I have always been fascinated by secessionist movements. It goes back to my childhood love of maps, flags and geography. I use to spend hours poring over atlases and fixating on the strange autonomous zones that only existed inside fluid borders drawn in dotted lines. Strange places no American ever spoke of, with exotic names like Transnistria, Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. I would eventually grow into a commie, Third World, war nerd who fastidiously followed and supported these esoteric independence movements from afar.
Secession often gets a dirty name on the American left, thanks largely to those slave driving frauds in the Confederacy who failed to get the approval of the citizens they called property before calling it splitsville. But globally speaking, secession has more often than not been a practice which usually favors the colonized over the colonizers, and one that could have given real teeth to the growing slave revolts of the South had it been held to the standards of Thomas Paine.
All things considered, it’s really little wonder that after an adolescent flirtation with Bolivarian Guevarism, I became a devoted Panarchist, a school of anarchism that rejects globalism in favor of militant localism, and dreams of a world of a million autonomous zones, divided only by ideology and fluid dotted lines. So naturally I was pretty fucking stoked when the goblins on my aging mother’s Fox News programs began hyperventilating over CHAZ.
Born in the heat of urban social upheaval, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ rose from the tear gas like a great anarchist kraken to tantalize and toy with the posh gentrified towers of the purgatory the tech industry has turned one of America’s fine outlaw cities into. Finally, the freaks, faggots and crusty dreaded junkies had taken back a six block piece of what had once been a thriving bohemian red light district and transformed it into an outrageous post-apocalyptic utopia, tattooed in graffiti and crawling with sketchy libertines who saunter through the war torn avenues with exotically modified AR-15’s and fluorescent colored dread-hawks. The only gas that fills these streets now is the skunky fog emanating from flaming dumpsters and doobies the size of dinosaur bones. A glorious cacophony of grindcore and lo-fi Soundcloud rap bounces off the alleyways from a dozen feral ghetto-blasters tapped into the city grid through hacked streetlamps, as barely legal teen runaways go wild in the streets, shooting dark web procured psychedelic tryptamines and eating each other’s taught assholes beneath signs reading “You are now leaving the United States of America.” Finally, the American left appears to have discovered the magic of secession.
If only the vivid nightmares of Sean Hannity were a reality, the world would be my wet dream. Those hysterical creatures who terrify the elderly for a living always make the left look way cooler than it really is. The somewhat disappointing reality is that the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone isn’t really an anarchist project. In fact, in its latest capitulation to the melodramatic Karens of the straight world, it isn’t even an autonomous zone anymore. CHAZ has become CHOP aka the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, which may very well include a fair share of anarchists among its contingency but is not in fact an anarchist commune.
CHOP is a loose collaboration between Black Lives Matter and a number of other Pacific Northwest protest movements, and aside from a recent highly publicized spatter of the type of seemingly random acts of violence inevitable in any new society, the whole thing has been almost depressingly chill. That isn’t to say that CHOP ain’t worth defending. As a Panarchist and a pan-secessionist, I try my damnedest to support all indigenous alternatives to the state, and the first half of the CHOP formerly known as CHAZ’s original list of demands is a spot on assault on the local Seattle police state, calling for the wholesale abolition of the pigs and their prison system, as well as degentrification and increased autonomy for local anti-crime initiatives.
Sadly, the second half is bereft with the social-democratic gimme culture of the Bernie buttfucked left. After rightfully calling out the chattel style slavery of this nation’s school-to-prison system, CHOP calls for blank checks to centralized education and healthcare systems without properly addressing the totalitarian architecture of these industries and their incestuous marriage to the injustice system CHOP came to stomp out. CHOP also suffers from this generation’s dreadful lack of imagination. As proven by their name change concession, the partisans of CHOP underestimate the power of shocking the bourgeoisie. They lack the theatrical flourish of the Youth International Party, the Black Liberation Army, or the Situationist International.
True revolutionaries are never going to win over the adults out their in TV land. But you can win over their jaded children by spooking their normie parents. The greatest blow ever delivered to White Supremacy was the day a Dixiecrat congressman came home from voting for the latest Clinton crime bill to find his lily-white teenage daughter in bed with the undocumented housekeeper, scissoring to the latest NWA album blasting from the family HiFi system. We need to shock and provoke. CHOP needs to own the bad rep Fox has fortuitously bestowed upon them because it might be their greatest weapon in a cultural war for the hearts and minds of the terminally bored.
With all this in mind, I’ve decided to write up a few new demands for CHOP to consider if they wish to remain lethal to the outside system which may very well be sabotaging them from within as we speak. The Feds weren’t above “random” gangland shootings during Cointelpro, and who is Trump but the Satanic reincarnation of Dick Nixon. I remind all of you dearest motherfuckers, especially those within CHOP, to take my suggestions with a grain of salt or two. They are but the wild ramblings of an agoraphobic, genderqueer, pale-faced, suburban armchair anarchist from the other end of the country. Think of them as a few friendly suggestions from a Panarchist ally. I only pray to Christ and Kali that they reach you before Seattle steamrolls the whole damn thing. If not, save them for next time, because their will always be a next time.
I, Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit, speaking as the biologically male autonomous zone occupied by a genderflux coven of a dozen lesbian femmes, hereby suggest the following demands for consideration by the Capital Hill Organized Protest or however you may choose to self-identify this week.
1. We demand the right to mitigate our own justice system through both armed and unarmed peacekeepers, free of influence from the outside police state, including but not limited to the defense of our citizens and the investigation and subsequent mode of restorative justice we choose to handle those who harm them. We will not be a party to the mockery of justice that the outside police state uses to fight crime. That fight is a fight against poor people and it will not be allowed to be waged within this space.
2. We demand the right to open carry and the formation of civilian militias promised to us by the United States Constitution, and we reserve the right to stand our ground against all enemies, foreign or domestic, whether they wear a badge or a bandana.
3. We demand the full banishment of all law enforcement agencies from the Seattle city limits, not just the metropolitan PD, but the Sheriffs Department, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the DEA, the ATF, the IRS, ICE and the Border Patrol. Seattle must become a demilitarized zone. We recognize the police state as being a lethal injection table held up by many legs and we aim to saw them all off and ride that deathbed like a surfboard to liberty across the Puget Sound.
4. We demand that our doublespeaking, police coddling mayor, Jenny Durkin, perform an unplugged rendition of “All Apologies” on bended knee, while wearing a pilgrim buckle hat. We don’t think this will do much to heal any wounds. We just think it would be fucking funny. Fuck her and all her empty platitudes to social justice.
5. We demand that all unoccupied properties within city limits be made free game for squatters to shelter in or on and transform into additional autonomous zones of their own, if they so wish. This includes the palatial vacation homes and pool houses of the tech magnates who have made this city unlivable for poor people.
6. We demand that once the local police state disarms, they hand over their armaments to the local homeless shelters, so that the most desperate among us have the same means as the rich to defend themselves from gentrification.
7. We demand that truancy be decriminalized within city limits. If our schools can’t stimulate their student’s attention, it isn’t the students who should be penalized for their failings.
8. We demand that all students in the Seattle area be given the right to grade their teachers and that these grades have the same affect on the faculties upward mobility as the grades they give do the student’s, eliminating ageist class divisions and insuring equitable treatment.
9. We demand that all students of all ages in the Seattle area be provided with unions of their own and that all deals made with the teacher’s unions be contingent upon the approval of said student unions, so as to create equality inside the classroom and out.
10. We demand that all Seattle area hospitals and health care facilities be governed by autonomous democratic councils made up of patients and healthcare providers, including representation for nurses and orderlies that is proportional to their percentage of the workforce.
11. We demand that the military and all institutions that serve the military industrial complex be permanently evicted from city limits under threat of local prosecution in tandem with international law for conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity.
12. We demand that all city taxes be paid by individuals with a net worth of $10 million or more, since these citizens are undoubtedly the recipients of federal corporate welfare. Consider it a tax on the federal government that rob us all blind. If said individuals don’t like it, they can leave and take they’re skyrocketing property values with them. All other taxes within city limits shall be 100% voluntary.
13. And finally, we demand that CHOP/CHAZ be federally recognized as an autonomous administrative division, free from further federal regulation and taxation, with the full right to govern itself however it’s citizenry sees fit and with the full right to secede completely from the Union if they see fit. A right once guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence as a stopgap to the growth of the kind of tyranny that has gone unchallenged in this country and made our existence a necessity for self-defense. America chose to become an authoritarian regime. We the people choose to opt out.
Submitted for your humble consideration, from one malcontent to another.