Last Updated on June 16, 2020
The Seattle Department of Transportation has erected concrete barriers around the Seattle Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, formerly known as CHAZ, signifying that it recognizes the autonomous zone as a permanent fixture of the downtown area.
A reporter From Q13 FOX Seattle posted images of the new barriers on Twitter Tuesday morning.
“The addition of concrete barriers in #CHOP this morning is actually very significant for a couple reasons. 1) This is a clear sign that the city is letting protesters stay long term. They are specifically adding wood around concrete barriers for people to decorate,” Brandi Kruse wrote.
In the photos, concrete blocks placed closely together can be seen around the borders of CHOP, with wood planking attached on the outside so CHOP residents can “decorate” with festive and presumably vulgar graffiti.
2) Barriers help prevent cars from driving into protesters (a very real threat as we have already seen), while still allowing a lane of travel for emergency responders. pic.twitter.com/qz7HYVr21F
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) June 16, 2020
The city of Seattle has made no plans to reintroduce law enforcement to the area now known as CHOP, and residents’ calls to report crimes such as rape and robbery have gone unanswered.
The Seattle Fire Department has stepped to put out resident-created dumpster fires, and other agencies are devoted to dutifully cleaning the portable toilets and provide electricity and high-speed internet for the zone’s occupants.
CHOP’s warlord, SoundCloud rapper Raz Simone, is still firmly entrenched within the area and shows no signs of relinquishing power any time soon.
In the autonomous zone, the streets are apparently currently controlled by a hip hop artist-turned-warlord by the name of Raz Simone, who has established an armed private police force that does not hesitate to dole out beatings to communal miscreants.
Video footage shows Raz and Co. confronting a man for making unauthorized graffiti on Raz’s turf, which results in the “police” stealing the man’s phone, breaking his glasses, and reportedly repeatedly kicking him in the head. “We are the police of this community here now,” the man is told before the beating.
The vandal is then ordered to hand over his phone as tribute to Raz, under the threat of more violence. “You just broke my glasses! I’m blind! You just broke my glasses and stole my phone!” the man pleads, before being told, “Yeah, we should have broken your face.”
“Don’t be making no threats n*gga, I’ll blow your brains out,” Raz says.
A Reddit thread remains sharply divided over whether Simone’s transition to anarcho-capitalist warlord is morally defensible or not, given that he is a black man and most of his detractors within the autonomous zone and on Reddit are white.