On Friday, June 5, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a 30-day ban on police using tear gas. By Sunday night, the police had already broken that rule. Come Monday, the Mayor announced that police would be abandoning the city's East Precinct, including the police station, which had been cordoned off for two weeks after a man drove a car through a crowd of protestors and shot one.
As soon as the police left the area, protestors repurposed the barricades, and turned the 6-block area into a makeshift anarchist enclave they're calling the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ. (and yes, it already has its own Wikipedia page.)
Streets surrounding the #EastPrecinct- now known by protesters as the Capitol Hill Free Zone - are free of cars and police. Stands with food and medical aid are on every corner, along with tents for protesters who spend the night. #CapitolHill #Seattleprotest #Seattle pic.twitter.com/Hq4EdtTdPM
— Nicole Jennings (@nicoleKIROFM) June 9, 2020
I’m outside of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct for @townhallcom. Police have pulled out of the area and protesters have set up barricades in the streets. They have declared it a “Cop Free Zone.” pic.twitter.com/iYFQ9B4jhz
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 9, 2020
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Optimism, Rudy's, Bang Bang, and Poquitos have opened their bathrooms (and Optimism has hella supplies too). Atulea is offering free water. Oma Bap is out there with bells on. If the neighborhood wasn't so supportive of the protests, things would be a lot harder! 2/3 pic.twitter.com/SF13dWPRPx