Only after Seattle became a national laughing stock and yet deadly wasteland did anyone in the liberal media decide their beloved utopia was a bad thing.

We saw this in Saturday’s print edition of The New York Times with reporter Nellie Bowles committing a random act of journalism on the front page with “Abolish the Police? Survivors Of Seattle’s Chaos Have Doubts.”

Bowles actually went to Seattle and talked to locals negatively affected by the recently broken-up Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), a weeks-long anti-police protest, and dug up some wrenching anecdotes from vulnerable small businessmen, even a dig at her fellow comrades in the press (click “expand”):

Faizel Khan was being told by the news media and his own mayor that the protests in his hometown were peaceful, with “a block party atmosphere.”

But that was not what he saw through the windows of his Seattle coffee shop. He saw encampments overtaking the sidewalks. He saw roving bands of masked protesters smashing windows and looting.

Young white men wielding guns would harangue customers as well as Mr. Khan, a gay man of Middle Eastern descent who moved here from Texas so he could more comfortably be out. To get into his coffee shop, he sometimes had to seek the permission of self-appointed armed guards to cross a border they had erected.

“They barricaded us all in here,” Mr. Khan said. “And they were sitting in lawn chairs with guns.”

For 23 days in June, about six blocks in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood were claimed by left-wing demonstrators and declared police-free. Protesters hailed it as liberation — from police oppression, from white supremacy — and a catalyst for a national movement.

(….)

Some even call for “abolishing the police” altogether and closing down precincts, which is what happened in Seattle.

That has left small-business owners as lonely voices in progressive areas, arguing that police officers are necessary and that cities cannot function without a robust public safety presence….

Along with the fact that the “block party” and “summer of love” having been total lies, the consequences have grown in number with a lawsuit against the city by local businesses:

The impact of the occupation on Cafe Argento, Mr. Khan’s coffee shop on Capitol Hill, has been devastating. Very few people braved the barricades set up by the armed occupiers to come in for his coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Cars coming to pick up food orders would turn around. At two points, he and his workers felt scared and called 911….

(….)

Many of the business owners on Capitol Hill agreed: Much of the violence they saw and the intimidation of their patrons came from a group these business owners identified as antifa, which they distinguished from the Black Lives Matter movement. “The idea of taking up the Black movement and turning it into a white occupation, it’s white privilege in its finest definition,” Mr. Khan said. “And that’s what they did.”

Bowles even offered a blunter-than-usual description of the domestic terrorists of Antifa: “Antifa, which stands for anti-fascist, is a radical, leaderless leftist political movement that uses armed, violent protest as a method to create what supporters say is a more just and equitable country[.]”

The Times has previously described Antifa (when it even acknowledged its existence) in as vague but positive a manner as possible. 

Amazingly, Bowles even made Seattle’s mayor look clueless:

When the occupation in Seattle started in early June, Mayor Jenny Durkan seemed almost amused. “We could have the Summer of Love,” she said.

Hopefully Bowles won’t be cancelled by her left-wing colleagues the way Bari Weiss was.

But don’t give the Times complete credit. A previous report by Antifa stooge Mike Baker June 12 hailed Seattle’s left-wing protest zone: “What has emerged is an experiment in life without the police — part street festival, part commune….children made chalk drawings in the street.”

Naturally, Antifa’s own incarnation of Walter Duranty denied any business intimidation:

Carmen Best, the police chief, said in a video message on Thursday that the decision to leave the police station was not hers and that she was angry about how it developed. She also shared, without evidence, concerns about problems in the area, such as businesses being asked to pay money in exchange for protection.

Now that the neighborhood is clearing, local business people can speak more freely, hopefully without fear of violent, glass-shattering reprisals from Antifa thugs.