Anarchists and Antifa members have taken over a police station in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle forming what they term an ‘autonomous zone.’ The protesters took over the building after local police abandoned the building thinking the protesters were planning to burn it down. The precinct is just six blocks from downtown.
The group took over Seattle’s East precinct, set up barricades and declared the area a ‘cop free zone.’
A map of the ‘regime’-held areas taken over by protesters was posted to Twitter. At least one neighborhood in the surrounding area has been feeding and providing support for the protesters.
The militants are getting organized and are calling on members to arm themselves and set up shifts to defend the area. They are now controlling who can come in and out of the area.
The atmosphere in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, is more like a festival than an insurrection. The protesters are creating art, getting free food, bands are playing and people are helping each other.
But how long can it last?
While it’s all fun and games now, the group ‘Free Capital Hill’ has published a list of demands on medium.com.
In credit to the people who freed Capitol Hill, this list of demands is neither brief nor simplistic. This is no simple request to end police brutality. We demand that the City Council and the Mayor, whoever that may be, implement these policy changes for the cultural and historic advancement of the City of Seattle, and to ease the struggles of its people. This document is to represent the black voices who spoke in victory at the top of 12th & Pine after 9 days of peaceful protest while under constant nightly attack from the Seattle Police Department. These are words from that night, June 8th, 2020.
The group calls for abolition of the Seattle Police Department, a ban on the use of weapons or force on those exercising their right to protest, an end to the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ and dismantling of youth jails, reparations for the victims of police brutality, among other demands.
Seattle City Council has begun discussing defunding the police force. City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative, has introduced a bill to ban police from using chemical weapons and chokeholds in the city.
She also allowed the militants into city hall.
As of this writing, the Seattle streets within the ‘autonomous zone’ are scheduled to be closed until June 12th.