Comparing CHAZ to Occupy Wallstreet, the Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Black Panthers

This morning, I felt the need to re-familiarize myself with four protests, each unique, yet, perhaps held a common theme.  So far the first two decades of the  21st Century have exhibited some serious civil outcries.  In this video attached, Independent podcaster, Tim Pool compares CHAZ, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone to his experience at Occupy Wallstreet.  If you remember Occupy Wallstreet was a protest movement against economic inequality that began in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district, September 2011.  It was at this protest that the “We are the 99%” slogan was made popular.  Although I personally prefer “Eat the Rich”, that movement was about wealth inequality, not human rights.  This week it appears people began to connect financial equality + human rights + bubbling outrage of the for-profit US health care system. America is the only country with medical bankruptcies. Ask any person who recovered from COVID-19 and their $75,000 hospital bill what it’s like to live in the country with the greatest health care in the world. Money. Health. Race.

© REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson, Raz Simone, self-appointed “warlord” of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), attempted to clear up some misunderstandings about the protest community, explaining to the Post Millennial on Thursday that his only goal for the moment was “to keep the peace and unity, honestly, that’s it.” Sort of like a police officer., June 2020

This last week, in Phase 2 of the Washington State pandemic, I heard this statement on the news and it caught my attention, “equal rights is a health issue”—All THREE issues of the 21st century have come to full protest mode in the streets today!   The handle on the machine has turned tighter and another layer of society feels the oppression.  Suburban whites are jobless and their self-created safety nets are tested by the lockdown.  The 99% are heavy from the burden of their oppressors: for-profit healthcare, powerful corporations with a chokehold on our government, and systemic racism!

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward met with militia leader Ammon Bundy on Thursday to offer them a safe escort out of Oregon. (JIM URQUHART/REUTERS), Jan. 2016
Two members of the Black Panther Party are met on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, May 2, 1967, by Police Lt. Ernest Holloway, who informs them they will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they cause no trouble and do not disturb the peace. Earlier several members had entered the Assembly chambers and had their guns taken away.









I can’t help but remember the militia that protested a land rights issue by the Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building.  On January 2, 2016, an armed group of far-right extremists seized and occupied the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, United States, and continued to occupy it until law enforcement made a final arrest on February 11, 2016.  Police used kid gloves to remove these ticks.  Only one person died.  If this non-governmental militia were black the event would have ended in a ball of flames and fire.  We know this.  The Black Panthers, 1966-1982, were considered radicals, but, love them or hate them they managed some effective social programs.  They provided food, clothing, and shelter in the poorest areas of their neighborhoods while demanding equal rights, better wages, and payment of compensation to African Americans for centuries of exploitation.  Many of the issues we debate today.


Wish I could join the BLM groups in the streets for peaceful protests.  I cried when I saw the face on that officer as he was killing George Floyd.  8 min 46 sec. The arrogance of this racist fool and dam the 400 years of fools like him!

I spent this morning re-familiarizing myself on recent protests and movements.  Some key facts I shared with you along with my opinions.  It’s almost 1:00 p.m. and I’m exhausted.  Reflecting, I know real change comes from within, but I hope, I REALLY HOPE that before this century is over our country will change outwardly, publicly.  Change is needed.  Change is required.  From the top down we need it!  The people are taking to the streets while the vote is being suppressed. America is a young country and it’s time to grow up!

Continuing the meditation I will reflect on these two pieces from Rob Brezsny:

June 10, 2020

I hereby renounce and dissolve any denunciations that I may have
inadvertently or carelessly hurled toward this Beautiful World when I
was under the sway of bad ideas, delusional attitudes, or unloving
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

By aligning my passion with the protests, I’m expressing rage and grief
about decades of police brutality toward African Americans—as well as
White America’s centuries-long harm against black lives and black

What also animates me is my love for African Americans and my longing
for them to be free to live their lives in peace, prosperity, and grace. I am
inspired by joyous gratitude and celebration for their gifts and the
blessings they offer.

Peaceful protest, Bellingham WA June 2020



Video credit: The brief history of racism within the Minnesota police explained by reporter Rachel Maddow, MSNBC.  #GeorgeFloyd

This morning my bedroom is dark.  An early morning thunderstorm blocks the sky.  It formed over Seattle, traveled 90 miles to reach Bellingham at 9:12.  It swipes across our landscape as it continues its path towards the Canadian Rockies. The thunder shakes the earth.  The earth needs to be shaken.

A poet friend posted “Say Their Names”, by Seattle poet Mercedes Aristotle Lindholm. It is shared below.  I am not very good at talking or writing about atrocious events.  My God—I’ve written about the death of my daughter in my book “Fallen”, I’ve written about homelessness, domestic abuse, even freakin’ break up poetry, but this…over and over again, this goddamn two decades of documented abuse…with no reaction by civic leaders–I have no words.  Words literately escape me.  It’s too much.

I can’t write about trump.  I am outraged, gobsmacked, dumbfounded.  My ears are assaulted EVERY DAY during this neo-nazi president’s rule AND amazed that the “Teflon Don” isn’t slapped in the head and dragged off to jail.  It is not unlike the way police officers, fresh from the kill of unarmed black citizens, escape true justice. How?  Why?

I do not like trump’s america.  I want a Land Of The Free America, I beg for an All Created Equal America!

Minnesota police arrest CNN reporter and crew on live TV as they cover Minneapolis protests

I am weak.  I can not write. I look to others like Mr. Lindholm.
Please, read his poem out loud:



I grew up as a black man in the United States.
We used to throw snowballs at cop cars to get them to chase us because we, and the officers were bored. No one was trying to be violent.
Today I would like to do what ever I wanted.
However I fear that I can not.
Some think I am paranoid or overreacting.
Thank G.O.D. my children look white,
however they now both identify as black.

I fear to go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I fear to go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I fear to relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I fear to ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I fear to have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I fear to leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I fear to play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I fear to sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I fear to sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I fear to walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I fear to play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I fear to go to church (#Charleston9)
I fear to walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I fear to hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I fear to party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I fear to get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I fear to lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I fear to break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I fear to shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I fear to have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I fear to read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I fear to be a 10yr old walking with my grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I fear to decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I fear to ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I fear to cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I fear to take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I fear to run (#WalterScott)
I fear to breathe (#EricGarner)
I fear to live (#FreddieGrey)

This fear is NOT NEW either.
I am blessed to know my G.O.D.
and to know when to shut up and keep my head down.
I have been arrested and incarcerated many times for no reason with no charges.
Been in cuffs in the back of cop cars starting at the age of 11, more times than I can literally count.
I have had a knee of a cop on my neck 3 times before I was 18.
I have had multiple guns pointed at me dozens of times. I have been taken from my property and stripped and given a RED jumpsuit for standing my ground!
And I am one of the fucking “GOOD GUYS”!!This is why now, I know how deal with cops.

Love and Light!…
peace is still a ways off I guess.

Mercy LnL
Seattle, WA


Protesters gather near the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis during a rally Tuesday in response to the death the day before of George Floyd in police custody. Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune via AP