Behind the CHAZ: Suppression Masquerading as Freedom


Video by Shawn Whiting


Seattle (6-18-20) — Yesterday I was detained for streaming in the #Seattle free zone (#CHAZ / #CHOP)

“This is not a public park anymore, this is CHOP zone”
“There is no media allowed in here”

Grabs me by my jacket and backpack from behind choking me

“Help!”
“Who’s going to help you?”
[Thugomania on steroids?]
First off, I’ve been streaming for weeks around Seattle and in the free zone. https://twitch.tv/shawngui People know me and know that I don’t intend anyone any harm. I’ve enjoyed the majority of my experiences w people in the zone. The problem is, when you do have a bad experience like this one, its very clear you’re totally on your own. There was no volunteer CHOP security nearby. When I called out for help it only drew more people to me that were just as interested in holding me until their demands for me to stop my stream and delete my footage were met.
After I deleted the footage the guy loomed over me and walked / escorted me out of the park and into another part of the CHOP where people were speaking on a stage. He told me this was approved for filming and then left. The entire walk over to the stage he was continuing to reinforce that if he saw me again in the tents area he was going to break all of my equipment and beat the shit out of me and that no one would do anything about it because this was something between us / that I had to listen to him about regardless of anyone else. [If anyone can ID the thug, please leave all the particulars in a comment and his face, if possible. The tattoos should be a clue.]
I reported this encounter to the CHOP volunteer security once I was able to find them. They told me I should use de-escalation techniques next time or just stay away from that area. I asked them where I could reliably find CHOP security and they said at the barricades or just floating around diff places. I asked them how I could ID someone as security and they said ‘we have walkie talkies’. There was also disagreement on if there was a security HQ somewhere or if it existed or not. Coordination seemed poor at best.

https://twitter.com/ShawnGui_/status/…

I had been told by people previously not to film people’s faces in this area so I was doing my best to avoid pointing my camera at people near to me. I didn’t see a problem filming the tents themselves with downtown Seattle in the background to give my viewers a sense of where the free zone is relative to the rest of the city. That’s when someone approached me and told me not to even film the tents.
I tried to tell this person that I didn’t think that was the policy. Everyone had only been saying not to film faces, and even though it is a public space / park I was fine doing that for people. Also it should be noted that the livestream video quality, covid masks, the movement of the camera, and other factors make it near impossible to identify people anyway–Unless I’m right next to them, in which case I almost always ask permission before showing someone on the livestream.

You can see the interaction I have with the individual in the video. He got increasingly upset with me as I asked more questions and started threatening me and my streaming equipment. When I tried to leave he grabbed my backpack and the back of the motorcycle jacket I was wearing from behind so that I wasn’t able to turn around or move. I say ‘ouch’ in the video because the jacket pinched my neck when he grabbed it and pulled against my throat in the front choking me a bit.
Both the jacket and backpack were firmly locked to me so I wasn’t going anywhere. The individual was larger than I was by a good deal so I didn’t think fighting my way free was a good idea, especially given he had already threatened to grab or smash my stuff. I yelled out for help hoping that someone else would come over seeing this guy detaining me and tell him to back off. Instead another individual or two came over and backed him up, telling me to delete my video / livestream if I wanted to be released.
I was badly scared for my safety at this point so I did what they said. I killed my stream and hit delete on the video save option. Luckily someone else was re-streaming me at the time here: https://youtu.be/Oj-S2v3X3hU (This channel’s attribution of my stream is actually pretty bad so while I do thank them for saving this incident I wish they would do a better job).
Instead they put their watermark on my experience, don’t show its not their footage in the title, and don’t link to my accounts anywhere in their description. I was streaming here at the time: https://www.twitch.tv/shawngui

The guy restraining me and another person or two who had gathered around me looked over my shoulder while I navigated my phone to delete the livestream. They then made me swear that it was deleted (which it was). At that point a women came up behind them and said ‘he did it, let him go’, which seemed to calm them down a little bit.
I don’t know what might have happened if she didn’t step in and say that to them. At that point the individual released me but stayed right on top of me, bearing down on me and saying he was going to escort me out of the park and into the street where I was ‘allowed’ to film according to him.
During this walk he continually threatened to ‘fuck me up’ or beat me if he saw me again near the tents. He also mentioned that he was going to break all of my phones / streaming gear as well. He took me to the baseball field via 11th ave and told me to film some people speaking on a stage in the park. ‘That is what you are allowed to film’ were his approximate words.
Then he turned around and went back to his tent. I was pretty shaken by the experience. He made it very clear to me over and over that he had a problem with me directly and if I didn’t listen to him ‘for my own safety’ that he or his group were going to beat the shit out of me and there’s nothing anyone would do about it.
I went to the CHOP ‘security’ / volunteers after this incident but they didn’t seem to think it was worth investigating. They suggested I try de-escalation techniques next time or stay away from that area. Later in the night I did speak with a ‘security team’ member who seemed to take my report seriously and they said they would look into it. I asked the CHOP ‘security team’ where I could find them if I had a future issue and the answer was either ‘near the barriers’ at the edge of the zone, or ‘we float around, you can find us because we have walkie talkies on’.
There was no security outpost or tent where you could reliably find security. #CHAZ #CHOP #Seattle #Protest

Summer of Love in Seattle’s Crack Heroin Amphetamine Zone:


This is reportedly the fight that precipitated the shooting at “CHAZ” yesterday. #antifa#BlackLivesMatter.

Police were refused entrance, thus the Medics per SOP would not enter.



Summer of Love

Crack Heroin Amphetamine Zone:


Night Life in Seattle’s Swinging Hot Spot:


Update: 2nd CHAZ Gunfight



Video by ShawnGui Seattle, WA (6-21-20) —
A citizen journalist embedded with ~150 BLM demonstrators from but outside the CHAZ spends almost 4 hours video recording their march, making sympathetic pronouncements endearing himself to the protestors while live streaming the footage which included blocking I-5, gathering outside the west side Seattle PD precinct to demand the defunding of the police, blocking traffic during the lengthy march, discouraging one of their male members from overturning trash cans in to the street, and returning to the CHAZ amid rumors a gun battle/gunshots were in progress–all while being led in chants by a Black man & woman w/a bullhorn.
As our guileless young reporter makes inquiries about the reports of gunfire, it erupts around him while he’s attempting to reach his vehicle to return home…forcing him to run for cover but tripping, badly scraping his hand, before reaching the relative safety of a cement block barricade. He sees many of the protestors he’d accompanied earlier as they cursed the police fleeing for their lives and scurrying for cover.

A Black thug pretexting to be CHAZ ‘security’ accosts our hero and robs him of his I-phone live streaming the footage excerpted here.

The thief inadvertently allows the cell phone to continue live streaming–even recording his face until he meets a green masked white thug with an AR-15 strapped across his chest. They clearly resent anyone recording what goes down in the CHAZ (Crack Heroin Amphetamine Zone) and express concern someone is STILL live streaming the incident until they realize it is themselves and figure out how to shut it off.

Viewers may notice no mainstream media is present–because journalists have been threatened, bullied, harassed and assaulted to discourage them.
Shortly before the footage seen here, the green masked white dude with the AR-15, while investigating the gunshots near the CHAZ limits, was warned by private security outside it in no uncertain tones not to venture outside the zone onto the streets with the AR-15. Apparently the green masked man thought better of it because he later appears in this footage in one piece.

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One Response to Behind the CHAZ: Suppression Masquerading as Freedom

  1. Pingback: TB 200701 — Robbery in Progress | The Thunderbolt

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