In my Commentary No. 65, published June 15, 2020, I predicted that plans were afoot to establish “autonomous occupied zones” in other American cities, similar to the six-block area in Seattle now being held by the anarchist Antifa organization. I want to make sure you didn’t miss the news (probably not reported by the mainstream media) that efforts were made last week to establish similar zones in Asheville, NC; Portland, OR; Nashville, TN; and Chicago, IL.
Members of the Asheville Police Department watched as demonstrators set up barricades and built a tent city in downtown Asheville. They watched as the leaders of the effort declared the area to be “Free Asheville, an autonomous occupied zone not subject to the laws of the United States.”
Then the police moved in. They tore down the barricades and the tents, and arrested anyone who tried to stop them. The mayor and city council then issued a statement that such un-American activities would not be tolerated in Asheville. They ordered the Antifa members to leave the city and warned that they would be arrested if there were any further attempts to disrupt the city.
One demonstrator (probably an Antifa member) posted on Twitter that, “We will be back. This is only the beginning.”
In Nashville, the effort to establish an autonomous occupied zone never got off the ground. State Governor Bill Lee issued a statement that the state police had “credible information” that Antifa was planning to take over an area outside the state capitol complex. Governor Lee said that such an effort would not be tolerated. He further warned the would-be occupiers that occupying state property is against the law in Tennessee, as is camping on state property. He warned that anyone who attempted to do either would be arrested and prosecuted.
The Antifa organizers begged their followers to come anyway, and bring tents, food, water, and other necessities—but no one showed up.
To my surprise (Portland is every bit as liberal as Seattle or San Francisco) the would-be occupiers in Portland got an even harsher reception than the ones in Asheville. The Portland police worked right alongside the demonstrators. The demonstrators set up barricades and tents, and the police tore them down. Anyone who resisted was arrested (although I saw one report that charges against those who were arrested have been dropped).
Demonstrators tried to rally Wednesday (they were probably as surprised as I was at the police opposition) but they finally gave it up. By Thursday morning all the demonstrators were gone.
NOT to my surprise, the only place Antifa’s efforts met with any degree of success was in Barak Obama’s hometown—Chicago. Demonstrators there succeeded in occupying a single building on the campus of the University of Chicago. It’s the building that houses the campus police department.
Antifa probably thought the campus police would flee the building, the way Seattle police fled the East Precinct headquarters. Instead, the campus police posted armed guards at all the entrances to the building, and to the restrooms. They’re not allowing any food or water to be delivered to the occupiers, and not allowing them to use the restrooms.
Occupiers are appealing on Twitter for their supporters outside the building to call the campus police department and demand that they allow food and water to be delivered, and that the occupiers be given access to the restrooms.
I’m guessing those demands (if any) will fall on deaf ears.
This follow-up wouldn’t be complete without updating my readers on what’s happening in Seattle.
In a word—nothing.
The (liberal Democrat) mayor of Seattle has ordered the police not to interfere with the occupiers. He is referring to the occupation as “the summer of love.” (For my younger readers, “the summer of love” is what the mainstream media called the summer of 1969, when tens of thousands of hippies from all across the U.S. descended on the city of San Francisco.)
Meanwhile, the Seattle Chief of Police says that Seattle’s 9-1-1 line is getting a steady stream of calls from inside the occupied area, reporting rapes, assaults, robberies, and other violent crimes. The mayor has threatened to terminate any policeman who tries to respond to those calls.
I was a little surprised at the attempts to occupy areas of Asheville and Nashville. They’re on the northern fringe of what some Yankee pundits refer to as “the Redneck South.” I’m guessing that the Antifa leaders tried those cities to see if they had any success. If the occupations had succeeded they would have made plans to move farther into the Deep South—Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana—and Texas. The fact that the occupations failed probably means we’re safe for a while.
IMO (standard disclaimer), the anarchist groups like Antifa are going to be very reluctant to extend their activities into the Gulf Coast states. Of the estimated 400 million guns in the U.S., I believe at least 250 million of them are in the Gulf Coast states—and we know how to use them. Even my 16-year-old granddaughter can put round after round into the bullseye of a target.
We don’t count on the police to protect us, our families, and our property. We assume that responsibility is ours. If you threaten me or mine, you deal with me, not the police.
The anarchists know that, and it scares them. It should.