As antifa militants have taken over six blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, calling it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or the “People’s Republic of Capitol Hill,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has refused to act, and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) actually laughed about this open revolt, claiming he hadn’t heard about it. He did say, however, that he was demobilizing the National Guard. President Donald Trump told Durkan and Inslee to get their acts together, stat.
“Radical Left Governor [Jay Inslee] and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before,” the president tweeted. “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”
Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
President Trump is correct — this is not a game. Roughly 500 Americans live in the six city blocks that antifa militants have claimed in the name of their revolution. The anarchists in the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” appear to have set up an extortion racket to blackmail local businesses into forking over supplies.
Yet Jay Inslee appears to think it is a game.
Gov. Inslee on so-called "autonomous zone" on Capitol Hill:
"That's news to me". pic.twitter.com/L3LT86Zxgq
— Rebecca Perry (@Rebecca_Perry) June 10, 2020
Indeed, the antifa rebellion may be a matter for President Donald Trump to send in the military. This is arguably a case for the Insurrection Act of 1807, which allows the president to deploy the military and the National Guard to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion. President George H.W. Bush last used the act in the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The antifa rioters appear intent on creating an autonomous state, not unlike the ISIS-run territories in the Middle East or the surrounded proto-communist experiment of the Paris Commune in 1871. (The Paris Commune was a key moment in the history of socialism and communism. It lasted between March and May 1871, after the Prussians had defeated the French in the Franco-Prussian War and were besieging Paris. Karl Marx called it an example of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”)
As in the case of the destructive riots, this antifa anarchist action demands a firm law enforcement response. While the radicals may think they are achieving something by staging an open rebellion, they are merely reminding Americans of how important law and order truly are.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.