GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS

Where is CHAZ in Seattle and what are protesters' demands?

The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone has been grabbing headling and the protesters in the area have released a charter making a number of demands.

Where is CHAZ in Seattle and what are protesters' demands?
JASON REDMOND AFP

CHAZ has been popping up in the news recently and there remains confusion as to what and where it is. It is the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" and it comprises of about six blocks in Seattle. The area has been ceded to protestors after a night of unrest in the city.

After the death of George Floyd, protests broke out across America with some cities suffering worst protests than other. Seattle has experienced intense standoffs between the protesters and police. Donald Trump has blamed the 'radical left' for the protest and taking over of the area as he continues to divide America. The president has also threatened action against those involved in CHAZ.

“On an almost nightly basis, the SPD has indiscriminately used excessive force against protesters, legal observers, journalists, and medical personnel,” a lawsuit against the city on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement says.

Messages are pinned to a cork board inside an area called by protesters the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle, Washington, U.S. 11 June 2020.

The protesters set up tents there, reverse barricaded and announced it a "protected zone", according to reports. Media outlets in the US who have entered the site reported it as a "protest society" with food and supply tents, spray-painted graffitis of 'Property of People of Seattle' and 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone'. They have released a charter with specific demands.

CHAZ Charter demands

 1. Abolition of the Seattle Police Department and attached court system. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. This means 100 per cent of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE [Immigration enforcement] in the city of Seattle.

2. In the transitionary period between now and the dismantlement of the Seattle Police Department, we demand that the use of armed force be banned entirely.

The words "Black Lives Matter" are painted in the middle of East Pine Street in an area being called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).

3. We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability.

4. We demand that not the city government, nor the state government, but that the federal government launch a full-scale investigation into past and current cases of police brutality in Seattle and Washington.

5. Reparations for victims of police brutality, in a form to be determined.

6. Retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community.

7. Replace of the current criminal justice system the creation of restorative/transformative accountability programs as a replacement for imprisonment.