Rantz: Militant Antifa group policing CHOP or CHAZ

Jun 14, 2020, 6:18 PM | Updated: Jun 15, 2020, 10:29 am

A militant Antifa group known as the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club is patrolling the six blocks known as CHOP or CHAZ. In other words, the activists that kicked cops out of the occupied space now have their version of “police,” but with no meaningful police training and stubborn ideological beliefs. What could possibly go wrong?

Though some media outlets prefer to treat CHOP or CHAZ as a peaceful, social justice Utopian paradise, the illegally occupied area has policing needs. But they don’t trust highly trained officers. So, organizers turned over the security to people willing to use violence to stifle activists with positions they disagree with.

Although, perhaps “turned over” isn’t the right term. They’ve just assumed the role.

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Antifa group protecting CHOP or CHAZ

PSJBGC is a group of activists that believe they’re fighting Nazis. And they’ve taken to support and protect CHAZ or CHOP from its perceived enemies.

The group claims to back “active resistance to the corrosive and destructive social effects of white supremacy, sexism, bigotry, and economic exploitation.” They laud former member Willem van Spronsen as a hero and martyr, when in actuality the domestic terrorist tried to firebomb the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.

Shattering the claim that Antifa groups aren’t organizing nor operational at CHAZ or CHOP, PSJBGC openly touts the security services they offer. Speaking to the Daily Beast, a member explained they were “tapped to provide a security escort for ‘some very prominent black voices who were doing speeches here at the Autonomous Zone.'”

PSJBGC members are not the only ones providing armed — and unarmed — security to the CHAZ or CHOP. Indeed, many individuals have come on their own and, in the photo gallery above, it’s unclear if anyone photographed is with a group or acting independent.

“It’s not our intent to try to create any paradox to try to incite violence or have that be a motif,” activist Maurice Cola told KIRO Radio’s Nicole Jennings. “We’re not trying to use our guns to flash around — it’s for defense.”

How the security works at CHAZ or CHOP

Security members man each of the entrances and exits to CHAZ or CHOP. There’s only one entrance for drivers into and out of the autonomous zone.

In the occupied zone, security personnel patrol on foot. When violence breaks out, they offer help. But they appear also willing to help stop the media from accurately covering the violence on the ground.

When people film any fights or other acts of violence, activists in the crowd presumably “working” under the security personnel, purposefully bump into and block anyone filming with their cell phones. They did it to me on Saturday as I filmed a fight that broke out on stage.

A man with his face covered repeatedly bumped into me and stood in the way of my phone. When my friend Julio Rosas of Townhall.com got too close to the filming, the same activist tried to stop him from recording. It ended up being a futile effort, as both Rosas and I picked up plenty of footage.

Meanwhile, in the crowd, some activists take photos of those they deemed problematic to the CHAZ or CHOP. In one creepy moment of the day, documentarian Kyle Seago posted a photo of me with the hashtag #seattleprotestcomms. It’s a way to share information with other activists to either avoid dealing with someone or, potentially, harass them.

The irony of the CHAZ or CHOP security

I don’t personally care that the PSJBGC carry weapons, concealed or otherwise. They have that right (though it’s worth noting that under Mayor Jenny Durkan’s toothless emergency decree, weapons are banned). But it’s worth noting the irony of left-wing activists setting up this kind of security.

Fringe voices on the Left — the kind that would, say, overtake a six-block piece of land thanks to feckless leadership of a terrified mayor — believe borders are racist. Some even argue they shouldn’t exist. Yet, when it comes to “their” land, they see some benefits to using borders to keep some potential dangers out.

And of course, far Leftists are anti-gun. Indeed, they constantly speak of repealing the Second Amendment. Yet, these voices are silent when it comes to heavily armed security as they play fort on Capitol Hill.

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Rantz: Militant Antifa group policing CHOP or CHAZ