As of this writing, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone has existed for three days and in that time has seen the ousting of one leader for sexual harassment and seen the rise of an American Warlord.
The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone, also known as the CHAZ, is a section of a neighborhood in Seattle taken over by protesters on June 9. The protesters initially moved in to protest a police precinct which was abandoned in short order by the police. The CHAZ has been declared autonomous and it is no longer a part of the United States. It has no government and occupies about six blocks. The group occupying the CHAZ is made up of a mixture of protesters, anarchists, and communists. They’ve established what appears to be strict borders and now their very own warlord.
The Rise of a Warlord
The man is named Raz Simone and he is a local hip hop artist. He is leading a group of armed men and is exerting power in the CHAZ. Mr. Simone’s live streams have shown a propensity for violence as he’s assaulted and threatened a man spray painting a wall. In a video from the victim Raz, or his group, declare themselves the police of the area now. The entire incident is recorded and can be listened to/watched.
Raz also attacked a streamer early in the existence of the CHAZ.
A subreddit exists for the CHAZ as r/Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone where Simone has been discussed at length. While this information is hard to verify it appears that Mr. Simone is using the event to promote his own brand and establish clout. Hundreds of comments in threads about Mr. Simone have stated he is using the situation to produce a music video, asking for donations to establish a police force via the Cash App, and has not answered questions on how the money is being used.
He also advised people entering the autonomous zone should be searched and questioned in a way very similar to the controversial stop and frisk policy. He’s also asked armed people to become border guards.
You need to hear this speech
— Whitney Marie (@w_ramone1) June 9, 2020
The groups occupying the CHAZ have little in the means to resist Raz and his militia so for now, he is seemingly in charge.