Last Updated on February 17, 2022
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has officially announced her support for the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, now known as CHAZ, suggesting, in a display of historical revision, that it has always been autonomous and she is willing to work with the “organizers and community” to make their twin cities safe.
As days continue to pass since the establishment of CHAZ, an anarcho-syndicalist commune nestled in the heart of downtown Seattle, based in what was formerly the Seattle City Hall and a police station, the Seattle mayor has officially, publicly expressed her support for the fledgling autonomous zone.
“For as long as I can remember, Capitol Hill has been autonomous,” wrote Durkan. “It’s always been a place where people go to express themselves freely.”
It is unclear if this is an attempt to amend the history of Seattle to reflect that CHAZ has always been an independent autonomous zone, or if she is simply welcoming the secession of the six-block area from the United States.
“Today at the #CHAZ, I spoke with organizers and community about how we can move forward,” she went on. “And keep our communities safe, together.”
For as long as I can remember, Capitol Hill has been autonomous – it's always been a place where people go to express themselves freely. Today at the #CHAZ, I spoke with organizers and community about how we can move forward and keep our communities safe, together. pic.twitter.com/XhtXHiIl9K
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) June 12, 2020
National File previously reported that Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best released a video message to officers indicating that the decision to abandon the area that became CHAZ was not her idea, suggesting that the decision came from the mayor or other city officials. The mayor has since denied this.
Since then, Best has also confirmed the existence of reports of a protection racket within CHAZ, as well as armed guards patrolling the perimeter and requiring residents to present their identification to enter or exit.
Today, Best announced that her police department has received three times the usual number of 911 calls requesting help in sexual and violent crimes, but noted that her department is currently unable to enter the autonomous zone to provide foreign aid to the tiny nation.