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The ongoing series of protests, riots and unrest following the death of George Floyd culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in Seattle, Washington, after police abandoned a local precinct in the city’s Capitol Hill district. Lasting just three weeks until law enforcement retook the six block territory from occupants on July 1st, the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) — initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) — was a short-lived experiment which unfortunately exhibited all the contradictions of the so-called “left” that have become characteristic in the United States today. Although it is undeniable that American police have a brutality and racism problem (having been trained by Israel), within weeks it was clear that what began as spontaneous protests were hijacked for an establishment agenda. Meanwhile, the ill-fated demise of the Seattle commune should be understood as symptomatic of a larger problem within the U.S. left as a whole.
One of the most influential figures of the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre, who died 226 years ago this month, famously said that
“the secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”
The insurrectionary Paris Commune