Created by extreme left-wing protesters after violent clashes with the police, the Seattle Capitol Hill autonomous zone has become a dangerous parody of the idea. While the city authorities do not take the situation seriously, however, many analysts warn that everything can become very complicated.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the police to be removed from Capitol Hill after several days of dangerous clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement. Officers cleared the police station of personal belongings, confidential documents and expensive equipment. As a result, activists from Antifa and anarchists to the Black Lives Matter Seattle took control of the district in six blocks.
Protesters erected barricades around the occupied land, there are guards on the territory, many of whom are armed. In the feed zone, there is a medical tent and a stage for performances. Durkan believes that the zone will give the city a “summer of love”, and although over the past few days the atmosphere of the occupied space has definitely turned into a street fair, there is still a lot of violence in the zone.
Fights break out all day, writes Newsweek. Sometimes outsiders are involved; often insiders engage in heated debates that turn into hand-to-hand combat. There are no arrests since there is no police. Activists regularly block media representatives and witnesses from filming fights.
Moreover, the preservation of this zone carries another danger – it inspires such movements across the country. In Nashville, an activist group is also trying to create its own autonomous zone. A similar plan didn’t work out well in Portland over the weekend.