Note: CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) has now changed its name to CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest).
We have a new country inside of our country. No wars fought, just a takeover in a 6 block area (or maybe 3 blocks) of downtown Seattle, Washington. I’m wondering how that is even legal, let alone legit. Perhaps you’re wondering, too, if this property’s confiscation will continue until late fall, like the 1967 Summer of Love. I find it interesting that there is a comparison of radical confiscation of property to a social hippie movement of Be- ins and Love-ins. Some say the world’s newest nation will end when the cold weather comes. Others aren’t so sure.
Meanwhile, will the new nation of CHAZ/CHOP be financed and fed by the United States of America? Good question. CHAZ/CHOP could go on, or it could end today. Nation-building isn’t easy.
Chazians/Chopistas are discovering that a nation needs a few basics, like food, shelter, water, law enforcement, and—wait for it—borders. They require identification to get into their country. Will they need an army? Most nations do. What will their product be that they sell and export to make money? Or will they depend on donations? Will residents of the new country be required to have a passport to cross into the United States? Will they be given or have to apply for dual citizenship?
We shall see in the coming days.
What Common Sense citizens want to know is the civics of the whole enterprise. How can any country declare itself autonomous inside of the United States of America? Chazians/Chopistas were unopposed as they set up borders. Can anyone just confiscate property anywhere in this country or its territories and declare itself autonomous? It depends on the ground on which they stand. If there is a United States mayor on the land and that mayor doesn’t object, it seems like it’s ok to start your own country. U.S. citizens will even help you. If a new nation stands on the ground of a U.S. state and the governor doesn’t object, it seems that starting your own country is doable. That’s the sense I’m getting. The federal government, up to now, doesn’t see CHAZ/CHOP as an imminent threat to the United States. It is relying on local and state governments (of Seattle, Washington) to exercise their authority.
Does our Constitution allow this? Our Constitution limits and enumerates the powers of our federal government. We the People are in charge here. If we don’t seem to mind a spare nation inside of ours, expect new little nations to crop up on the landscape.
I pose these questions half seriously and half in jest. These are strange times. For educators like myself, it’s even stranger.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??