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‘Welcome to Free Capitol Hill’ — Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms around emptied East Precinct — UPDATE

Protesters have made their own riot shields emblazoned with the pink umbrellas that have become a symbol of the demonstrations

With reporting by Jake Goldstein-Street and Alex Garland

The first night in the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone that has formed in the wake of police giving up the week-long blockade of the East Precinct was rainy and peaceful and full of speeches from activists, agitators, poets, and socialist city council members.

“I guess whatever the fuck we’re doing is effective,” one organizer identified as Magik said over a megaphone early in the night as police were still clearing the area. “They are going to move up. They are going to get everybody out of here and we are free to move through these streets and protest and march.”

“Yesterday we were on 11th and Pine. Today we have victory on 12th and Pine. They tried to stop us!,” another exclaimed.

The night brought tense moments but compared to the previous week of blast balls and clouds of gas and pepper spray, Pike/Pine was calm if not quiet — the county sheriff’s helicopter stayed circling overhead until midnight providing observations to SPD command on the ground and often drowning out speeches below. The only major reported conflict came when a TV news crew for the local Fox affiliate was temporarily chased from the scene and took up refuge in the nearby fire station.

The surprise pullback of SPD riot police and National Guard troops came together quickly Monday afternoon after a day of hastily clearing out equipment, moving trucks, and reports of a “mobile shredding unit” at the building at 12th and Pine that is home to the East Precinct headquarters as well as department office facilities. “The decision has been made to allow demonstrators to march past the East Precinct later today,” an announcement sent to department staff about the decision to close the building read. “Additional measures are currently underway to enhance our ongoing efforts to insure the security of our East Precinct and provide for the safety of all our officers.”

“The East Precinct will remain staffed,” the announcement concluded. CHS observed officers being dispatched from mobile locations away from 12th and Pine. The building is empty and windows covered with plywood. By morning, the wood was covered with graffiti giving the precinct an unexpected continuity with much of the rest of the neighborhood as many businesses are still in the process of reopening after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions.

The pullback and boarding-up of the precinct follows a Sunday night conflagration described by many as the most aggressive show of crowd control firepower yet by SPD that came only hours after a Mayor Jenny Durkan speech on deescalation.

Monday night, Durkan remained silent on the developments at the precinct until late into the night.

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At 11:20 PM some seven hours after Chief Carmen Best held a hastily arranged press briefing outside the facility, the mayor tweeted that the retreat is “an effort to proactively de-escalate interactions between protestors and law enforcement outside the East Precinct” and said Best had ordered the barricades surrounding the East Precinct removed and secured the building.

“Keeping demonstrations peaceful must be a joint effort between our community members and law enforcement,” Durkan said. “I am hopeful that tonight, with these operational changes, our city can peacefully move forward together.”

A city representative also tells CHS that Seattle Fire removed “many personal effects of the officers normally stationed in the East Precinct” as part of a “proactive effort to guard against potential damage or fire.”

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, meanwhile, sent an ominous sounding message to area businesses and organizations that warns of a “credible threat” to burn the precinct building down, notifying them that the building and nearby apartment buildings were to be assessed for possible treatment with “a biodegradable foam fire suppressant” by the Seattle Fire Department as a preventative measure.

Sunday after a week of protests and frequent clashes and outbreaks of heavy-handed crowd control tactics, Durkan had made the case for why SPD must mount a strong defense of the precinct headquarters due to what she said was “specific information from the FBI” about threats to the 12th and Pine facility and other buildings in Seattle.

Those fears proved to be unwarranted on the first night of occupation following the East Precinct’s exit.

Tuesday morning
The first morning brought a new configuration to the streets. The police barricades and walls left behind have provided protesters the resources they need to create their own path through the neighborhood. Barriers have been dragged into a zig zag maze to block traffic from passing through 12th Ave or up and down E Pine with a steady stream of cars and trucks performing u-turns and three-point turns to avoid the blockades. Tent shelters have been put up to help keep volunteers dry at the edges of the core around 12th and Pine. At one on the southeast corner of the intersection, a few people sat around while one approached CHS and encouraged “white people” to come to the scene and help them hold the block. Above the walled-off entrance to the building, the sign has been spray painted to now read “SEATTLE PEOPLE DEPARTMENT EAST PRECINCT.”

The groups are not yet camped out but organizers say they are prepared to stay in the area replenished with marches and rallies until demands over cuts to the SPD budget and more spending on social programs are met.

Meanwhile, neighbors come and go through the mazes, many taking pictures of the scene, other urgently walking tiny dogs.

Those shocked by vandalism and graffiti should look away. Tagging and paint jobs abound from Cal Anderson to E Union. Seattle Public Utilities, meanwhile was at the scene with a large crew of contractors clearing up debris. As crews grabbed a pile of signs, one volunteer ran over. “Those aren’t trash!” she said as the nonplussed worker dropped the pile of soggy boards and cardboard back to the sidewalk.

The mayor said previously she hoped the crews would help to clean up the area daily. The city is also maintaining chemical toilets in Cal Anderson and will add a new bank of toilets outside Seattle Central on Broadway in a bid to avoid the health problems that dogged the neighborhood’s Occupy camp nearly a decade ago.

Neighborhood businesses, meanwhile, are in limbo. As reopening continues under COVID-19 restrictions, some near the main protest area have been damaged by blast ball explosions and need to be cleaned of residue left by the massive clouds of tear gas and pepper spray that filled the streets.

Residents in the area are also getting used to the new status near the precinct. Many of them played key roles in documenting and providing live updates of the protests from above the scene.

Politics not umbrellas
Instead of umbrellas, water bottles and rocks, Durkan and SPD officials instead are now facing political threats.

“What we are seeing now is an uprising. A rebellion of young people. Not just nationwide but globally,” District 3 representative and longtime Durkan critic Kshama Sawant said in her time at the community microphone during Monday night’s rally and speeches.

“Two years ago, there was a police contract up for the vote. It was a bad contract. It was a racist contract,” she said to boos. “It was going to roll back the limited accountability measures that were hard fought for by community members. And the community spoke with one voice and pleaded — pleaded — with Mayor Durkan and the City Council, ‘Please vote no.’ What do you think happened?”

“I was the only ‘no’ vote on that contract,” Sawant said. “We have to remember that what built the movement is not people who are in power that may look like you or me. But it is people who have shown to through their actions that they are in solidarity with ordinary people in marginalized communities.”

Tuesday night, Sawant and her staff are planning to hold a meeting in Cal Anderson on initiative to ban chemical weapons and #DefundPolice demands of cutting the SPD budget. The future of the emptied East Precinct building will also likely be a point of discussion. The session will also be live streamed on the council member’s various social media channels. Demonstrators at the scene CHS talked with Tuesday morning said they would likely attend the meeting given its proximity to the ground they hope to hold at 12th and Pine but it’s clear that many remain skeptical of aligning directly with the Socialist Alternative leader.

As for the greater goals that have emerged for the various community groups and activists involved in the protests, the Seattle City Council on Monday discussed the possibility of cutting the police department’s budget and restricting the use of chemical agents amid rising calls for the mayor’s resignation.

Sunday’s demonstrations were the most chaotic at the 11th and Pine intersection, with a man driving a car into the crowd and shooting one protester as well as aggressive dispersal measures from police hours later as demonstrators pushed forward up Pike within feet of the line of law enforcement.

Tear gas was deployed by police, despite the mayor’s 30-day ban on the use of the chemical agent in most circumstances.

Sawant, who was at the front of the demonstration after giving a speech a few hours earlier at another protest in Rainier Beach, said she was maced as tensions escalated around midnight.

Sawant on Monday introduced two pieces of legislation related to police handling of the protests. One would ban the use of all types of chemical weapons and the other would ban police from employing chokeholds.

“Seattle police are attacking peaceful protesters daily, from young children to the elderly, with chemical weapons that are internationally banned in warfare,” Sawant said in a Monday afternoon meeting of the full council. “The police had come prepared to inflict violence without provocation.”

On Saturday night, the protesters again saw explosives used by law enforcement as they pushed the barricade closer to police who subsequently deployed pepper spray and non-tear gas explosives in an attempt to disperse demonstrators.

The council appeared to be united in prohibiting the use of tear gas by law enforcement and many council members seemed receptive to the idea of defunding the police in some way.

Council member Alex Pedersen representing Northeast Seattle said that while he believes “most of our police officers are good people, but they’re working within a tainted institution. We need to boldly rethink and change things.”

Four council members joined with more than 20 other local elected officials in signing a letter calling for a demilitarization of the police force and redirecting funding from SPD to community-based alternatives.

Sawant has also been vocal in calling for Durkan’s resignation after more than a week of conflict between protesters and police across Seattle. At a peaceful protest with minimal police presence on Sunday afternoon in Rainier Beach, Sawant said that if Durkan doesn’t resign, she will bring articles of impeachment against her.

It would take six of the nine council members to vote to remove the mayor from office.

Citywide representative Teresa Mosqueda, who attended Saturday night’s demonstration on Capitol Hill with other elected officials, joined Sawant in this call Monday, saying that Durkan should “ask herself if she’s the right leader and resign.”

Mosqueda, who chairs the council’s budget committee, also announced that the council will be “launching an inquest into Seattle Police Department’s budget.”

“What we’re hearing from community right now is that our residents do not feel safe in our own city from police,” she said in the council’s Monday morning briefing. “Unlike past practices, we are not going to nibble around the edges of the mayor’s proposed budget.”

Mosqueda added that the council would not pass the mayor’s budget until it has the opportunity to get a “full, thorough, and simultaneous transparent deep dive” into the SPD’s funding.

“I am committed to defunding the police; to using most of that money, 50% ideally, to invest back into communities that we failed,” she said, citing possible investments in low-barrier housing options, permanent supportive housing, and equitable transit.

South Seattle rep Tammy Morales, who attended the thousands-strong march in the Rainier Valley Sunday afternoon, called the mayor’s response tone deaf and said “perhaps it’s time for her to consider resigning.”

Morales also cited a letter from the co-leaders of the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative change team that calls for a defunding of the police department by at least 50%, an expansion of investments in Black and brown communities, and an increase in police accountability.

Accountability measures the group mentions include not prosecuting protesters, a full review of past killings by SPD, making officers’ uniforms easily identifiable to the community, and renegotiating the SPD’s union contract.

Council meetings on the budget will begin Wednesday.

UPDATE 3:55 PM: Responding to reports from CHS and others of SPD using area schools including Bailey Gatzert and Lowell to stage and park equipment in preparation for possible responses to protests following the clearance of the East Precinct, Seattle Public Schools has released.a statement saying they informed SPD “they may not use our parking lots or school buildings to stage SWAT and the National Guard” and that the district has been informed “this will not happen again”

Last night, we learned that SPD, SWAT, and the National Guard used Seattle Public Schools property as a staging area in their response to protests. We did not give permission, nor condone, the use of SPS property for staging of militarized police or actual military. Schools should be safe, welcoming places for students to learn. Many of the spaces militarized police occupied are used for distribution of meals, learning packets, books, and health resources. These are spaces for student learning and supports, not for militarized responses. @SeattleSupt has contacted SPD and informed them that they may not use our parking lots or school buildings to stage SWAT and the National Guard, and has been assured that this will not happen again.

There are alternatives SPD can turn to. A staging area was also identified Monday night in Volunteer Park. Meanwhile over the weekend, CHS found scores of SPD patrol vehicles parked in a North Capitol Hill parking lot of a private school. We were told that East Precinct was on mobile status and CHS agreed not to publish the location. It’s not clear if Seattle Public Schools is extending its prohibition to standard patrol use. Other options for SPD could be area churches and parking lots at private clubs or businesses. UPDATEx2: Police were also reported utilizing staging areas at Seattle University and Seattle Academy. UPDATEx3: And now Seattle U has put out a statement that the university “has asked SPD not to use the campus or our parking lots.”

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132 thoughts on “‘Welcome to Free Capitol Hill’ — Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone forms around emptied East Precinct — UPDATE” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Thanks, this is really great to see.

    I’m glad that, although covid is a serious threat and social distancing/wearing masks combat the deadly disease, the virus respects causes like this, so neither Kshama nor the Marshall Law Band are required to wear masks/keep distance.

    • Racism is a public health emergency. People are aware of the threat of COVID-19 and are still out there fighting racism and they’re not going to stop due to your trolling. Plus COVID-19 itself has disproportionately impacted people of color due to systemic racism in healthcare access and resourcing. So you can take several seats.

      • systemic entitlement, stupidity, and lawlessness have disproportionately affected some communities more than others. Own it.

      • The entire economy was shut down due to COVID. That implies a measure of last resort that nothing should be able to take priority over, and if it can then COVID was never enough of a threat to shut down the economy. Somewhere in your logic is a United States size pile of BS. Your personal political interests certainly would not take priority, and unemployment is a massive public health emergency as well. The jury is still out on your racism claims, considering that no more Blacks are killed on a per interaction basis with Police than Whites. So I’ll take several seats as long as your seat is a million feat below those in hell.

      • If that’s not the entitled response of the year……Telling someone to take several seats is not only conceited, it’s close minded and is how racism started in the first place. Telling people to take a seat…and not voice their opinions..what is this, 1960’s carolina?

      • You people are insane. A virus is a public health emergency. “Racism”, whatever the hell that term means now, is not.

      • Covid so far has been over 200 times more deadly than the police in the united states. (As of June 10th 2020 there are over 100,000 fatalitys in the states and approximately 1,000 people are consistently killed by police each year.) The protests are far more likely to end more lives than they will save.

      • Oooh, that trigger phrase: Racism . Oooh…How about that four letter word,
        ‘Work’?! Does That hold Any interest for you Antifa and BLM ‘peaceful protesters’?! No? I didn’t think so.

      • Oooh, that trigger phrase: Racism . Oooh…How about that four letter word,
        ‘Work’?! Does That hold Any interest for you Antifa and BLM ‘peaceful protesters’?! No? I didn’t think so. So a deadly virus is the result of ‘racism’?! Even though these microbes traveled the planet infecting people as it spreads?! Please, for the love of Everything that’s sane, tell me that You are actually Joking….please!

    • friend, most politicians – including durkan and best at almost every presser in the past two weeks – do not wear masks when talking to constituents as its rather important in that position for people to see your f-ing face. Kshama has been wearing a mask whenever shes not speaking to the public, as far as i can tell. Chill. Out.

    • The Wuhan virus has mutated, medical experts agree. It only attacks conservatives and people protesting the lockdown. Leftists are immune, and can protest with no restrictions. 1200 medical “experts” signed a letter stating this, which shows the sound logic and intelligence of the left.

    • I think the “starve a fever” rule applies here. When the money runs out this virus will burn itself out and life will return to normal.

  2. “Residents in the area are also getting used to the new status near the precinct”

    That isn’t true! As an area resident, it’s really stressful to have this going on here, specially armed ppl. I’m really considering moving out if this continues.

      • And what?! Burn it down to the ground?! Because as We all know, ‘Racism’ will be to blame for that house and other buildings burning down, right?! I’m beginning to think that the word ‘racism’ is only used by you ‘people of peace’ because it’s the Only ‘trigge’ word you can spell. (Gales of laughter ensues…)

    • Stressed now? The worst is yet to come…wait until liberal Seattle disbands or defunds the police department.
      Of course the mayor and city council will have their armed security guards posted at city hall and then at their homes on the pretext “we received threats of violence from…what’s coming next…”white supremacists”!

      • Defund the entire police department. Give the money back to the people turn all of the police stations in to Community centers for the people to gather and protest. Seattle should be a police free zone. I am positive that all of the problems, violence and issues with disappear once the Seattle becomes a police free zone. Businesses will thrive with the new aura of peace and protection and with their growth and new taxes place upon them the city will have money to give back to the people. The Utopian society that will come from defunding the SPD and the peace that will follow will be a model for the country. Seattle needs to lead the way 100% defunding of the the SPD.

  3. While I do not want SPD gassing the neighborhood, I also do not want a bunch of armed vigilantes standing watch and freaking out over people they think are Proud Boys, though it does make the point very nicely how if you are profiled as a white male you are followed and harassed. Nice turnabout. Irony noted.

    At what point does this reform police. They still seem to be hoping everyone finally just leaves, and I do not see the protesters as likely to leave anytime soon, so we’re at an armed impasse.

    At least four groups all decided they were in charge at various times last night, Sawant grandstanded for off-topic causes of hers, she got shouted down, but then also got racially mocked by Raz.

    Did anyone actually think waking up and moving the homeless into the safe zone was wise? I am guessing the homeless just wanted to be left alone to sleep or they’d move themselves. Kind of ironic our “Free Zone” still wants to control homeless peoples’ locations, hardly that much different than a Mayor Jenny sweep tbh.

    What’s the plan, idiots. Stay there and camp forever? Won’t work. Force SPD to change? Likely won’t work in the short-term, and y’all want short-term fixes. Disband? Won’t happen.

    A comprehensive budget plan and revised police plan will take weeks to get right. And might not even pass. Jenny might not resign, and that cop union guy is a violent little effer who has full support of his rank and file, so good luck with those a-holes, unless you just effing fire every damn one of them, and then replace them with …. what? The public isn’t going to just sign off on your whims for “Defund the Police,” as much as your revolutionary slogans might convince you that we would…

    • “We would?” Who the hell appointed you the spokesperson for the public? Calling people protesting police brutality idiots says a lot about you, and polls show you do not represent the majority opinion in America anymore, thank god.

      • if you live in the area you know legit protesters show up from around 5pm to 11-ish… then armed vigilantes and agitators take over until late night, sometimes 5am…. there’s multiple groups with different demands…

      • You wonder who appointed C Doom as the spokesperson for the public—maybe the same super-secret committee that made you the arbiter of truth. I kind of get upset when any group makes blanket statements like: ACAB. Just like I’d get upset if someone says that about All of any group. Saying that “everyone thinks all of those people are bad” really isn’t moving this forward. They are perpetuating it.

      • Oh, Really?! And just Where in the USof A Are these sympathetic people to the criminals?! You Are smokin’ some mighty powerful stuff there, boy! Now be careful with the Koolaid-it can be a killer!

    • The goal is still to get the police defunded and establish alternative specialized organizations to manage the majority of what the police do now. We also want to keep the building guarded because of the risk of some racist trying to burn the building and blame it on protesters. Once demands are met I’m sure people will be thrilled to return home.

      • I’m curious what sort of “specialized organizations” are going to deal with the “majority of what the police do now?” Drunks driving/fighting? Gay-bashing? Property crimes? Gunfire? I totally support police reform – Policing needs to move from an enforcement mindset to one of public service. (If) the system is broken, it needs to be fixed, and we fix the system by electing talented representatives willing to tackle very contencious issues. I don’t think Durkan or Sawant have a clue between them, but we’ll need a couple Novembers to sort that out.

      • right, so we’re suppose to trade one group of thugs for another. Fuck you, you guys are just as bad as the “nazi’s” and racist you’re crying about.

      • A long time ago, a friend of mine of Arab descent would comment about how women who were either ‘brain dead’ and/or shallow were ‘Empty Heads’…Wow, does That phrase fit So many comments on this thread-no matter Who makes them! (laughter laughter laughter!)

    • The only outcome of this will be exodus of regular citizens and voting much more centrist Seattle City Council by the people of Seattle and businesses that hate such a demonstration of lawlessness

      • Yeah, thinking of better ideas is great, but you need adults in the room that know how to execute and understand the full scope of large scale changes. These are not simple things, and people are not saints. You don’t want to return to 19th century recklessness, which it seems the right and the left doing right now.

    • This is a case of a conservative not being able to take their own 2nd Amendment medicine because the gun owner is black.

      • Complete lie. Almost all supporters of the 2A want minorities to own gun and support any minority that has their 2A rights violated by the government. The only ones who hate minorities with guns are white liberals.

  4. “Free Capitol Hill”? Free, except for the barricades, check points and homeless being used as human shields.

    • Seattle needs to rend dumptrucks and dump ALL of the homeless into this “zone.” They can stack the homeless like cordwood at the barricade.

    • since you clearly weren’t paying attention to the past week, the barricades are a) much less invasive than the ones the police put up and b) there for the protection of the people in the area as you would during a street fair bc theres LOTS OF PEDESTRIANS. also someone tried to ram the crowd literally two days ago. Chill. Out.

  5. I don’t think I’ll be going for a fun night out anytime soon in that area. Let’s the local business close down and the entire area degrades down to a ghetto

    • All the gigs at Chop Suey and Neumos and Barboza and Vermillion, and all the bars’ happy hours, and all the drag shows and DJ nights, and all the screenings at NWFF, are going to struggle without your patronage for the next week or two, Peter.

      • Yup sure are lots of shows and screenings right now. Are you living in an alternate universe where you don’t have COVID? If so, I’d love to join.

  6. I’m behind this push for change. I will say, though, it has been especially hard navigating it all as a disabled person in this area. Both noise and getting up streets the buses no longer have access to for stops on Pine there. I would hope there could be some consideration to how the protest structure is impacting such populations. I was upset with the cops having their symbolic blockades doing this from the start for no useful reason – but now it lies in the protestors’ hands. Thanks.

    • There will be no help forthcoming for you. You are but another “useful idiot” who is not longer of any use. You will go to the wall.,

    • This is a really good point and hopefully as things have calmed down we can actually communicate with protesters to get sidewalks cleared. I’m not sure about the Pine buses, but my guess is rerouting is to madison and john – im not super engaged but will be at the sawant thing tonight and if i see anyone kind of directing activities in anyway i’ll try to bring access up. hopefully others reading this will too.

      • Thanks for your response. It is not desirable to make such a plea when the seriousness and importance of this new surge for pushing such critical change forward is happening, but the real daily challenges in navigating around how it is occurring is proving critical in other ways. One needs to remember, a “rerouting” without alternative help is not enough for many disabled. It’s not just about wheelchair access on sidewalks; many, like myself, walk but have limited ability to go extra distances or up or down hills. So losing transit stops, even one, can make self-care impossible in this protracted context. The push for change should not be putting such adverse impacts to us the people – so structural choices of how to proceed I hope leaders/participants can consider so goals are not lost or muddied by harming the people vs keeping pressure on the powers-that-be.

    • Heaven help and protect you and the other handicapped people who must fight their way every day to just be able to live a
      decent life.

  7. Too bad that the perverted leaders of the “proRiots” will not be caught in this net. Too bad that their braindead followers will be among those shot to ribbons.

  8. Imagine a world where we got choices that weren’t absolute revolution nor absolute fascism. If only a world were possible.

  9. I completely agree with abc, this is insanity for the residents; now we are under a dictatorship of vigilantes with AK-47s that have BARRICADED us in. This is absurd, the police should be ashamed for abandoning the neighborhood. I do not want to live in a neighborhood with homeless encampments and ‘protesters’ pushing violence after the peaceful protesters leave. I support BLM and fully agree that change needs to occur to love the dial for racial inequality. This is separate and distinct from how I feel about the vigilante protesters taking over a block of citizens and threatening everyones rights within their barricade.

    • What are you even talking about? There were a handful of people out last night with rifles because of persistent reports on the police scanner that there was a group of 20-30 armed Proud Boys coming up the hill looking for a fight. They did not show up, everything stayed peaceful, nobody threatened anyone. There are no vigilantes and nobody is barricading you in.

  10. Yo, Putin’s got some of his bots set to “white privilege” in these comments DO NOT BE FOOLED! Come vibe in the autonomous zone and soak in the courage and beauty this city has been lacking for SO MANY YEARS! DEFUND SPD!!

  11. Unless your “Free Zone” has the consent of Indigenous, and has Indigenous in leadership, congratulations you’re a colonizer. Do better.

  12. Talk about self defeating. Not too many people are going to be sympathetic to “defunding” or whatever the police with this bullshit going on.

  13. Seems like these communities are marginalizing themselves by driving out businesses and decent residents. Who is responsible for this “systemic racism”? Dems have been in charge of all the institutions in Seattle and Washington for the past 50 years. What have they done? All they can do is blame phantom Republicans and boogeymen “white nationalists” to deflect from their own incompetence and corruption.

  14. This is such a cluster. Can no one in city leadership think more than five minutes into the future??? Who replaces Durkan if she does step down? That probably changes my feelings about it.

    How long did it take Occupy Wall Street to fall apart? Not the org, the actual protest site. My bet is on 1/2 however long that took.

  15. What was a beautiful moment yesterday has today been tarnished by destruction. When police left the area I was dancing in the street and felt free. Protestors occupied the space and a door for a unique opportunity of peaceful messaging arose. All I see today is destruction and disrespect for what once was our beautiful capitol hill neighborhood. All of the violence, gas and noise has been so harmful for all of the people and animals in the area. Now that we have occupied the space how can we do better is what the movement should be asking? Instead of redoing their own version of exactly what the police were doing. Its pathetic and Lame not to come up with next level. What we do should be something beyond! Superior to what they did and peaceful. Im no longer supporting this movement.

    • This is turning out to be a major loss of opportunity for protestors to demonstrate peace and spread a clear non violent message. Right now the movement is showing no regard for animals, people and small businesses that live in capitol hill! Many small businesses are just regaining their footing to reopen after months of forced closures. A tremendous amount of chronic stress and suffering has occured in our community due to corona and right now the movement just continues to add to that and do what the police do. ..Its not benefiting capitol or human movements for change. Please pause and look within yourself and find a sparkle of peace in your heart and go from there.

    • Croatia?! Really?! It is a scenic and beautiful country. But tell me, as a Croatian to an American: Just How many ‘people of color’ are living in Your country? Just asking. Just curious.

  16. This is about replacing cops with other “community security” forces who is a glorified mafia shakedown group.

  17. For those of you who actually live there, I think the cops left you because they knew they had no support from the residents.

  18. This is an occupation of the lands of the Duwamish people. Participants in this collaborative must immediately cede all land they have claimed to the Duwamish people, its indigenous inhabitants. If they fail to do so they are simply an occupying band of thieves flying a flag with a different design.

    Until this zone is surrendered to the Duwamish people the participants in the Zone are warmongering imperialist pigs. They are no different than the U.S. after it seized the Philippines from Spain crying “liberation” … same day, different occupiers.

  19. I’m a business owner in the area; my business was entered this evening by a group of six Free Cap Hill participants who requested I pay $500 to help finance what they said was community security and protection. They said they will accept cash or Bitcoin; I told them I would prefer to pay in the latter in hope it would buy time. They’re supposedly coming back tomorrow to give me digital wallet details (none of them actually had that info when they showed up; I’m assuming there’s a leader or someone in the background who keeps it). Even $500 is going to be a hit for us as we only just reopened but I’d rather pay than ask for trouble.

    • I also am hoping they provide some more clarity as to whether this is a one-time or recurring payment and how often payment is expected.

    • You clearly never gained an appreciation of the freedoms you were given, freedoms purchased with the blood of patriots. You are so bereft of understanding you whimper like a child, afraid of “asking for trouble.” Now, pay up. You will be designated racist if you don’t, and clearly it is more desirable to avoid such a label than to breathe free air.

      • ‘Used to do’?! Riiight! They are now ‘charitable institutions’! Or didn’t You ‘get the memo’?! (laughter)…

    • I haven’t heard of this from any other owners so please consider contacting me so I can learn more and shed some light — 206-399-5959. Also on Signal. Or you can email I will also contact you at the email address you provided when leaving this comment.

  20. Nice. So the BLM ‘protesters’ now want protection money. What a bunch of losers. These groups have been a drag on the Capitol Hill area for years. So disappointing.

  21. Wow. You guys have descended into CrazyTown. Protection money? Barricades? “Proud Boys”? You all are about to get a very difficult lesson in what the Founders in the Mayflower Colony learned: There is no Utopia. Everyone that can needs to work and be productive. And, as per the Constitution, the Rule of Law, above all else. But, despite half of your town being complete ignorant of history and human nature, I’m sure that it’ll all still just turn out fine. (Dear Business Owner: Run. Run for your life. Get outta Dodge. Now.)

  22. If you are succeeding from the US, then you lose all benefits. You lose infrastructure, power, water, food, trade, internet, etc. Rejecting it means rejecting everything it has to offer, all the good and bad.

    Well see what happens when different people want differents things and each thinks they should be in charge. Or when one faction decides a firmer hand or more extreme measures will be required. Im sure it will go well without a well defined structure to deal with such things.

  23. Is 12th Avenue closed because of the actions of the protesters? If so, it should be re-opened (forcefully if necessary)….it’s a major thoroughfare.

  24. This is so highly entertaining. I work in the tri-cities; I have no need to ever go to Seattle again. I feel so sorry to the “normal” people who are suffering in Seattle, The homeless takeover, criminals released through a revolving door, the drug addicts, and now the antifa takeover, BLM rioters, etc. Seattle is a sewer, period. Do the antifa terrorists have jobs? How do they pay rent? Buy food? I doubt they own property…and pay taxes. Now they are shaking down the businesses? LOL! A good earthquake needs to wash Seattle back into the ocean…a good cleansing. Otherwise, keep on entertaining us hardworking, tax paying, Americans who don’t don’t want your socialist empire.

    • Your demonization of the people participating in the protests and now occupying the space could not be more uninformed. Being from the Tri-Cities makes you particularly unqualified to speak on what has and is happening and your ignorance and hatred only serve to enforce that. At least you admit it and aren’t lying about living in Seattle like many of the the other commenters.

  25. Families and Individuals who regularly live around Pike and 12th cannot get any sleep anymore with all the 24 hour noise. The true protesters are gone and now just rabble rousers congregate on the streets. This is not for the people, this is not treating others with respect, this is messed up.

    • Why, You believe in something but not enough to actually stand up for it or do something about it. can’t be that great or believe in it that much if you’re too scared to show your face. Pussy.

      • 😆😂 they’re acting just like what they are. Entitled little punks with their hands out. Defund black lives matter now!

  26. New rules for Seattle:
    It’s all right to break the law if you have a large & vocal enough group with a popular political reason.
    COVID-19 rules do not apply to political protesters.
    The police should be punished for attempting to control out-of-control situations–not those who create the dangers.
    Everything is black or white–not regarding skin color, but ideologies & demands.
    He/She who shouts loudest is right. Unless they are conservative, then de facto they are wrong & should be shouted down.
    The Establishment should support any who want to destroy it by providing portable toilets, clean water, electricity, internet service, traffic lights, publicity, etc. etc.–whatever is needed in the mission to destroy them.

    • Is this what defunding looks like? What happens next year for Pride weekend and Block Party. Is that over now. Maybe someone should ask the SPD to come back.

  27. going to feel stupid and hungry when you realize you doomed your selves.when you get hungry, all the 18 wheeler truck drivers you pissed off by cutting off their routes on the high ways .They provide your food.if they feel threatened,they will not bring food to your mob laidn streets.Think about that.

  28. Hey! Mayor of Seattle: Why don’t you bring in ‘high end’ catering services for these ‘peaceful protesters’?! Oh, some Pacific wild salmon on a bed of saffron rice, a
    filet, and a highend dessert to top it off? Of
    course, these meals should be provided by Taxpayer money…Oh and high end wines
    and ales to drink. These upstanding people will be thirsty after a day and night of ‘protesting’. So whaddya’ say Mayor?! You and the Other ‘blue city mayors’ can join hands across America to show Your solidarity with these ‘fine, productive, upstanding’ people. You and your ilk have Lost our once beautiful and productive cities. You have turned them into sewage holes and garbage bins. Once the envy of the world, these cities now only bring pity. Great going, mayor! You are to Blame for these riots, murders and destruction of our cities. You All are to blame for people losing their hard earned businesses to criminals.
    We Blame You and your ‘virtual feel good’ llied you tell to citizens who are Caught in these madhouses! You’ve got Your security forces to guard Your property and families. You don’t give a rat’s hiney for your constituents-you Never did. You sleep well at night in serene comfort Because you Don’t have a conscience. You and your political brethren. Shame on All of you politicos: You and your poverty pimps and race baiting toadies.

  29. this is a temporary autonomous zone. have fun with the roleplaying and lots of luck when someone needs professional help the street medics or redshirt patrols can’t deal with. when you give the property back to its actual owners, please clean it up first.