U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- With a seven-block area in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood controlled by self-styled revolutionaries, Seattle is “under siege,” according to a Fox News headline, but amid the appearance of disorganization that has put the city in headlines across the nation, a Seattle police official acknowledged the state constitutional right to bear arms and the fact that Washington is an “open carry state.”
During an afternoon press conference, Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette confirmed there are “barricades set up by the protesters with some armed individuals running them as checkpoints into the neighborhood.” Protesters are calling this area the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and have posted a sign advising those who enter, “You are now leaving the USA.”
Images of armed “guards” have been posted on social media, and Nollette told reporters in this video broadcast by KOMO, “While they have a constitutionally-protected right to bear arms, and while Washington is an open carry state, there is no legal right for those arms to be used to intimidate community members.”
It was a surprising observation in a city known for its anti-gun-rights official philosophy. It might be one of the few things that has made sense lately in a city that rivals Portland, Ore., and San Francisco for its far-left political tilt. It could also be remembered by Second Amendment advocates at future legislative hearings on gun control proposals, a fact not lost on Evergreen State gun activists.
While this began as part of a nationwide protest effort following the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd while in police custody, a knee pressed on his neck for more than eight minutes, the situation in Seattle has grown into something of an insurrection. Seattle Police evacuated the East Precinct building several days ago, and while police officials are talking about re-occupying the precinct offices, the protesters seem to have other ideas.
Fox News reported something else Nollette mentioned.
“We have heard, anecdotally, reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area,” she stated. “This is the crime of extortion. If anyone has been subjected to this, we need them to call 911 and report the incident.”
President Donald Trump threatened in a tweet to Gov. Jay Inslee and Mayor Jenny Durkan that if they fail to “take back the city,” he would do it, himself. Trump called both Democrats “Radical Left” and asserted they have been “played at a level that our great Country has never seen before.”
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
Durkan fired back, tweeting, “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.” Inslee also responded, referring to the president as “a man who is totally incapable of governing” and saying he “should stay out of Washington state’s business.”
The mainstream media has apparently been downplaying the Seattle situation, according to Media Research Center news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro, quoted by Fox News. He asserted “evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS didn’t mention “autonomous zone” through Wednesday,” according to Fox News. The report also said rival CNN and MSNBC have left the story largely unreported.
Conservative talk radio hosts are uniformly criticizing city officials and Gov. Inslee for ineptitude. Writing for American Thinker, Earick Ward observed, “Seattle suburbanites need to be made to suffer for the consequences of their choices at the ballot box. You want to subvert our Constitution, attempt to run roughshod over civil society? Pay the price.”
KTTH radio host Jason Rantz, writing at MyNorthwest.com, reminded readers about Inslee’s incredulous reaction to a question about the “CHAZ” area, which includes several small businesses, residential areas and one of the city’s most popular public parks. Inslee claimed no knowledge of the situation.
“Well that’s news to me so I’ll have to reserve any comment about that,” Inslee told astonished reporters. “I have not heard anything about that, from any credible source. Not that you’re not credible, just before I espouse an opinion I should know of which I speak.”
Topping things off, a group calling itself “the Collective Black Voices at Free Capitol Hill” have issued a list of 20 “demands” to the municipal government. Among these demands is that the Seattle Police and “attached court system” be abolished because they are “beyond reform.”
The group also wants Seattle police officers disarmed during “the transitionary period between now and dismantlement.”
They also demand “that the City of Seattle and the State Government release any prisoner currently serving time for a marijuana-related offense and expunge the related conviction.” They further insist that “the City of Seattle and State Government release any prisoner currently serving time just for resisting arrest if there are no other related charges, and that those convictions should also be expunged.”
On top of that, they want prisoners currently serving time to be “given the full and unrestricted right to vote.”
They also want an end to “prosecutorial immunity for police officers.”
Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting that some Seattle-area law enforcement experts are “urging” the city’s police to retake control of the East Precinct swiftly.
The irony is that Seattle residents—and quite likely the majority of people participating in the CHAZ seizure, are strong supporters of gun control. Anti-gun-rights initiatives have passed overwhelmingly in the city while being far less popular the further away one gets from Seattle.
Yet now ostensibly protecting the boundaries of this “autonomous zone” are individuals strolling around with semi-auto rifles and sidearms.
One protester was shot several days ago in an altercation involving a car that entered the area, moving through people walking along the street. The motorist in this case, identified as Nikolas Alexander Fernandez, has been charged with first-degree assault. Fernandez is claiming self-defense, but the King County Prosecutor’s Office suggested in a statement that he provoked the attack that led to the shooting.