By Evan Bush
Welcome to the CHAZ, the newly named Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, where most everything was free Tuesday.
Free snacks at the No-Cop Co-op. Free gas masks from some guy’s sedan. Free speech at the speaker’s circle, where anyone could say their piece. A free documentary movie — Ava DuVernay’s “13th” — showing after dark.
A Free Capitol Hill, according to no shortage of spray paint on building facades. And perhaps most important to demonstrators, the neighborhood core was free of uniformed police.
A new protest society — centered on a handful of blocks in Seattle’s quirky, lefty Capitol Hill — has been born from the demonstrations that pushed the Seattle Police Department out of its East Precinct building.
On Tuesday, demonstrators hung a banner on the police station: “THIS SPACE IS NOW PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PEOPLE.” Teenagers passed a bottle on the exit ramp for police vehicles. A young man carried a long rifle down the sidewalk, despite the mayor’s ban on weapons in Capitol Hill, which has not been clearly enforced.