KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Radicals using migrants to hold city hostage, threatening another CHOP Seattle

Apr 3, 2024, 7:15 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2024, 11:36 am

Photo: In 2020, Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists committed an insurrection and commandeered ...

In 2020, Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists committed an insurrection and commandeered six city blocks, with weapons in tow. This time, some of the same radicals that supported CHOP are transporting migrants around the city demanding taxpayers pay a ransom under the threat of losing a Seattle park. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)

(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Choe)

Radical Seattle activists are using illegal immigrants (or migrants) to hold the Central District’s Garfield Park hostage. And while the city got a temporary reprieve as a private donor reportedly paid ransom to cover their hotel expenses for eleven days, unless officials come up with a plan, Seattle will have the second iteration of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).

Dozens of migrants, mostly Venezuelan, were reportedly bussed to the Seattle area in 2023 by unidentified nonprofits. They say they’re seeking asylum, like the hundreds of thousands of other migrants who illegally crossed the border. But they never actually lived in Seattle. Instead, they set up an encampment in Tukwila, before ultimately overstaying their welcome at motels in Kent and SeaTac.

They were initially backed by a mix of private donations and King County funds, but that ran dry. During the bitterly cold weather in January, and under threat of removal from a motel that wasn’t being compensated, progressive housing activists transported the illegal immigrants to Seattle City Hall to demand funds to keep them housed. Mayor Bruce Harrell relented, giving them a month’s worth of funding for motel rooms.

After a month, they again demanded the City of Seattle pay for their hotels but the city, in a rare move, pushed back. With the help of radical activists, some of whom disrupted a recent city council meeting when they weren’t promised funding, the migrants said if they didn’t raise funds, they’d take over a city park. They followed through with the threat.

Why did dozens of migrants hold a Seattle park hostage?

On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of migrants set up camp at the Garfield Park tennis courts, which is owned by Seattle Public Schools (SPS). They set up tents as Seattle police reportedly warned them to clear. It’s illegal to camp out on school district property, though, in the past, SPS has allowed dangerous homeless encampments to remain for months.

The effort appears to have been organized by activists with Stop the Sweeps. Online, they posed an “urgent ask 4 camping supplies.” They solicited for enough donations to help 240-plus illegal immigrants, including sleeping bags, tents, tarps, blankets, jackets, lamps and cardboard boxes.

Late Wednesday evening, a private donor offered to pay a ransom. The unidentified donor covered enough funds for hotel rooms for the next eleven days.

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CHOP Seattle part two

This has the makings of another CHOP zone, which notoriously led to the murders of black teens and ended then-mayor Jenny Durkan’s political career.

In 2020, Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists committed an insurrection and commandeered six city blocks, with weapons in tow. This time, some of the same radicals that supported CHOP are transporting migrants around the city demanding taxpayers pay a ransom under the threat of losing a park.

They’re doing this because they know they can get away with it. The city allows it. On Wednesday, according to KOMO-TV, Seattle Parks and Recreation opened up Garfield Park bathrooms for them to use, a sign that the city would not push back against this takeover.

But city officials would be foolish to think this will end well. If the mayor’s office again spends money it doesn’t have to house people who don’t even live in Seattle, they guarantee this kind of terroristic behavior will happen again. If the city allows them to stay at a park, when they inevitably return, the area will turn into another CHOP. It will also ensure this tactic continues to be used.

Mayor Bruce Harrell has aimed to stay out of the crosshairs of Seattle activists. But that means he’s been reluctant to call them out when he should. He can choose to send a clear message that he won’t tolerate this kind of behavior, or he could cower to the demands of 20-somethings who suffer from a white savior complex. That would threaten any potential progress a new, more moderate council could bring to a city in desperate need of sanity.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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