Seattle’s Autonomous Zone: Shootings took place during “summer of love”

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5 Min Read

Even amid shootings in Seattle’s “autonomous zone”, politicians and the media continued with the narrative of peaceful protest without the so-called police brutality.

“We’ve had an incredibly peaceful demonstration here for weeks,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at the beginning of July.

At that time, there had already been two shootings in the Seattle autonomous zone. Since then, there have been at least four more shootings.

The Seattle police decided to post four-minute footage, in which armed anarchists ran in the streets, with muzzle flashes visible in the dark and other people hiding around the area.

“The area has become a place of anarchy and brutality,” said Police Chief Carmen Best.

According to a summary made by the Wall Street Journal, during the “peaceful protest”, 67 serious crimes took place in the area this year, mostly in June, while last year, there were only 37 crimes in the whole year.

There were also eleven serious violent crimes, compared to only two such incidents last year. People reported six robberies. Last year, it was zero.

Right at the time when the zone was established, the residents were told that they would pay “taxes” to the new masters. But because, for obvious reasons, no one wanted to confirm this on camera, the media swept it under the rug, calling it a slander of a unique violence-free commune project.

The zone was established when police had to retreat after attacks by protesters and the mayor’s order. And the myth was born that the streets were quiet. To strengthen the legend, the media wrote about the festival-like atmosphere, music in the streets, the summer of love, or the creation of a vegetable garden.

This contributed to the widespread myth that the police were actually to blame for the violence and crime on the US streets. The narrative of the story was that if the police are banned or reduced in numbers, citizens will be happier.

Now, Seattle Police Chief Best described what really happened on the streets of the zone considered to be the model for a new social order.

“As I walked through the neighborhood, I was just stunned by the number of, the amount of graffiti, garbage, and property destruction,” said Best.

Police Chief Best certainly defends the interests of the police as she did not agree with the mayor’s benevolence in this matter from the beginning. But Mayor Durkan also has a reason for her decision to allow establishment of the zone. She is a Democrat, and therefore she could not just intervene against the protests self-labeled as fighting racism, violence, and white domination. In other words, the protests are also against Donald Trump.

And because the media are completely partisan in the United States, several studies have revealed that major television stations CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS also reported on the situation with delay and at times of the day when viewership is quite low. Some media even ignored the matter, entirely.

Similarly, information about anarchists with rifles and pistols inside the zone had been omitted or ironed out despite many photos proving their presence. In the end, no one questioned that they were running in the streets of the autonomous zone. Especially when they started with the shooting.

Title image: A woman sits in the street as police officers block an area cleared hours earlier Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Seattle, where streets had been blocked off in an area demonstrators had occupied for weeks. Seattle police arrived in force earlier in the day at the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone set up after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, and they tore down demonstrators’ tents and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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