MYNORTHWEST BLOG

A look inside Seattle’s newly-formed ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’

Jun 10, 2020, 9:15 AM | Updated: 2:47 pm

On Monday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that police at the city’s East Precinct would be leaving the area and reopening streets that had been blocked off for almost two weeks. It didn’t take long before what’s become known as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” began to take shape.

For one speaker, the South Seattle protest was about ‘love and unity’

Barriers originally set up by police have been repurposed to set up the borders of the zone. What used to be the Seattle Police Department on the corner of 12th and Pine now reads “Seattle People Department.”

KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott and Nicole Jennings spent time in the “CHAZ” Tuesday, watching for hours as a hundred or so people began setting up tents, putting up signs, and preparing to set up camp as part of their ongoing protest against police brutality.

“It was a really energetic day — it was very peaceful,” Hanna reported. “Really a whole different vibe than I’d seen the other nights I’ve been there, a very peaceful experience, almost like a street fair honestly.”

Reporting early in the afternoon Tuesday, Nicole also described free food and medical aid available for demonstrators on every corner. Some food and supplies were also distributed to the homeless population in the surrounding area. The group even reportedly organized its own garbage collection Wednesday morning.

Later on in the night, a projector screen was set up, as the crowd gathered to watch Ava DuVernay’s documentary on systemic racism in the U.S. prison system, 13th. News of that reached DuVernay herself, who gave the group a shoutout on Twitter.

The crowd stationed at 12th and Pine is trying to prove in can operate on its own without the police no longer occupying the East Precinct.

“Their position is that they can take care of themselves,” Hanna said.

The group also recently published a lengthy 30-point list of demands for Seattle City Council and the Mayor’s Office. Some go far beyond what councilmembers like Teresa Mosqueda and Kshama Sawant have proposed in recent days, including a call to “abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus.”

Opinion: No more reform — it’s time to rebuild Seattle policing

Other demands on the list are more wide-ranging, including rent control, restoration of city arts funding, and free college across Washington state.

Speakers throughout the day addressed smaller-scale changes as well, including one who stressed the importance of investing in black-owned businesses.

It’s unclear how long the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone will be allowed to remain in the area around 12th and Pine, or even how long police plan to stay out of the East Precinct. In the meantime, though, the crowd appears hunkered down for the long run.

MyNorthwest Blog

ice seattle Durkan, oil furnace...
Nick Bowman

Looking back on mayoral term marked by years of conflict between Jenny Durkan, city council

However brief Jenny Durkan's tenure as mayor will be, it's one that's been punctuated by frequent flare-ups of conflict between her office and city council.
12 days ago
sept 11...
MyNorthwest Staff

KIRO Radio shares memories from Sept. 11, 2001

These are the stories from KIRO Radio's hosts and reporters as they recall and honor Sept. 11, 2001.
17 days ago
Compassion Seattle...
Nick Bowman

What went wrong for Compassion Seattle’s homeless initiative, and what’s next?

With a judge striking a proposed charter amendment from Compassion Seattle off the ballot, what's next for the group ahead of November's election?
28 days ago
Seattle red lining...
Nick Bowman

Red-lining, race, and wealth continue to form borders between Seattle voters

Candidates Seattle voters chose in the August primary paint a stark picture of a city divided by racial and economic lines dating back nearly a century.
1 month ago
Burgess, Seattle conservatives...
Nick Bowman

In city that rarely elects Republicans, Seattle conservatives aim for influence behind the scenes

Conservative groups, donors, and campaign operatives have looked to subtly wield their influence throughout Seattle's current election cycle.
1 month ago
homeless, sales tax, Compassion Seattle...
Nick Bowman

Large donations to ‘Compassion Seattle’ homelessness initiative dwarf all other races in 2021

While donations have flooded in to Seattle election races in 2021, no single candidate or campaign has raised as much as Compassion Seattle.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
A look inside Seattle’s newly-formed ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’