What’s Going on in CHAZ, the Seattle Autonomous Zone? 1

By Bridget Read

The Cut

What is CHAZ? Your ex? Some sort of masked EDM DJ? One of the trolls in Trolls World Tour?

CHAZ may be all of these, but it is also the acronym for the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” an area of about six blocks in Seattle ceded to protesters demanding justice for George Floyd after several tense nights of standoffs with police in early June. (Some residents subsequently pushed for a rebrand from CHAZ to “CHOP,” the Capitol Hill Organized Protest.) In the absence of law enforcement, a kind of commune sprang up — which quickly became a nightmare bogeyman for conservatives, including the president. They seem to think CHAZ is the first “territory” “claimed” by antifa radicals (antifa, which is not a formal organization, has not claimed any responsibility for CHAZ), “Mad Max movie mayhem come to life” (it has actually been described as “extremely chill”), and run by a group of “domestic terrorists” whose “warlord” is a SoundCloud rapper (also false).

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Nothing Succeeds Like Secession: Suggested Demands for CHOP From a Friendly Panarchist Ally Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I have always been fascinated by secessionist movements. It goes back to my childhood love of maps, flags and geography. I use to spend hours poring over atlases and fixating on the strange autonomous zones that only existed inside fluid borders drawn in dotted lines. Strange places no American ever spoke of, with exotic names like Transnistria, Gaza, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Western Sahara. I would eventually grow into a commie, Third World, war nerd who fastidiously followed and supported these esoteric independence movements from afar.

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