THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Protestors have taken over a six-block radius within the Capitol Hill neighborhood in downtown Seattle and declared it a police free zone, dubbing the area CHAZ for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
The area was abandoned by police on Monday, and people within CHAZ have spray-painted over various government buildings and signs, replacing “Seattle Police Department” with “Seattle People Department.” Many now residing inside the autonomous zone maintain that their commune is peaceful, with one visitor stating, “I was up here last night. There’s people having teach-ins, talks, political discussions.” While many argue that CHAZ is a peaceful area, some instances of violence and intimidation have been captured by the media.
President Trump is now threatening to “take back” the occupied area of Seattle, prompting a back-and-forth between the president and Seattle Governor Jay Inslee and Mayor Jenny Durkan. Seattle Police reportedly are looking for a way to peacefully retake control of the occupied area, and Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette stated Wednesday that police are “trying to get a dialogue going so we can figure out a way to resolve this without unduly impacting the citizens and the businesses that are operating in that area.” Nollette also stated that the department is still responding to 911 calls in the area, adding that they are receiving reports of barricades being set up and checkpoints that force passers-by to show ID. She added that there are rumors of the potential extortion of business owners in the area, although that claim remains unsubstantiated.
A rapper called Raz Simone is allegedly the man who organized the takeover of Capitol Hill. Simone maintains that he is not a “warlord” as some have labeled him via social media after videos of him assaulting and accosting people inside CHAZ surfaced online.
Free Food, Free Speech and Free of Police: Inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone’ – New York Times – 6/11/20 One block had a designated smoking area. Another had a medic station. At the “No Cop Co-op,” people could pick up a free LaCroix sparkling water or a snack. No currency was accepted, but across the street, in a nod to capitalism, a bustling stand was selling $6 hot dogs. It was dealing in U.S. dollars.
Trump complains about ‘ugly anarchists’ as police continue aggression on US protesters – The Guardian – 6/11/20 Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle who has faced calls for her resignation from the protestors at City Hall, tweeted in response that Trump should “go back to your bunker”, in reference to the secure area in the White House that the US president at one point withdrew to during fierce protests outside the presidential residence.
Trump threatens to intervene in Seattle, Gov. Inslee and Mayor Durkan respond – MyNorthwest – 6/11/20 “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped[sic] IMMEDIATELY.” […] Before Trump’s Tweets were sent, Inslee was asked about the newly-formed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, claiming he had “not heard anything about that.” […] “A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state’s business,” Inslee said from his personal account. “‘Stoop’ tweeting.”
’Domestic Terrorists’: Trump Erupts Over ‘Seattle Autonomous Zone.’ Mayor Responds, Gets Crushed. – The Daily Wire – 6/11/20 “Well that’s news to me so I’ll have to reserve any comment about that,” Inslee said with what Rantz called a “nervous chuckle.” […] “Speechless. Washington @GovInslee claims he’s unaware that protesters have taken over nearly 6 city blocks in Seattle and dubbed it an autonomous zone, rendering an entire @SeattlePD precinct useless. It’s been trending nationwide on Twitter. It’s been more than 24 hours,” tweeted one member of the media.
Harron Walker on Twitter, 6/11/20: trump’s warning that durkan “take back” seattle kind of suggests that she’s with the capitol hill autonomous zone, but BLM protesters want her out too! they called for her resignation during last night’s city hall takeover (along with defunding the police)
Harry Cheadle on Twitter, 6/11/20: if 15 years ago you had told me there was an “autonomous zone” where anarchists/lefties had seized power in the US, and it was right next to Seattle Central Community College, I would have said that that seemed about right
Matt Binder on Twitter, 6/11/20: its impossible to talk about the capitol hill autonomous zone in seattle without making it sound extremely cool. case in point:
Jason Rantz on Twitter, 6/11/20: Ironically, it’s @JayInslee staying out of Washington state’s business. When asked to comment about the #CapitolHillAutonomousZone just hours before this tweet below, he said he had no clue what was going on in his state’s largest city.
Raz Simone on Twitter, 6/11/20: The President really put a hit on my head. I’m not a Terrorist Warlord. Quit spreading that false narrative. The world has NEVER been ready for a strong black man. We have been peaceful and nothing else. If I die don’t let it be in vain.