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,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) laughed about this open rebellion, saying he hadn’t heard about it. Inslee added that the National Guard is demobilizing, and his chief of staff suggested that even if an open rebellion had broken out on the streets of Seattle, it would be up to “local authorities” to fight it.
“Passing the buck” doesn’t even begin to cover the insanity of this “response.”
A reporter asked Inslee about the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone during the governor’s press conference on Wednesday, noting that the antifa militants had shut down part of the city and were “not allowing people to come and go freely.” He did not mention the fact that antifa had commandeered the Seattle Police East Precinct.
“That’s news to me. So, I’ll have to reserve any comment about it. I have not — I have not heard anything about that… from any credible source,” Inslee said, with a chuckle. “Not that you’re not credible, it’s just before I espouse and opinion I should know of which I speak.” He laughed again after giving this response.
If the governor of Washington has not heard about the open revolt taking place in the state’s largest city — in the Capitol Hill district, no less! — then he is utterly incompetent. But his next response proved equally insane.
The reporter responded with a follow-up question, asking whether or not Inslee would bring in the National Guard to open up the city when “protesters” had erected barricades to block streets.
“You know, that’s a hypothetical. Look, we’ve got to have safety. I’m sure that people will find a way to have public safety everywhere in the state, I’m confident of that,” Inslee said. “The National Guard is demobilizing, over two-thirds of them are demobilized as of yesterday.”
In other words, *wink* *nod* “I have no idea what’s happening.” *cough* *cough* “I’m sure everyone will work it out.”
Governor Inslee has an open rebellion in the streets of Seattle, with antifa militants declaring their territory to be “leaving the U.S.A.” and complete with an extortion racket, and he’s demobilizing the National Guard! He’s saying “people will find a way to have public safety.”
It’s the government’s job to provide public safety, and when an insurrection breaks out, it’s the government’s job to put it down. This second remark suggests that Inslee may be consciously ignoring the fact that militants have usurped the homes of some 500 Americans in Seattle. This is unconscionable.
Even sadder, however, Inslee’s Chief of Staff David Postman insisted that putting down an insurrection with the National Guard was a matter for “local authorities” to take care of.
“It is not our decision whether to send people to a street or anything like that. The way this process works is a local agency has to make a request to the National Guard for that, if the National Guard feels that that’s a legitimate request, it’s forwarded to our office for approval. But that is a general call-up for personnel to be available,” Postman insisted. “They work under the local authorities.”
Perhaps if the issue were merely the blocking of one city street, Postman might not have been far off the mark. But the National Guard responds to the governor’s office, and the governor has the authority to deploy the National Guard when militants have set up a breakaway ISIS-style state in a major city.
The antifa rebellion in Seattle is far more than just a matter for “local authorities.” In fact, it 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.
Jay Inslee is proving extremely derelict in his duty by not responding to this rebellion — and his decision to laugh at it is particularly damning. Rebellion is no laughing matter, especially for the 500 Americans whose homes are in the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”
The question about the autonomous zone comes at 37:30 in this video.
WATCH: Governor Inslee Press Availability https://t.co/cfSHJFdzY3
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) June 10, 2020
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.