Celebrities and other wealthy residents of Beverly Hills, California, and the surrounding area may be happy to contribute millions to “freedom funds” to pay bail for rioters arrested in other major cities, but they’re moving quickly to shut down demonstrations — and the possibility of an “autonomous zone” like the one taking shape in Seattle, Washington — from coming anywhere near.
Using coronavirus as an excuse, the City of Beverly Hills issued a strict order earlier this week banning protests, demonstrations, and curtailing plans for an “autonomous zone” in one of the country’s wealthiest districts.
“To preserve the peace and tranquility of residential neighborhoods, effective tonight and until further notice, no more than 10 people shall gather in an assembly in a public right of way in a residential area between the hours of 9 p.m. – 8 a.m.,” the city’s social media accounts announced.
“An assembly is defined as any gathering or group of 10 or more people on a public street, sidewalk, or other public places if those 10 people have a common purpose or goal,” the order reads. “Any assembly that is silent, such as a candlelight vigil, and gatherings on private property are exempt from this emergency order.”
The order, Hot Air reports, stems from fallout over an “Occupy” protest that played loud music and otherwise disrupted sleeping Beverly Hills residents between the hours of 10 pm and 1 am sometime last week.
It may also be the direct result of looting and rioting that took place along the city’s tony Rodeo Drive shopping district. As in places like Chicago, Illinois, and New York City, looters and rioters took advantage of massive anti-racism protests to steal from high-end retailers like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. So far, the looters and rioters have avoided the city’s residential areas (as well as residential areas surrounding Los Angeles, California), but that is not an ongoing guarantee.
Beverly Hills is, of course, home to some of the wealthiest Americans, but it is far from the only city working to prevent a CHOP-like “autonomous zone” from cropping up. Over the weekend, Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; and Portland, Oregon, all took steps to shut down efforts at creating autonomous zones in their respective cities, either dismantling the protests before they took root, or heading off efforts to protest in specific locations.
Chicago’s protest, which involved graduate students at the University of Chicago, disbanded itself after UChicago campus police, protecting their “occupied” headquarters, refused to allow “residents” of the “autonomous zone” to use their bathrooms or have pizza delivered.
The “CHOP” or “Capitol Hill Occupied/Ongoing Protest” — formerly the “CHAZ,” the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” — is now in its second week in Seattle, and remains with the blessing of the mayor, who compared the demonstration to a “block party” and suggested that Seattle was embracing a “summer of love” in tolerating the six-square blocks of anarchy.
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