Unfortunately, it was going to happen, and we who support the movement need to call out those instances where it goes too far. I am talking about the justified Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, mostly characterized by widespread peaceful protests even in small rural towns that never see such things, and with a solid majority of the American people currently supporting both the BLM and its main demands. As it is, one should probably not tie the BLM to some of these recent unacceptable events, although those engaged in them will justify their actions as being part of the movement. This should not be accepted.
OK, the one that has really put me off happened last night at sometime after 10:30 PM in Madison, Wisconsin. A statue I know well was not only pulled down, but it was decapitated with both parts thrown in a nearby lake, although apparently since recovered. This statue stood on the east corner of the Capitol Square downtown. It is of Hans Christian Heg (1829-1863). An immigrant from Norway, he was an active anti-slavery abolitionist and member of the Free Soil Party who led the 15th Scandinavian American regiment in the Union army. He died fighting against the Confederacy in the Battle of Chickamauga, which it says on the base of his statue. There is absolutely no justification for this event.
This was accompanied by other pretty unacceptable nonsense. The “Forward” statue at the opposite end of the square was also pulled down and dragged down State Street. This is of a generic woman representing the state motto of “Forward,” not quite as completely insane as pulling down Heg, but also without any obvious justification. The Forward motto and idea has long been associated with the Progressive tradition in the state, although I suppose one could drag in bad stuff about some of those folks, such as that some supported eugenics. But I do not think this crowd was thinking about that.
What triggered this? Apparently, a man entered a restaurant with a baseball bat and a bullhorn, with which he began to harangue customers. He was later arrested for disorderly conduct, which sounds pretty reasonable to me. There was no violence or other impropriety in his arrest. But the crowd that pulled down the statues and smashed a lot of windows and attacked a state senator, putting him in the hospital for taking a photo of them, came several hours after his arrest to protest his arrest. Bah!
I note two other items that need to be disavowed and opposed by supporters of the BLM.
One was the tearing down of a statue in San Francisco of U.S. Grant. allegedly because for two years he owned a slave he inherited before he freed that slave. Well, I guess there is more case for pulling down his statue than that of Heg, for which there is zero. But he was not only the commander of the Union army that freed the slaves but as president, he supported Reconstruction that defended rights of the freed former slaves. The move to Jim Crow followed the end of his presidency.
Another is the continuation of the CHOP or CHAZ in Seattle, which, I gather, will be ended fairly soon one way or another. Initially sort of interesting, the area has been hit with shootings over the last four nights, with one over the weekend killing 19-year old Lorenzo Anderson. These are apparently not the result of outside white boogaloo racists attacking them but coming from inside this area. There so far has been zero investigation of or effort to find Anderson’s murderer and arrest him. The only report I have seen is that Anderson was advocating people not to set off fireworks due to a possible fire hazard. This appears to have what got him killed, although so far there is little solid information. But, sorry, this experiment should not end and not be repeated anywhere else.
I further note that Hannity and others on Fox News are spending lots of time going on and on about this Seattle situation. Trump has been engaging in a series of increasingly unacceptable and outrageous actions, but those watching Fox and its allies hear and see none of that because, wow, there go those awful rioters in Seattle again! Initially, Fox made up and distorted reporting about what was going on there, which was initially peaceful and, yes,”Summer of Love” like. But, unfortunately, now they do not need to make up stuff to put up ugly stories about it.
…”which was initially peaceful and, yes,”Summer of Love” like”…
Seriously? This was nothing but ugly from the beginning.
I live in the CHOP neighborhood, and you’re repeating lies that conservative media has spread about what’s going on here
– the shootings were outside of the CHOP barriers. The area has had fatal and non-fatal shootings pretty regularly over the past several years
– the shootings did not come from inside CHOP, they were in every case done by people who drove away after they shot someone. One of the cars had no license plates, you can draw what conclusions you’d like from that.
– CHOP is disbanding on its own as I write this, BLM withdrew support of the whole idea over a week ago.
– the problems with CHOP all came in the wee hours of the morning, from dawn to midnight the atmosphere actually was similar to “the summer of love” in many ways. For example, the homeless have been taken care of by the CHOP volunteers far better than the city ever did, and without driving them away to be someone else’s problem
The reason CHOP is fading is because the various activists could never agree on strategy and tactics. That’s because they are activists and not city managers, and the police abandoned the area with no warning. That they managed to arrange volunteers to do all the work they did was fairly impressive, as many out of town visitors commented to me.
Sorry, HankP, but you are a lying piece of garbage.
I have checked pretty much all sources available on the internet, including several TV stations and the Seattle Times. There is not a single mention of cars driving away or somebody from outside doing this.
It does appear Lorenzo Anderson was killed “on the edge” of the CHOP zone, at the corner of 10th and Pine Street. Maybe he was on one side of the line or maybe he was on the other. However, if he was actually outside of the zone, why did a crowd block police and an ambulance from getting to him. Reportedly he was taken to a hospital by some “medics” from within the zone, but clearly too late.
The report I cited, coming from a local TV station, is the only one providing any more specific info about the shooting. Someone named “Stavy,” no last name, claiming to be his godmother, was demanding answers from the protesters regarding what happened.
There was somebody who spoke to the TV station, “Brooks,” who claims to be an “organizer” of the group there. He is the one who said that Anderson was urging people not to use fireworks near trees out of a concern for fire safety, but some unnamed person or persons did not like this, a “matter of egos and pride,” with the upshot Anderson was shot multiple times. Not a word about any outsiders, much less anybody getting away in a car.
I have read reports of days earlier a couple of armed hostile types showing up during the daytime and wandering through, but no violence came as a result of that. However there have now been at least four gunfights with multople psople injured, although with no specific reporting about details, but not a shred of claims from anybody that it is what you claim it is, HankP.
So, this is a put up or shut up, HankP. Do you have any source besides yourself to support any of your claims, any of them, even one? As of now, I think you are just a worthless liar, no better than some Trumpanzee.
The self-identified godmother of Anderson is “Stacy,” not “Stavy.” As it stands, I restate to HankP, put up or shut up. As of now, it looks like people inside the CHOP klled Anderson for the pettiest of reasons. This shop needs to be shut down now and for good.
– According to observers, starting at 11 p.m. Friday, cars began parking outside the barricades bordering the zone at 10th and Pine streets, eventually numbering about 20 vehicles. The atmosphere was festive at first, with fireworks set off to celebrate high school and college graduations, and eventually, firearms were discharged into the air, several people recounted.
Jones recalls trying to discourage that behavior with at least one reveler who had a concealed weapon and claimed knowledge of gun-safety practices.
“I encountered a younger kid who had a gun and wanted to let his friend shoot it off as a celebration,” Jones said. “I was telling him this can’t be that type of environment; we’re trying to protest. Actively using guns in any form or fashion is going to bring wants and desires for the cops to come back.” – https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/20/chop-shooting-seattle/
– Young said that he was leaving the CHOP to head home early Saturday morning. He says four men approached him, called him a racial slur and shot him … Young said that despite being outside the CHOP zone, it was volunteer medics and not the Seattle police or fire department that tended to him and ultimately drove him to Harborview. – https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/chop-shooting-victim-calls-out-police-for-not-responding-fast-enough/281-388ad6ca-e616-41c7-990e-ea12c3036ca2
– Proud Boys beat a man at CHOP – https://discussglobal.com/tusitala-tiny-toese-assaults-man-proud-boys-smash-phone-chop/
– Video of Proud Boys beating a man, you can clearly see the van with no plates – https://twitter.com/IwriteOK/status/1272756542211674115
– the cops were not blocked, that’s another lie they told. They advanced on the crowd with guns drawn and pointed, people in the crowd told them the injured was already gone to the hospital
– Of the 5 shootings, only 2 were known to be inside CHOP. One was a man who drove into the crowd and shot a protester before running into the police station. Turns out he was the brother of a cop who worked there. – https://mynorthwest.com/1930913/seattle-protester-shot-suspect-appears-in-court/
– I live here, I’ve seen everything go down since it started, and you can go f yourself for calling me a liar.
June 24, 2020
Don’t Be Fooled by Seattle’s Police-Free Zone
The city looks progressive but has a history of racism and exclusion. This could be a turning point.
By Margaret O’Mara
SEATTLE — Seattle’s police-free “autonomous zone” is coming to an end.
After two largely peaceful weeks, shootings over the last several days near the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area, CHOP for short, left a 19-year-old man dead and three others wounded. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that the city would retake the abandoned police precinct at the heart of the zone and wind down the occupation.
In its brief life, CHOP has reinforced Seattle’s reputation as a quirky left-coast bastion of strong coffee and strong progressive politics. Many white Seattleites like to think of their city that way too. But Seattle’s progressive appearance is deceiving.
It is a city and region with a long history of racism, of violent marginalization, and of pushing back against more radical movements for social change. It is, in short, much like the rest of America.
The global protests of the last few weeks have rightly generated the feeling that the world is at a turning point on redressing racial inequities. This moment has great possibilities, but the history of Seattle and other seemingly progressive places should make us realize that change is not that simple.
A 2008 report found that black people make up less than 10 percent of Seattle’s population but well over half of the drug-related arrests. The Police Department was placed under federal oversight in 2011 after incidents of excessive use of force on nonwhite residents. The public schools here are more segregated than they were three decades ago. Less than three weeks ago, the police sprayed protesters with tear gas on the same streets now given over to the teach-ins and community gardens of CHOP.
There is, to be sure, a radical streak in the city’s history. In 1919, Seattle shut down for five days as 60,000 unionized workers walked off the job in a general strike. In the 1930s, the Communist Party was so ascendant here that James Farley, a close adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, said that “there are 47 states in the Union, and the Soviet of Washington.”
Huge anti-globalization marches greeted delegates to the World Trade Organization meeting here in 1999, causing a partial shutdown of the conference and such a ferociously violent police response that the chief was forced to retire.
But these movements often have been squelched by pushback from political leaders, even those who once were allies. Mayor Ole Hanson, who led Seattle during the 1919 general strike, once had been a labor-friendly moderate, but quickly turned into an implacable union foe.
“The Soviet government of Russia, duplicated here, was their plan,” he wrote in an essay published on the front page of The New York Times shortly after the strike’s end. Now, he assured anxious readers, “law and order are supreme in our city.”
Paul Schell, who was mayor during the 1999 protests, was less pugnacious in his analysis but remained reluctant to condemn the police. “I wish everybody had behaved themselves,” Mr. Schell later reflected. “And that it would have been more civilized.”
But the story here goes beyond political leadership. It involves deep, systemic racial inequalities baked into the fabric of this overwhelmingly white city.
“For most of its history,” James Gregory, a historian, observes, “Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America.”
Discriminatory mortgage lending and racially restrictive covenants limited Seattle’s nonwhite population to a single neighborhood, the Central District. Fair housing laws opened up new parts of the city and suburbs to minority homeowners and renters after the 1960s, but Seattle’s overwhelmingly single-family zoning limited the housing available to new buyers.
Such zoning has been remarkably difficult to change. The region’s homeowners may vote Democratic and plant racial solidarity signs in their front yards, but often resist higher densities that can increase the affordable housing supply.
Civil rights issues, particularly measures to combat anti-black racism, can be subsumed by broader social justice agendas. The city’s most prominent voice on the left in recent years is Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected to the City Council in 2013. She has focused much of her ire on Seattle’s high-tech employers and the politicians who support them.
As protests escalated in recent weeks, Ms. Sawant frustrated some allies by renewing her push for an “Amazon tax” on large employers to bolster homelessness initiatives. After the tax became a rallying cry at a recent Sawant-led demonstration at City Hall, one protester asked in exasperation, “I want to tax Amazon too, but can we please for once focus on black lives?”
Similar patterns have shaped politics and opportunity in other seemingly progressive cities. In Minneapolis, the poverty and police violence that killed George Floyd are legacies of a century of racial segregation, enforced by restrictive covenants, zoning and an Interstate highway that sliced through the city’s largest black neighborhood. A comparable mix of public policies and local prejudice have maintained segregation and inequality in Oakland and San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, Los Angeles and New York.
Nevertheless, this looks like a moment when Seattle and other cities like it might move past their histories of racism and exclusion.
Almost every day for weeks, Seattle has seen peaceful marches organized and led by black and minority activists but drawing heavily white crowds….
Margaret O’Mara is a professor of history at the University of Washington.
Big bunch of THANKS to U.
Ron (RC) Weakley:
Thanks to you. I look forward to each of your comments and hope for lots more.
The events in Madison seem to be part of an effort to reelect President Trump. I can’t say that the logic is foolproof that Democrats support these actions but the feeling that these kinds of anarchic events will be empowered by a Democrat victory is growing in the state.
Nonsense, Madison has always been rebellious. Again, I will state Wisconsin voted Dem in Presidntial elections since 1988 with the exception of 2016.
OK, HankP, some off the violence in and around CHOP has been by Proud Boys and others. But none of your links say the murder was done by them or offset the account by Brooks I provided that it was due to some egomaniac upset about being told not to fire off fireworks near trees. Apparently there were fireworks going off according to some of your reports.
And, yes, there clearly has been a problem with the Seattle police dept, as with many others.
It is possible that this event will help Trump in the state, although by how much it is hard to say. But I am certain that those engaging in it were not part of some plot to help Trump. Rebellious Madison just sometimes has events that go too far and damage their side of things.
The obvious example is the bombing of Sterling Hall a half century ago, which definitely damaged the anti-Vietnam War movement, not just in Wisconsin but across the nation.
Do you live in Wisconsin?
But Wisconsin has been Rep controlled at the state level for awhile now. Scott fen Walker and a 2 term Senator from hell Ron Johnson.
Combine that with voter suppression and there is a real problem.
“Of Course Republicans Handed Their Clown Show Over to Ron (Shreds of Freedom) Johnson
Senate Republicans try to revive the Hunter Biden vaudeville with a fact-free ghost dance.
If there was anything that would make me respect this kind of congressional vaudeville less than I do, it would be handing the master of ceremonies job to the likes of Senator Ron (Shreds of Freedom) Johnson. He is and always has been a bughouse nuisance, as again was proven by his fiasco of an appearance with Jake Tapper of CNN. My favorite Ron Johnson moment—outside of the Shreds of Freedom soliloquy, of course—was the moment when he speculated that John McCain’s vote to save the Affordable Care Act could be attributed to McCain’s brain cancer. It takes a special kind of bottom-feeder to say something like that, even though the bottom these days looks like half-price night at the Olde Country Buffet, what with all the Republicans waiting for tables there. ”
Ron Johnson was first elected in 2010, an off year for Obama. He was reelected in 2016, another bad year for Dems, and the rise of anybody but trump or Clinton vote which pushed Trump to office. Wisconsin has enjoyed a “gerrymandered” Republican legislature for a while bow. People came out and voted for a new state Dem SC justice, risking Covid to do so, and put him in office. You can not gerrymander a state for state wide and national elections. “We” can only ignore a state like Wisconsin and Michigan which are Dem by slim margin during statewide and national elections. WI will be Dem this year.
Yep. VA is statewide Dem by a slightly wider margin than WI, yet where the Gerry manders finds itself deep red. Most of our biggest problems come from other problems which have their roots in even deeper problems. IOW, we are so screwed….
Maybe the protests will lead somewhere, but they are not essentially a useful end unto themselves. There is a lot of hard work to be done, which requires broad and cohesive political organization, something that chaos can do no more than elevate in the conversation, but not make significant strides towards. At the very least though, complacency is becoming an uncomfortable position.
As they say…
“No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”
A distant relative died similarly in one of those horrific
Civil War battles, commanding a Pennsylvania regiment.
No statue for him, however, as far as I know.
Wisconsin is very purple, viewed by the Trump team at least as the ultimate swing state. They will be seeing a lot of him and Pence in coming months.
It is true that from 92 through 2012 it went Dem for prez every time. But most of those were close races, and 2016 was close as well as unexpected. Liberal (and openly lesbian) Dem Tammy Baldwin is a senator and has been reelected for some time, even as Ron Johnson is the other. The House delegation is split.
Unfortunately with the 2010 election GOP got serious control of the state govt, gerrymandering House and legislative seats, and the legislature remains in GOP hands, as does the state supreme court despite the Dem recently elected.
There are trends cutting both ways. So the once=proogressive north and northwest has now sharply moved GOP, a key to the takeover of the legislature. Keep in mind that from 1974 for about 40 years the congresman from there was very progressive David Obey (D-Eau Claire). No more. But the suburbs are shifting towards Dems, while still GOP ahead, and Green Bay and some other cities usually GOP have recently gone Dem.
Little-noticed crucial swing part of the state is its southwest that has moved back and forth the most in recent elections, basically determining statewide outcomes, including Trump’s win in 2016, but the 2018 narrow victory for Dem Tony Evers. I put up a post awhile ago on Econospeak saying “He Who Wins Prairie du Chien, Wins The White House.” That town, at the mouth of the Wisconsin River is in the southwest, and I hold by that conditional forecast. It is the “good government” part of the state.
I want to provide you with information which I have pulled together to explain what happened in 2016. Too much contrived info out there being bandied around. This site: 270 Win shows how each state voted over the years. I have selected WI and how it has voted Dem since 1988 with the exception of 2016. I believe Badgers are riled up enough to vote Dem again in 2020. Walker was a stain as bad as McCarthy on Wisconsin, a fool.
The National Vote which swung the 2016 election as compared to 2012:
Please note the difference in the Others Vote in red, historical high.
The Popular Votes which gave the election to Republicans and Trump for Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
Please note the historical high vote for “Others” or what is called the “Anyone but trump or Clinton vote” in red. Blacks not turning out were not the issue here, White America was. WI had a lower turnout in 2016 while the total vote in 2016 was higher than 2012. Lets put the blame where it should be, too many people believed the lies told by Trump and Republicans about Clintom.
Finally I looked at your Southwest Wisconsin premise. This is what I found:
2012 WI Vote Including Others
2016 SW WI Vote Vote including Others
Again in the SW WI area, the Others vote was historically high.
We were introduced to Madeline Island one time which lies in the cold waters of Lake Superior. We set up tent and an eating shelter and camped. It was the nicest and most secluded place we had been in WI. Just go to the end of 51 and turn left. We did our cross country skiing in Gladstone. I am sure it has changed greatly since the eighties when I raised a family there and the sixties when I would be up at Ripon and Green Lake. My children remember those times.
I know this is where nobody will read it, but the swing in SW Wis from 12 to 16 between D and R was net about 20,000. The gap between Trump and Clinton in 16 was about 23,000. So SW’s swing was nearly equal to the gap, although not quite.
The numbers in red tell the story.
All the numbers are there as derived from the sites such as Ballotpedia and the one I cited. I kept trying to explain it till I was blue in the face and kept running into the naysayers. I pulled the numbers from each county in each state and did an Excel spreadsheet on it. The data is all there as to why we lost. In Michigan, the state Dems went to the DNC and asked for help in the last few weeks and were denied. Michigan will go Dem again the samne as it has previous to 2016. The state is changing. Citizens commission will set congressional districts and state districts for voting.
There is nothing wrong with the EC that a fix using Wyoming as the numeric for a measure of what a Representative should have in a district. CA would add 14 more reps as an example. Repeal the 1929 Act fixing the number of Reps at 435.
Anyhoo, You are Welcome