses. That image galvanized Americans and, through peaceful protest, civil rights made strides.
Today the country has been stunned by the killing of George Floyd. The image of the cop with his knee on Floyd’s neck has roused the nation.
It is too bad that the peaceful demonstrations have been hijacked by those whose only agenda is the destruction of our government, as evidenced by this absurd secession taking place in Seattle. The nation was once rightly appalled by the sight of folks wearing white hoods and carrying tiki torches.
So should the nation be appalled by those who — like Golding’s school boys — scream, “Kill the pig! Spill his blood” as they make wanton sport of our laws.