It only took a few weeks for the people of Seattle to reject the nation of an “autonomous zone” in the middle of their fair city, but now their neighbors to the south are dealing with a similar situation.
In the midst of heavily populated protests spawned by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Seattle protesters forced an entire police precinct in their city’s Capital Hill borough to retreat. This, in turn, led to the creation of the “CHAZ”, or Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. After being mistaken for secessionists more than a few times, the demonstrators soon adopted a new moniker, The “CHOP”, or Capital Hill Occupied Protest.
The police-less six block section of Seattle was soon seen as lawless, predictably, and Mayor Jenny Durkan was eventually forced to step in and dismantle the experiment after several Washingtonians were shot and killed.
Now, just to the south, another group of protesters are attempting something quite similar.
Portland protesters early Wednesday began to set up tents in the park near the federal courthouse and have barricaded streets to create their own autonomous zone, likened to the since disbanded Capitol Hill Occupied Protest in Seattle.
Demonstrators began erecting tents in downtown Portland’s Lownsdale Square, across the street from the federal Pioneer Courthouse, one of the federal properties Homeland Security sought to protect by bringing federal officers into the city two weeks ago.
A camera at the Portland Standard Building showed protesters beginning to assemble tents late Tuesday night in the same park where “Occupy Portland” set up in 2011, KATU reported.
An unofficial Twitter page attributed to a group of anti-capitalist, anti-fascist teens who call themselves the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front said protesters want to establish the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory, or CLAT, in downtown Portland. The Chinook people include several indigenous groups native to the Pacific Northwest.
One can only imagine that the CLAT will eventually suffer the same fate as the CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle. The only question is how long it will take to get there.
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