The Cop-Free Zone: Reflections from Experiments in Autonomy around the US Reply

Crimethinc

The cop-free zone is not the particular block or traffic circle or park. It is the shared commitment to defending a space and eliminating the dynamics of policing and white supremacy. In the following collection, we explore some people’s experiences attempting to create police-free autonomous zones in different parts of the United States.

Yesterday, Seattle police evicted the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), also known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), ending an experiment in autonomy that had extended over three weeks of inspiring creativity and heartbreaking tragedies. Yet the legend of this space has spread around the world, inspiring solidarity actions as far away as Tokyo and attempts to emulate it from Portland to New York City and Washington, DC. For an overview of the story of the occupation in Seattle, you could start here.

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Father Of Black Teen Killed In CHOP: It’s Time To Bring In The National Guard 1

Because there is never any violent crime and no one ever gets killed in territory controlled by the state. It’s interesting how articles like this advance the premise that an autonomous zone should somehow be a paradisical oasis overnight.

By Emily Zanotti

The Daily Wire

As Covid-19 cases took off in New York in March, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo imposed a lockdown of nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus, calling it “the most drastic action we can take.”

Now researchers say more targeted approaches — in New York and elsewhere — might have protected public health with less economic pain.

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In the Autonomous Zones Reply

By

New York Times

At first they called it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

In early June, protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement took over six city blocks of a gentrified Seattle neighborhood. There, activists screened films, served spaghetti, painted murals, held vigils and planted a community garden.

Their demands, according to Dae Shik Kim Jr., 28, an organizer who lives in the neighborhood, are: Defund the Seattle Police Department by 50 percent, fund more social services in the city, and drop charges against all protesters.

“We firmly believe that the type of leverage that we have during this moment would not be made possible if it wasn’t for the on-the-ground protesters who are there every night, putting that type of visible, strategic pressure on the city,” Mr. Kim said.

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Amazing ranches for sale to give you a slice of the good life Reply

The crowdfunded purchase of places like this could make for interesting intentional communities and startup societies.

By Abi Harman

Love Money

Surrounded by stunning rural landscapes, these impressive ranches for sale around the world offer an idyllic slice of the good life. From acres of remote rolling land and spectacular luxury homes to state-of-the-art equestrian and cattle facilities, you’ll be a bona fide cowgirl in no time. Saddle up and let’s take a look around.

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China’s worries about separatism run deep Reply

Peter Zeihan has argued that China may eventually fracture due to its internal instability and fragmentation. If that were to happen, I would consider it to be a major victory for “pan-secessionism” as a revolutionary tactic, as was the overthrow of the USSR and its Eastern European satellites. In addition, the US empire would no longer be able to use the PRC as a whipping boy/bogeyman. As an anarchist, I am for the dissolution of large states everwhere: America, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria…they all need to go. A world of microstates is not pure anarchy, but it is far more tolerable and manageable.

Analysis by James Griffiths, CNN

In a speech on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sun Yat-sen — seen by many as modern China’s founding father — President Xi Jinping pledged to “resolutely oppose” any attempt to divide the country.

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Nothing Succeeds Like Secession: Suggested Demands for CHOP From a Friendly Panarchist Ally Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I have always been fascinated by secessionist movements. It goes back to my childhood love of maps, flags and geography. I use to spend hours poring over atlases and fixating on the strange autonomous zones that only existed inside fluid borders drawn in dotted lines. Strange places no American ever spoke of, with exotic names like Transnistria, Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. I would eventually grow into a commie, Third World, war nerd who fastidiously followed and supported these esoteric independence movements from afar.

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Glenn Loury: ‘We’re Being Swept Along by Hysteria’ About Racism in America Reply

A somewhat interesting interview with a leading black conservative.

I would be inclined to argue that, at present, substantial sectors of the capitalist class (including some major capitalist entities) along with their allies in the new clerisy/new class that dominates the “ideas industries” are fueling anti-racism hysteria in order to deflect attention away from the class-based nature of the insurrection. They do this because a race war is less antithetical to their interests than a class war. However, contra the Marxists and left-anarchists, it doesn’t stop at class either. Even a class war is more co-optable than a direct war against the state itself.

All of this follows an easily identifiable pattern in US history.

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A Libertarian Defense of CHAZ Reply

By Stratton J. Davis

Ever since the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) was created in Seattle, it has been a prominent subject of discussion for many. The question usually being discussed is whether we should support it or not. While those on the left seem to be in support of CHAZ (mostly), among the libertarian right there seems to be ill feelings.

While some writers such as Walter Block have offered their philosophical defense for it, many have found reasons to detest CHAZ. These reasons vary from CHAZ simply being a leftist concoction to how the inner workings of CHAZ do not reflect “true” libertarian values. Sure, some of their inner workings include a warlord who is bent on power and achieves it through force, as well as absurd rules that plunder from one group for the benefit of another (kind of like the government that they claim to hate so much does – ironic).

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As It Should Be… 1

I first started developing the ideas that I would later come to call “pan-secessionism in the mid-1990s after notice the emergence of the “right-wing” antigovernment movement associated with the militias, sovereign citizens, tax protestors, and other similar groups. Of course, much of the left and certainly liberal opinion dismissed these as racist reworkings of the KKK. But what I found in my interaction with these people is that most of them were motivated by gun rights, economics, and general antigovernmentism, with a minority being motivated by religion, and an even smaller minority being motivated by race.

Some of the more radical ones were interested in forming alliances with black nationalists, American Indian tribes, or foreign revolutionaries like the Zapatistas, Shining Path, or Middle Eastern groups. The Rodney King riots, as well as the killings at Waco and Ruby Ridge, had happened a short time earlier, and the “Battle of Seattle” happened a few years later. I started to realize the potential for a tripartite alliance between the urban lumpenproletariat (mostly minority department store looters), rural lumpenproletariat (mostly white gun nuts), and what I called the suburban lumpenproletariat (middle-class kids who adopt a lumpen lifestyle by choice). Then, as now, that seems to be a pretty good plan. Here it is.

Previously, I was a Noam Chomsky-like left-anarchist, heavily influenced by the Spanish Revolution, who favored overthrowing the state through the use of anarcho-syndicalist unions, worker militias, guerrilla armies. I had never given much consideration to the idea of territorial or other forms of secessionism, although I knew (mostly from Proudhon) that secession was a historic anarchist principle, along with things like dual power (which I largely learned from Murray Bookchin). I was already an “anarchist without adjectives” as well (influenced by Voltairine de Cleyre and Errico Malatesta).

I never abandoned any of that as much as I expanded it to include the concepts of pan-anarchism and pan-secessionism as an umbrella framework for attacking the state, recognizing that it would be a means of bringing sectors of the far-right and radical-center as well as leftists and minorities into a wider anti-state front. At the time, a lot of these militia/sovereign people were pushing the idea of “county supremacy,” “mini-republics,” or micronations that struck me as basically a right-wing version of Murray Bookchin’s “libertarian municipalist” idea or a gun-toting version of Gandhi’s satyagraha philosophy. Then, as now, this seems to be a fairly on-target idea as well.

What puts me at odds with the mainstream anarchist movement is that most of them are Blue Tribe fundamentalists first and anarchists second, which means that hating on social conservatives is more important to them than overthrowing the ruling class. Regrettably, the Blue Tribe Khomeinists have replaced the Marxist-Leninists as the most immediately visible enemy of anarchism on the far-left, and many anarchists have fallen for it just as they were taken in by Marxism in the past.

There’s an abandoned resort ghost town in the Smokies Reply

Another spot for an intentional community?

By Anna Hilders

Road Trippers

The National Park Service established the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934. But the park’s rich history and culture were brewing in the hills long before that. You can still experience that special past for yourself. The park’s largest campground, Elkmont, is mere steps away from a ghost town, where you can explore the remains of a logging community and two turn-of-the-century-era resorts.

This world-class resort community turned ghost town in the Smokies might not look like much now, but it’s where the massive tourism industry in the area got its humble start—and where the movement to create the park was born.

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The Mexican Town That Kicked Out Politicians And Started Over Reply

This is what “defunding the police” really looks like. We need an America of 20,000 Cherans.

Cherán is a town of some 20,000 inhabitants in the highlands of Michoacán, one of the Mexican states that’s suffered most in the drug wars of the last decade. Armed men and women — not police, but members of an autonomous militia — guard every entrance to the town, looking for strangers with contraband. At the height of election season in Mexico, contraband means mostly political campaign ads: Guards confiscated thousands of banners and posters, from every major political party in Mexico, in just a few weeks. These ads, along with the political parties that produce them, are completely banned in Cherán, and have been since 2011, when residents overthrew their local government and started over. The town had been terrorized for years by an organized crime syndicate devoted to illegally logging the surrounding forests. After mobs drove out the criminals, they disarmed and drove out the corrupt cops who had protected them. Then they banned the politicians and the parties that put them in power. In their place, the people of Cherán developed an autonomous system of self-rule based on horizontal, direct-democratic assemblies. And while it remains economically dependent on the existing government, Cherán has achieved something unthinkable in Michoacán: Reducing the rate of murders and other serious crimes to close to zero. For many in Mexico, especially in an election year marred by wanton political murders, Cherán stands as proof that, in the country’s entrenched cycle of violence, the key ingredient is the state: Remove that ingredient, and it’s possible to start from scratch.

Revolution from the Bottom Up Reply

When I was an orthodox left-wing anarchist, one of the things that eventually led to my present heterodox positions was the observation that every leftist revolution in which anarchists participated led to the repression of the anarchists by authoritarian leftists, or by right-wing reactionaries who managed to gain popular sympathy by acting against leftist accesses. I consequently realized that a better approach was needed. Hence, the pan-anarchist/pan-secessionist approach. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains:

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These photos of abandoned malls and golf courses reveal a new era for the American suburb Reply

These might be some interesting locations for future intentional communities as well.

By Sarah Jacobs, Libertina Brandt

Business Insider

In March 2017, Business Insider reported a series of stories on “The Death of Suburbia,” declaring the end of the suburbs as we once knew them.

By examining the plummeting value of McMansions, the increasingly blurry line between city and suburb, and the shuttered shopping malls across the US, we saw that the once flourishing suburbs were no longer what they used to be.

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14 entire towns and villages for sale around the world Reply

These might make for some interesting locations for crowd-funded intentional communities.

Abi Harman

Love Money

As far as social distancing goes, it doesn’t get much better than moving to your own private town. From picture-postcard Swedish villages to American ghost towns frozen in time, these unique settlements are the ultimate real estate opportunities.

Fancy taking on the title of mayor? Let’s look around the towns and villages on the market right now.

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Zapatistas to extend their control with 11 more autonomous zones in Chiapas Reply

They’re doing this with the acquiescence of the Mexican President, just as CHAZ is existing with the apparent acquiescence of local and state governments of Seattle and Washington, which raises some interesting questions about anarchist strategy.

Mexico News Daily

The Zapatistas are on the move in Chiapas, extending their control into another 11 areas of the state.

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced in a statement on the weekend it will create 11 new caracoles, or autonomous zones, in the southern state.

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‘The Five’ spar over legitimacy of Seattle’s ‘autonomous zone’ Reply

If these FOX News reactionaries were as “anti-establishment” or “anti-big government” as they pretend they would be creating “autonomous zones” of their own. What a shame they’re really just mouthpieces for the right-wing of the ruling class.