The Party of Lockdown, Chaos, Subterfuge and Fraud
Imagine these guys at the helm of the Empire? Holy cow!
Editor’s note: At least with Trump at the helm the US government (state) is internally divided and the Empire partly slowed-down. With a Democrat back in Oval Office, you’re looking at the healing of the divide between the deep state, and the media and the Presidency.
Additionally, four years of plotting against Trump has seen them practicing subterfuge, single-mindedness, anger, and self-righteousness daily. You put these people at the helm of the Empire it will definitely be a more united one, probably more aggressive, and possibly more effective in some ways.
The USA has gone so batshit crazy in these months of the corona virus freak-out that an orgy of looting, arson, and murder, on top of epic job loss and business failure, propelled the stock markets up-up-and-away back to near-record highs — until it finally puked yesterday in a rare moment of self-revulsion, like a sot who has been drinking after-shave.
The news media barely mentioned it, though, so fraught are they by the toils of systemic racism, a morbid condition not unlike “the vapors” of Sigmund Freud’s early days, curiously lacking specificity.
Which raises the question: how much of the response to the public killing of one George Floyd has been an engineered operation by the Democratic Party and its allies in the propaganda industry? I’d say, an awful lot, considering the presentation of events in The New York Times and other organs of the perpetual Resistance that have been luxuriating in existential woe surrounding the indecencies of whiteness, culminating in the fake abject ritual of contrition put on by Ms. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer taking-a-knee in their Kente cloth prayer shawls. Within a few more days, at least four cops around the country were ambushed and shot in the head, but there were no public displays of mourning for them.
Meanwhile, the country has watched countless scenes captured on smartphone video of young people in flash mobs looting, trashing, and burning one city business district after another — but don’t believe your lying eyes, these were “mostly peaceful protest demonstrations” (Ali Velshi, MSNBC). The police mostly stood by and watched, under instructions to avoid producing a batch of fresh martyrs to feed the flames of rage stoked by the talking heads of cable news. By some miracle, the cops’ restraint prevailed, but many of the trashed and looted businesses will not come back, and the cities themselves will be permanently diminished by the losses suffered.
The Democratic Party Resistance apparently believes that all this mayhem, and the false sanctimony excusing it, works to their advantage in the coming national election. They may be disappointed about how that works out, as they’ve been disappointed in three years of previous gambits to overthrow the government and seize power by any means necessary.
The picture of them is resolving into the party of bad faith, foul play, coercion, and tyranny. Even the corona virus scare carries a taint of Resistance manipulation. One moment the populace is hustled into an economically devastating lockdown; and then suddenly, on a fine spring day, they’re incited to mix in moiling mobs of street protests with the predictable result of a fresh spike in virus contagion and the possibility of a second lockdown. Like many activities in our national life lately, it’s another hostage racket, and, guess what, you’re the hostage.
Their most transparent artifice is the utterly false elevation of Joe Biden as their candidate for president. Everybody knows he’s incapable of performing the job, and probably even of functioning through a campaign. His inchoate utterances on events and policy make Donald Trump sound like Ralph Waldo Emerson. He’s left behind himself an evidence trail of financial crimes running to at least nine digits of grift. And, of course, if you believe all women, he’s a sexual molester. Everything about his public presentation is false, including his hair, teeth, and soul.
This past week, his handlers posed him as Grief Counselor-in-Chief (via video from his basement) at the state funeral for George Floyd, accompanied by an inspirational music soundtrack to shore up the sham sentimentality. (Click here for video.) Never have so many hollow platitudes been woven into such garment of alternative reality for public consumption. Most pathetically of all, the audience of mourners, mere props, as black America has long been employed by the cynical party, went along with the charade that George Floyd was a model citizen and father, now soaring on golden wings to the place on high where you don’t need methedrine and fentanyl to feel happy. A couple of days later, Democratic Party bigwig and Clinton henchperson, Terry McAuliffe, told a meeting of the faithful that Joe Biden should remain confined to his basement. In a matter of weeks, you may be sure, we’ll learn that the party is compelled to draft Hillary Clinton as poor Joe’s replacement. It can’t be helped. Her turn will not be denied, even if she has to destroy the country to get it.
From my point of view, this article is written from a pro-Trump, right wing perspective.
The USA has gone so batshit crazy in these months of the corona virus freak-out that an orgy of looting, arson, and murder
-no mention of the murder of Floyd
Within a few more days, at least four cops around the country were ambushed and shot in the head, but there were no public displays of mourning for them.
-In the last 50 weeks, 38 officers have been shot to death in the line of duty, while 1,093 peopled were killed by police
Their most transparent artifice is the utterly false elevation of Joe Biden as their candidate for president. Everybody knows he’s incapable of performing the job, and probably even of functioning through a campaign.
-true, but can he be any worse than Trump
This past week, his handlers posed him as Grief Counselor-in-Chief (via video from his basement) at the state funeral for George Floyd, accompanied by an inspirational music soundtrack to shore up the sham sentimentality.
-Floyd’s family complained that Trump was insensitive on his phone call and spent the whole time talking instead of listening
The cops have a duty to serve and protect. Tell us, of those 1093 deaths, how many were suicide by cop? How many were cases of non-compliant rage resulting in the use of deadly force to protect innocent lives?
How is it that the supposedly ((cough)) bastion of “civilization” has the world record for police violence against citizens? “Duty to protect and serve”… whom?
Let’s start counting …
1. We actually prosecute criminals.
2. We don’t pay bribes to avert prosecution.
3. We aren’t corrupt at all levels of government as other nations are.
4. We count our cases honestly, unlike ((cough)) China.
5. We have cops using deadly force because criminals are using or are prepared to use deadly force.
6. We don’t institutionalize our mentally ill any longer.
7. We have one of if not the most diverse ethnic, racial, and national populations on the planet.
Shall I go on?
1. We selectively prosecute criminals (see Trump)
2. Powerful people FIRE the prosecutors to avert prosecution (see Trump)
3. We are corrupt up to the highest level of government (see Trump)
4. We very likely count cases selectively (see self serving and rigged ‘autopsies”. It is only now with extensive cell phone capture that cops are being caught red handed and HAVE to be prosecuted that cases are actually being counted)
5. We have citizens reacting fearfully because they KNOW cops they encounter – particularly while “breathing while Black” are likely to beat them senseless or kill them. Civilized countries don’t heavily arm cops, and no other country has our incidence of police violence and murder that we have here.
6. We don’t have any treatment whatsoever for mentally ill folks, no training for cops who encounter them – and no support for the folks who need it.
7. When all else fails go for racism, eh? Lots of countries have as much or more ethnic diversity as the US does. Canada for example. And where the US had 1000 police murders in a year, Canada had a handful in the last 10 years.
Nah, don’t bother going on… Your top 7 attempts to excuse cop brutality fell with a thud. It is unlikely that other attempts would bear more fruit.
1. Power and fame have always been able to avert prosecution (see Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Sean “Puffy” Combs, etc.)
2. Powerful people stack the deck because of their fame and fortune (see Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Sean “Puffy” Combs, etc.)
3. Agreed (see pretty much anyone inside the DC Beltway)
4. Autopsies are ‘rigged’ to yield an outcome based on who is paying for it (see George Floyd)
5. We don’t have enough blacks entering the police force even though they would be more attuned to racial profiling. Huh, I wonder why that ist? If it’s a question of cops being racist, why don’t blacks join up? No one during the recent protests and riots was asking ‘How can I become a member of the PD so my personal values are not only heard but practiced?’ Hmm … why not? All we heard are calls to “defund the police” … and what, let anarchy rule? That’s like terminating the patient because performing the surgery carries a risk of infection. (By the way, ‘civilized countries’ who don’t have heavily armed police allow themselves to be killed by individuals who are armed. The UK, France, etc. all are rife with examples of a feckless police force unable to maintain law and order.)
6. Agreed, but when someone is acting violently, you don’t have time to stop and figure out what mental health med they haven’t been taking.
7. As far as Canada being a prime example of diversity without the law breaking problems of America, view the graph below. (Must suck having nearly 90% white as a definition of “diverse” … you could almost be like the Nordic countries if only that percentage was a little higher!) Also keep in mind there’s a 10x difference in populations between the two countries.
I don’t know how many if any were justified killings by cops. I am just pointing out that the number of people killed by cops dwarfs the number of cops killed by people.
That’s like saying guns “kill” ~40,000 Americans every year when 59% are suicides—not homicides.
Discussing mass shooting is a red herring fallacy… I am not talking about mass shootings. I am saying cops kill way more people than kill them and that many unarmed blacks have been unnecessarily killed by racist cops.
Ahh … I didn’t say anything about mass shootings. I pointed out the number of overall deaths by gun versus those by suicide which isn’t violence against anyone, only the self (which cannot be controlled.)
Your assertion of cops killing more suspects than they killing cops is a strawman fallacy anyway. They kill out of necessity, not because there’s a bunch of racist prïcks trying to off the black man because “dey be black.”
Yeah, sure genius, killing George Floyd was necessary, huh?
Did I say ANYTHING about it being necessary? If so, PROVE IT.
You’re just sore because you’re being made to look a fool, and not even by my own hand but yours.
fascist amerikan liberals, afflicted w TDS dislike trump since he is less imperialist and racist than previous presidents—ignorant Cartesians that can only think by means of slogans—expected in an empire near collapse
“the difference between the amerikan liberal and the conservative is that the liberal is more deceptive”. Malcolm X
Da! Is good lying, tovarish!
No one suspects a thing…
I wonder if people know Russia is a fascist kleptocracy now…
Hopefully the resistance will become more efficient, regardless of who wins the election.
It does not matter if a Democrat occupies the WH it’s still one side of the proverbial Duopoly – The brain dead Biden simply won’t bring the change that everyone around the world desires for US militaristic foreign policy will continue like a runaway freight train with a rigged dead man switch.
The only thing that does matter is change which requires ending the corporately controlled duopoly.
A system that’s already proven to be corrupt to the core won’t be able to correct itself – the present system has to be replaced with a working class friendly alternative which requires replacing the electoral college for starters.
What happens when a complex adaptive system turns maladaptive?
If the maladaption is parasitic, the host will die.
Wikipedia is not to be regarded as a reliable source for accurate information since anyone is able to do a little editing here and there as they see fit.
Perhaps you are not aware of this until now – if interested look up a bastard named Phillip Cross editing the page George Galloway created himself !
In the end Galloway found out who it was and the case went to court – it’s a juicy story but the point is that Wikipedia can no longer be trusted as a source for reliable and accurate information other than perhaps birthdays.
Link >> The Philip Cross Affair [Craig Murray]
Fascinating and disturbing link!
The Galloway page edited by Phillip Cross is disturbing indeed, he has since made some very interesting podcast on the matter of Phillip Cross.
Overall the page that Mensch linked to revealed a disturbing number of edits.
Sometimes the messenger is fatally flawed — Wikipedia in this case — but the message arrives intact — information contained in Michael Hudson’s books.
What is a source you recommend for basic information about (1) complex adaptive systems (2) an author (3) a brief description of an author’s books?
Other than the source of the information, do you dispute the information?
I wasn’t criticizing Hudson – there are far more reliable sources that do book reviews than Wikipoo.
“At this point I’m simply lost. . .”
There’s a remedy for that:
Material of Interest to People on the Left
The Fire This Time
“These protests are too widespread to go away. There will be no peace without justice on multiple fronts.”
June 16, 2020 Scholars for Social Justice BOSTON REVIEW
Protesters and police in Seattle, Washington, on May 30, 2020., Flickr / Kelly Kline
“At the end of May streets once emptied by COVID-19 have filled with protesters in over 700 U.S. cities and towns. They demand justice in the wake of a new wave of state-sanctioned violence against black people—in particular the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery—that recall with sickening familiarity the police murders of Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and so many other black Americans. They were mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, leaving behind grieving friends and family members and a collective sense of outrage. The Trump administration’s ineffectual, race-baiting, and militaristic response to the uprising has only served to heighten the crisis.
Emotions are raw in a nation already mourning a COVID-19 death toll of more than 108,000. The disease has disproportionately taken black and brown lives and pushed low-wage people further into the margins where so many are facing an uncertain economic future. People have taken to the streets to vent their anger and demand systemic change. Black Lives Matter, Justice for George, Say Her Name, and I Can’t Breathe have become global rallying cries as protest has spread to Europe, Africa, and South America.
Racism doesn’t look only like a knee on the neck. The fires burning on U.S. streets are symbolic of fires that have smoldered for some time. The foundation of racial capitalism produces and reproduces vast racial disparities in wealth, income, job opportunities, education, and health care. Indeed the wealth of the United States was built on a long history of looting the land, labor, and lives of racialized peoples. Many of the most prestigious institutions of higher education where we were trained profited from their involvement in the system of slavery and the continued exploitation of black labor in the years after the end of the Civil War.
Black people who were able to gain an economic foothold faced violence and looting. During the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, white mobs attacked one of the most prosperous African American communities in the nation. Over several days the vicious attack on this black community—known as the Black Wall Street—left 300 people dead, and businesses looted and destroyed, yet it has been excised from U.S. history. Colonialism and imperialism from Hawaii to Puerto Rico and beyond has generated enormous wealth for the United States, often at the expense of black, indigenous, and other people of color. Immigrant workers, from migrants on farms to employees of meat processing plants toiling in unsafe and exploitative conditions, are criminalized and debased as intruders while simultaneously deemed essential to the U.S. food chain and economy and exploited for their labor. This history of dispossession persists through predatory lending, payday loans, municipal fines and forfeits, and institutionalized disparities in wages and benefits—and it has often been supported by state-sanctioned violence.
In response to protests, many public figures have praised nonviolent demonstration but staunchly condemned more direct forms of confrontation with police. The demand for peaceful, civil, respectable “law-abiding” engagement with an uncivil and oppressive system negates a long history of civil disobedience, insurgency, and righteous anger by dissenting groups. Protesters disrupt. The impulse to sort protesters and their strategies into acceptable and unacceptable categories reflects America’s racial logic: it tolerates heavily armed, white right-wing protesters and white sports fans’ destroying property, breaking windows, and setting fires after a victorious game, while criminalizing people defending black lives and opposing police violence.
Enraged by police executions of unarmed black people—on top of what Ruth Wilson Gilmore calls the “organized abandonment” of black communities—protesters have in some cases engaged in direct action, disruption, and disorder. That said, the majority of protests have been peaceful despite provocation and violence from the police. Much like the civil rights movement, the violence in today’s movement has come largely from the state; over a hundred incidents of police attacks on journalists and countless other episodes of brutality have been recorded since the start of the protests. The police chief in Louisville was fired after officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black business owner had not activated their body cameras, and six officers in Atlanta have been charged after the televised taser attack on two black college students.
In the past, urban rebellions served as important seedbeds for raised consciousness and political organization. Members of the Oakland Black Panthers worked tirelessly to channel anger into organization. Prominent members of organizations like the League of Revolutionary Black workers in Detroit had taken part in the Detroit Uprising in 1967. Welfare rights activists demanding state assistance organized disruptive demonstrations targeting welfare offices. The current protests have targeted businesses and property, not innocent bystanders, unlike the New York City Draft riots of 1863 or the Tulsa Riot of 1921, in which hundreds of black people were murdered.
White supremacist organizations and agent provocateurs have also attempted to sow strife and make the mobilization against police violence seem chaotic and destructive, obscuring the political content that is at the core of the protests. Simultaneously, the “outside agitator” narrative has been weaponized by politicians to fuel harsh and militaristic crackdowns on sincere dissent. The news media’s disproportionate coverage of fires, theft, and vandalism, at the expense of more systematic analysis of the root causes, has opened the door for President Trump to insist that he is the friend to all peaceful protesters, while berating governors nationwide for their weakness, demanding arrests and domination, and threatening to turn the military against citizens and residents. The phrase “law and order” is a racist dog whistle used to appeal to conservatives and liberals who might decry police violence, but who ultimately support “tough” policing and believe current problems can be addressed through piecemeal reforms.
But COVID-19 makes a return to “normal” impossible and presents an opportunity for imagining a new world. Indeed a transformative vision has the potential to erupt from the ashes. Longstanding local organizations and community activists are calling for political accountability, structural transformation, prison abolition, democratic engagement, and social investment. In this moment of crisis people are coming together across difference, building and rebuilding, protecting each other and finding mutual goals. Recently, in Washington, D.C., dozens of protesters found overnight shelter in the home of a stranger who protected them from arrest. While some black women mayors have emerged as keepers of law and order, black women and feminist activists on the ground are exercising a different kind of leadership. Their leadership is horizontal, collaborative, group-centered, decentralized, and does not rely on a singular figure or a centralized authority. The Movement for Black Lives, for example, organized a nationwide call on to forge abolitionist strategy during a week of action as part of the people of color–led Rising Majority coalition.
As the COVID-19 crisis opened a wedge for unprecedented political possibility, the changes it imposed have also pushed longstanding goals of the left into the mainstream. Decarceration has unprecedented traction as jails reduced their detained populations, in humanitarian releases—demonstrating, in effect, that many people in jails did not need to be there in the first place. Domestic violence and homelessness, likewise, gained new visibility as stay-at-home orders highlighted the precarity of those who could not shelter in place safely. Essential workers, the elderly, people without resources, black, indigenous, and other people of color have been COVID-19’s greatest victims, setting in sharp relief the glaring economic disparities in the United States. While they have been forgotten by policy makers, they have gained greater visibility. They have organized work stoppages in Amazon warehouses and hospitals and created mutual aid networks. They have gained support beyond daily 7 p.m. clanging of pots and pans, a sound which has been drowned out by protest and demands for even more far-reaching reforms.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets to reopen the United States in ways that seemed unimaginable just one week ago. And as protests spread globally, it echoes a rich history of both international support for the black liberation movement as well as the black freedom movement’s support for national liberation struggles all over throughout the world.
These protests are too widespread to simply go away. Protesters have made it clear that there will be no peace without justice on a multiple of terrains: from prisons, to voting rights, policing, extreme inequality and corporate greed, excesses of U.S. foreign policy, intimate partner violence, environment, and health care. The uprisings have pushed us further from the notion of a “return to normal.” What are the possibilities for a more just future?”
INTERPRET THE WORLD AND CHANGE IT
Quoting people out of context is a form of lying.
I am being considerate when I think of you as suffering through senile dementia.
The alternative is that you’re depraved and profoundly immoral and use your skin color to try to cover up your bad behavior.
Hmm . . .
LIFE AND TIMES AT THE CAPITOL HILL AUTONOMOUS ZONE
By Shane Burley, ROAR Magazine.
June 17, 2020
Above photo: One of the entrances to the CHAZ. Photo by Derek Simeone from Flickr.
Following A Long Tradition Of Left Revolutionary Praxis, Protesters In Seattle Have Declared A Cop-Free Autonomous Zone In The Heart Of The City.
“Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed one of the largest uprisings in recent US history. The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, brought millions of people in the US and around the world out into the streets in aggressive demonstrations. In cities across the country, police precincts were set on fire, corporate stores looted, and as the police turned their sights on the protests, the numbers only grew.
In Seattle, Washington, confrontations with protesters in a gentrified part of the city known as Capitol Hill led to law enforcement’s retreat from their office. Organizers and community members advanced on the area and transformed this eight-block segment of the neighborhood into a collective space, which they soon called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).
The CHAZ has become the focus of right-wing rage, from the media to the president, as they intimate that this is a terrorist operation controlled by brutal anarchist cells. Photos, videos, testimonies from the inside the CHAZ paint a very different picture, communicating something closer to other occupations (Occupy movement?) where people moved from simple protests to experimenting in living differently.
Hundreds of people are putting in the labor to keep things like a medical clinic, a café, concerts and speakers, a community garden, and other resources into a stable infrastructure of mutual aid. They have done so with the support of local organizations and even businesses. Now the CHAZ is hitting a point where they are building for the future, discussing differences in direction and priorities, and how they are going to navigate the negotiation between immediate reforms and more revolutionary aims.
I spoke with two organizers of the CHAZ about what drew them there, how it has been working, and where they hope to go with the project. Both are using pseudonyms, one going by Officer CHAZ (OCHAZ) and the other going by Frank Ascaso (FA), who also organizes with the Black Rose / Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation. These organizers were interviewed separately from one another and were combined here into one conversation.
We’re in one of the largest rebellions in the last fifty years. How did you get involved in the demonstrations and the autonomous project that became the CHAZ?
OCHAZ: It’s been a long road to the breaking point. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths really pushed us over the edge this time. I knew I could no longer live with myself if I remained silent and complacent. I became infused with a burning desire to take action, so I rushed to the front lines of the protest marches in Seattle at the earliest opportunity. It was the least I could do, but quite literally a step in the right direction. Everybody’s got a unique story to tell about their journey to Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), but for me, it was the ecstasy of finally taking a firm stand against systemic oppression. That feeling became such an intense high, that I never wanted to come down. I am addicted to justice, and it’s one drug that I will never give up.
FA: Networks of activists and organizers here in Seattle had been having discussions as Minneapolis and other cities had ignited in protests and riots. There’s a long history of anti-police organizing here with movements to block the expansion of a youth detention center and a so-called “police bunker,” an expansion to a police facility in the northern part of the city. So in those networks people started talking about what we could do here in solidarity with Minneapolis. So people started planning protests for that weekend. And a whole bunch of various groups, from anarchists to church and pacifist groups to the anti-police coalitions, started planning their own thing. The first weekend of protest there were a half dozen different calls to action, and that’s when the riots started here as well. So that’s when I showed up, in those early days.
How does the CHAZ coordinate with the rest of the city’s protest movement?
FA: I would say they are a piece of it, but I would not call it the center [of the movement]. This moment around Black lives is incredible and every group is taking pretty dramatic action. And I would say that is continuing. There are non-profit groups leading marches, there are church groups leading marches, there are the anti-prison and abolition groups leading marches, and a lot of those are happening outside the space. They were happening before and they were using their own infrastructure and resources to make them happen, and that is still happening.
For example, there was recently a march of 60,000 people between two of the largest parks in Seattle, which, from what I could tell, had little connection to the CHAZ. There was also a children’s march, which seemed to have little connection to the CHAZ. That said, there are things being planned in the autonomous space. So, for example, last night (June 14) I participated in a protest that marched out of the autonomous zone, a Black Lives Matter march, to challenge the police and occupy streets elsewhere. People are planning things from the autonomous space too, but this moment is so dramatic and diverse that lots of things are happening outside of it too.
What was the process by which the zone was first opened up and established? What were the protests like before its formation?
OCHAZ: As with any social movement, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact origin. The events leading up to the formation of CHAZ have been so surreal and chaotic at times that I’m not sure whether I’ll ever fully understand what happened to get us here. But I want it to be clear that the “Regime” [CHAZ-lingo for the Seattle Police Department] struck first. They’ve been killing us for decades. For as long as we can remember, the people of Capitol Hill have begged the City Council to clean up their mess, but they never listen. They’re too busy sucking Jeff Bezos’s dick to even glance at us. Our so-called political “leaders” will never miss a wink of sleep over the dead bodies of marginalized folks piling up in the streets, so now we’re going to give them something to really lose sleep over.
But even when we protested “the right way,” by peacefully marching, did they listen then? No. They sent their Seattle Police Department (SPD) goon squad after us, treated us like we were criminals—worse than criminals because at least criminals get a trial. We were more like animals to them. During the march, I watched as dozens of my comrades were brutalized by riot police, simply for demanding reform and racial equity. We tried safe civil disobedience, but the “good ol’ boys” at the SPD never let us down when it comes to the level of violence we’ve come to expect from them.
FA: There had been a week and a half of steady confrontations in that space. Every day from maybe six or seven o’clock in the evening to midnight or one in the morning, pretty regular confrontations. People were pretty exhausted, actually, by the time the police withdrew from that space. Definitely, lots of people showed up that night, but a lot of folks went home early. So when the declaration of the autonomous zone came out after midnight, a lot of people were not there for the evening — I wasn’t there either.
How did the crowd take the space?
OCHAZ: There wasn’t any particular tactic or method, we just… took it. It was ours anyway, as far as we were concerned. Putting up those barriers just felt like the most natural thing we could ever do to protect ourselves. When shit hit the fan at the protest, we switched to auto-pilot, no thought required, just the pure energy of the crowd directing our concentrated motion. We moved as a unit, as if we all shared the same body and mind in the heat of that moment.
The last thing I remember was facing off against the cops down on Pine Street. Recalling the black bloc tactic, we used our bodies to create a wall, but I never expected one of them to run around and sucker-punch my good pal, Dikembe, who was standing off to the side. “Big D” wasn’t even part of our bloc, just an innocent bystander, and that was the last straw for me. I snapped. I knew the bloc needed me, but D was in trouble. I couldn’t desert him even if it meant putting my own safety at risk. I basically blacked out in rage at that point, and when I came to, I was waking up in CHAZ.
All I know is that our group had rushed the line and eventually took the East Precinct. The cops got pushed back, and our barriers went up. My boy Dikembe was injured pretty bad, but that didn’t stop him from spraying the first of many tags at the border crossing in bright bold letters for the whole world to see: “CHAZ.” To the cops, that tag was a threat to back off. To us, it meant freedom.
FA: That whole day was so weird. There had been clashes with the police every night. The mayor promised not to use tear gas, but the very next night the police used tear gas anyway. The day after that, someone got shot, and the following day the police withdrew. They made this dramatic announcement in the afternoon with the police chief saying they were going to withdraw from the East Precinct.
I think there was a lot of anxiety and confusion about what to do. There was some kind of speculation that the police were withdrawing as a set-up to have people attack the precinct and break windows or burn it down so the police would have an excuse to say how bad the protesters were. This was a rumor. That evening when people got to the space, they got right up to the building and there was hesitation about doing anything. People weren’t sure, “what should we do? Do we attack it? Do we just keep the protest in the space?” And those conversations were going on throughout that day and into the night.
Then there were rumors that Proud Boys were in the area, also totally unconfirmed and probably untrue. So then people were thinking about maybe defending the space. What if other fascists come to attack the space? And my understanding is that out of those conversations came to declare an autonomous zone.
What is the idea behind the CHAZ? What is an “autonomous zone?”
FA: Autonomous zones have a long history, likely going back to the Paris Commune in which the French government refused to defend the city against a Prussian siege, a foreign siege. The people of Paris just kind of took over the mechanisms of the city and thought “we can run this better in our own interests. It turns out we don’t need you protecting us, we can take care of ourselves perfectly fine.” And they sort of restructured the city on a radically new democratic principle, a much more directly democratic form of organization.
And since then there have been a whole series of similar popular democratic actions to reclaim space and infrastructure. To run it in the interests of people instead of the police, business or military. So I see this as part of that tradition and a part of that lineage. And one of the things that is most beautiful about this space is that it is such a clear message in this moment when police can literally not stop killing people in the streets.
This past weekend there was just another Black person killed by the police in Atlanta. The autonomous zone is saying “Hey, it turns out we actually don’t need you. We can run our neighborhoods safely without policing. We can run them in much more humane interests without policing.” That political message is pretty clear and pretty strong out of this particular occupation.
OCHAZ: CHAZ is living proof that a world without police is possible. When we say, “Defund the police,” we mean exactly what that sounds like. Cops only create more problems than they try to solve. Especially for undocumented immigrants, BIPOC, WOC, trans, queer and other marginalized communities who simply do not have the privilege of being protected when they call the police for help (or when the police are called on them by some tone-deaf “Karen,” you know the type).
For us marginalized folks, any minor interaction with the police can be a death sentence. CHAZ is the antidote to all that. Our emphasis on restoration over retribution is a major part of the guiding ethos and driving force behind CHAZ. “Autonomous” to us means autonomy from the SPD’s boot on our collective neck. We don’t need the police, because we look out for each other instead. Call it what you want: a collective, a cooperative, a commune. Above of all, CHAZ is a family.
What is day-to-day life like there right now? Is it just a protest space, or are you rebuilding everyday community structures?
FA: It’s pretty interesting because the first day after the autonomous zone was declared there was almost no infrastructure in place yet. I think the call surprised a lot of people. In the next couple of days, hundreds of people came to start and set those up. Now the space feels like a sort of city within the city. It’s got a medical station. It’s got a pretty sophisticated and abundant food distribution. It has community check-ins around disputes and disturbances. It’s got a discussion space; a café space called “the decolonial café.” A community garden, informational tents, and informational sessions with free literature, nightly film screenings and a band stand with nightly performances from different bands.
So there is a ton of activity going on there, and the space itself feels very vibrant and exciting. It does feel like a festival of resistance. And people can plug into movement spaces and have organizing conversations and plan the next action. Or they can think about how to design the garden and the purpose of a community garden, things like that. To me it’s pretty incredible.
In the first few days, there was no structure, by the end of the first week, people initiated a general assembly model in the middle of the afternoon. The first one was more like a “speak-out,” people talking about their experiences and processing a lot of stuff. A lot of trauma from the police violence of the previous weeks. Black voices were highlighted in their day-to-day struggles with the police. After that the general assembly turned into a “working group” model with report-backs, breaking away to work on things like logistics and then coming back to the space.
I don’t know if they have been able to make any collective decisions and I don’t know if they really have a process for that, whether it is voting, majority voting, or consensus. But it is definitely a space for the whole zone to talk to each other.
OCHAZ: Well it’s certainly nothing like the way it’s portrayed on right-wing propaganda channels like Fox News. We don’t have guarded “checkpoints,” or any of that rubbish. Our borders are open to anyone who stands in solidarity with Black lives, and anyone who seeks safety and refuge from police harassment. Some people drive into CHAZ from out of state to lend a helping hand, while others live and work completely within the boundary. Everyone who comes here with an open mind sees a flourishing environment filled with boundless love.
It feels like walking through a lucid dream 24 hours a day. We use the park to host recreational activities, such as free movie nights, stand-up comedy shows and dance parties. We have local farmers growing crops, artists painting murals to raise social awareness and wholesome activities for kids and families. There are friendly faces everywhere, like our resident 63-year-old street musician, “Papa Jacoby,” who teaches authentic West African djembe music with a focus on cultural sensitivity.
Everybody is having a lot of fun in CHAZ, but we also can’t forget why we are here and who we are fighting for. That’s why we make sure to hold regular classes on the history of racism, strategies for decolonization and the destructive legacy of whiteness. We’re working hard to unlearn systems of racism, and create a place in CHAZ where for once in the history of America, white folks take a back seat to make room for the unheard voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples.
Everywhere you look in CHAZ, you will find a vibrant, thriving community where every citizen understands that Black Lives Matter, and they mean it with all their hearts. I’ve never seen something so beautiful that it actually makes me cry, but that pretty much sums up CHAZ for you.
How are mutual aid projects supporting the Zone to continue?
OCHAZ: Robust mutual aid programs are key to CHAZ’s success, as well as harm reduction methodologies wherever possible. The people organize themselves around community needs. Our “No-cop co-op” doesn’t accept any cash — anything a citizen of CHAZ needs is provided free of charge from the co-op, because we believe in people over profits. Our kitchen distributes food to the homeless night and day, and we’re not just talking cans of cold beans here. In CHAZ, anyone who is hungry can receive a full, nutritious and locally-sourced hot meal, and we’ll even top it off with a scoop of ice cream and some of those little Keebler mint cookies for dessert.
Around the corner, we have a free childcare center to take some of the stress off working women of color, along with a “no questions asked” medical care facility to anyone in need. Undocumented immigrants in particular, who live outside the CHAZ, are often afraid to see a doctor because revealing their personal information could bring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to their doorstep. CHAZ ensures that our immigrant comrades have nothing to fear when they go in for a check-up, by providing a viable alternative to Big Pharma and other western imperialist medical institutions.
Another pride and joy of the Autonomous Zone is our cooperative agricultural program. All citizens are welcome to grow and share crops in our garden area, but of course, we have designated the most fertile plot of land to Indigenous peoples, so they can take ownership over what is rightfully theirs without intrusion. To those who would have never believed the people of America could break away from capitalism and say goodbye to the oligarchy: think again — the CHAZ works, and we’re expanding it with even more socially-minded programs every day.
FA: So the mutual aid group in Seattle that formed just as the pandemic hit has been very involved in organizing the autonomous zone space. Setting up the food and some of the other distribution resources they used for Covid they have been able to use in this space. So that’s been really great. Then I just think the idea of mutual aid and supporting each other in the space is also a big part of this. So the “No cop co-op,” where people are just providing whatever they have and distributing it freely to people who need it. And the kind of food donations that are coming in is all part of that notion.
Some people are putting in tremendous amounts of work, way more than I am. The medical team is incredible. They have been battling the police for weeks and treating people who have been injured by the police very, very seriously. Their ability to get medical supplies and distribute them to people in need is really incredible.
What do you think about the portrayal in right-wing media? Is it really different from your own experience?
FA: The CHAZ really does feel like a festive and joyous space. There have been lots of efforts to discredit the space from the Seattle Police Department or right-wing media, even just mainstream media.
Are the police or right-wing vigilantes trying to get into the zone?
FA: The police have re-entered the space. The precinct was left completely upended. It was open, unlocked and completely accessible. In the first couple of days, no one went in. There was still that hesitancy about getting into the East Precinct. People were still unsure of what to do. And after the first couple of days the police came in and locked it and fenced it off.
From what I know, that is the only time the police have come into that space and other than that other city services are responding to the area. The mayor has directed the Fire Department, the Department of Transportation and the Parks Department to be the ones who come to that area. So I haven’t seen any police there since they came in the one time.
OCHAZ: The fascists are always on our ass, predictable as usual. Unfortunately, it’s just something we have to expect and figure out how to deal with the best we can. The cops have left us alone for the most part, running scared ever since we exiled them from the Zone. But there is definitely a looming cloud of right-wing assholes threatening to swoop in and destroy what we’ve created here. What those assholes don’t realize, is that we are watching them like a hawk. We’ll never just lie down and take it, or let them hurt even a single hair on our people’s bodies. Sure, we’ve received threats from cops, “patriots,” biker gangs, you name it. But CHAZ has a message to all you bootlickers out there: we’ve got your number. Fuck around and find out.
How are you thinking about the CHAZ in the long term? Are you thinking of this extending into weeks and months?
OCHAZ: I’m trying my best to not get blinded by optimism. We still have a long way to go to achieve racial equity. There’s a lot of work to do to expand our reach, secure our infrastructure, and build up the kind of community that works for everybody, not just whites and white-passing POC. Those among us who come from a place of privilege are still struggling to avoid centering themselves because dismantling the effects of racism and colorism isn’t just a one-time gig — it’s a full-time job.
That’s why we are putting up daily reminders so that the very roads we walk on will declare loud and clear what we all stand for. Little by little, we’re covering every building in sight with tributes to George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and others. We are de-gentrifying the city, renaming streets that were previously named after colonizers and diligently taking down any and all lingering remnants of our country’s racist past, so we can move on to a better future. We are setting our sights high, toward full self-sustainability, so that we no longer rely on donations from the outside to keep us going. The next thing on my list is to get a greenhouse going, to cultivate crops that will provide a wider range of vegan options for the kitchen.
FA: That’s a great question. When I was there yesterday, it seemed entrenched to me. People have uprooted part of the park and planted community gardens there. There’s a tent city, protesters kind of reminiscent of Occupy. All the mutual aid projects I was mentioning, the medics and the food distribution and things like that, are really well set up. The infrastructure they have is impressive. So it looks like it has staying power, to me. . .”
true—175 employees funded by CIA related corporations—wiki conforms to Robert Michel’s concept of “pro rule of oligarchy”, demonstrated by US researchers…anything qualitative that does not conform to the US ruling class narrative is censored by wiki
You probably are a true believer in your false accusations, your narrative based on (fill in the blank). Can you provide actual evidence of this massive censorship campaign by The Wikimedia Foundation in service to the US ruling class? If so, provide the evidence.
is any empire a good idea?
empires are dissimilar —while the amerikan, British, French, Dutch Spanish empires were produced by by invasions, economic impoverishments, the Mongol, Roman, Ottoman, Russian empires regarded protection and civilization. Many ethnic and national groups petitioned to join these empires in order to obtain the benefits provided–justice, freedom from nearby entities that stole crops/livestock, enslaved their children, etc—for example, the Georgians sought to join USSR having experienced imperial theft by both the Turks and the Armenians—the Mongol empire once included most of china and Russia, offering protection from marauding Tatars, etc as is true of the Ottomans that provided security for farmers and protected Turkic peoples from the Bashkirs, Tajiks, etc…empires suicide when they are required to expend huge sums on their military to oppress unwilling members that are used to enrich the aristocracy of the rich inside that empire…the Ottomans like all empires were overextended and colonized people against their will–Hungary, Serbia, Spain, etc…true of France in Algeria, Africa,etc—that US troops are now found in 70% of nations speaks to the overextension of the US empire
Please do provide a citation that supports your contention that the Roman and USSR
as characteristics of their governance.