After just over 48 hours, the “Seattle Autonomous Zone” or “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ)” has a reported food shortage, an allegedly overbearing warlord, and a 30-point list of demands for Seattle lawmakers, which include defunding and abolishing the police, emptying prisons, funding a fully socialist healthcare system, and making college free for Seattle residents.
The group, which took over a four-block radius of Seattle earlier in the week, erecting barriers taken from the Seattle Public Works department, and stationing armed guards at entrances, is being allowed to remain in charge of the CHAZ, which includes an abandoned police precinct, by Seattle authorities.
Although, as the Daily Mail reports, many of the CHAZ’s temporary anarchist residents are enjoying their time in the “autonomous zone,” hosting propaganda-like movie nights and dance contests, a group of activists, claiming to speak for the larger CHAZ, banded together to issue a list of demands to Seattle administrators, titled “the demands of the collective black voices at Free Capitol Hill to the government of Seattle, Washington.”
“We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus,” the demand letter reads. The “apparatus” apparently includes “existing pensions for Seattle Police,” as well as the local prison system.
Lest Seattle residents think they could arm themselves in the absence of law enforcement, the group demands that “the use of armed force be banned entirely. No guns, no batons, no riot shields, no chemical weapons, especially against those exercising their First Amendment right as Americans to protest.”
They also demand the federal government open an investigation into police brutality in Seattle, that victims of police brutality receive reparations, that protests be “decriminalized,” that all arrested protesters be released (as well as any prisoner serving time for a marijuana charge), and that the prison system is “dismantled” and replaced with a “restorative justice” program.
All the money “saved” by defunding and disbanding police departments should be directed, of course, into the public school system.
In addition, the protesters have “economic” demands, that include city-wide rent control, full funding for “arts and culture,” “free college for the people of the state of Washington,” and “a decentralized election process to give the citizens of Seattle a greater ability to select candidates for public office such that we are not forced to choose at the poll between equally undesirable options.”
In the “health care” section, they demand “hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients,” and that mental health experts be sent along with police officers on emergency calls.
The demand letter does not specify how police will continue to exist for mental illness calls.
Fox News reports that “it’s not clear how many of the demands — if any — will be met. But local law enforcement and protesters that talked to KOMO News believe there is no current end in sight to the occupation.”
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