Culture

Austin City Logic

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Last week, I broke the news here that Austin, Texas, the blue capital of the red Lone Star State, has a kind of “autonomous zone” parked on its city hall. The city that defunded police has seen its voters reject Mayor Steve Adler’s dream of allowing homeless people to just camp out anywhere all over the city — except city hall.

In a turn of events worthy of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, camping was banned at city hall when it was legal everywhere else. Now that it’s banned everywhere else because the voters spoke up, Adler is allowing it at city hall.

It’s all in the name of “protesting” the voters voting to reinstate the camping ban that was the law for ages before 2019, as I reported last week.

As per usual, Mayor Steve Adler, Democrat, is allowing the situation to get out of control. He is allowing what amounts to an “autonomous zone” to occupy Austin city hall by calling it a “protest.”

That’s when a friend reminded me of something.

The reason given for exempting City Hall from the original camping ordinance was that since the front of City Hall was a designated free speech zone, having a camp there would inhibit people from exercising their 1st Amendment rights… Now that there is a camp there, the same idiots are arguing that it cannot be removed because doing so would inhibit the 1st Amendment rights of the homeless. So you can’t have a camp there for the same reason that you can’t remove the camp!

Austin can be a convoluted place that prides itself on being “weird” while also being the epicenter of the Silicon Prairie, a place with a hippie vibe that Big Tech more and more calls home. Apple is building a massive campus on the city’s northern edge that will employ 15,000 once it’s complete, which will be soon. I’m sure it’ll have its own security force. Environmentally-conscious Austin seems intent on driving all wildlife as far away as possible with its sprawl. The other day there was a report of a mountain lion sighting, of all things, not too far from where that Apple campus is going in. Deer continue grazing in the shadows of the cranes building big things all over the city when they’re not dodging traffic and being run over by the newcomers. This was the same city that told everyone else to turn our lights off during the great freeze but kept the lights on all night in its empty city hall. PJ Media worked with a local drone photographer to call them out and they turned the lights off soon thereafter.

And Austin seems intent on keeping an autonomous camp on the doorsteps of the local government despite camping being banned on that very spot by the local government.

You’ve heard of Austin City Limits, the long-running music show on public TV, and the wildly popular annual music festival. Well, there’s Austin city logic for you.