The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, aka the Chaz, has now undergone a name change and is calling itself the CHOP. The new title stands for Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. The name change was a movement by the protesters inside the zone to better reflect its purpose.
Yet, the CHAZ may have a new name, but its purpose really remains the same. The occupied six blocks of Seattle are not, and never truly were, autonomous. The city is still providing services to the zone, including Porta-Potties and fire department services.
The Wanna-Be American Warlord
Raz Simone, the main subject of our first article, seems to have taken a slight step back. There have not been any more acts of violence live-streamed or recorded — although an interesting video of him passing out guns from the back of his Tesla has appeared. Interestingly enough, this type of transaction is illegal under Washington State’s Universal Background Check Bill.
Raz and his crew teamed up with a local car mechanic to try and detain an alleged burglar who broke in and set fire to a car mechanic’s shop. The means by which they handle the alleged thief involve forceful detainment and physical violence. This seems to be at odds with their anti-police brutality protest. The alleged thief eventually escaped.
There is also a report that an Uber driver was threatened and harassed by armed CHOP guards, however, the story has not been yet verified.
As the CHOP has grown, its occupants are attempting to grow their own food by creating gardens; they are apparently seeking to be fully autonomous in some ways. However, pictures have emerged proclaiming that the gardens are segregated, something which stands in the face of an anti-racist movement. The gardens themselves are just dirt on cardboard — so the CHOP is apparently keeping true to communism and its lack of food.
City Moving in Barricades
On June 16th, the city began installing concrete barriers around the CHOP. These barriers are replacing the mishmash of plastic and trash barriers. Their purpose is to protect the citizens of the CHOP from traffic driving through. The concrete barriers also seem to give the CHOP both a tactical advantage and implicit consent from the city.
The CHOP has not grown from the original six blocks, and their autonomy still seems to rely on the city of Seattle. While the area is not necessarily lawless, the city itself seems to be giving the CHOP a wide berth. Stay tuned as we follow the situation.