The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle is back...in a way. Much like your liberal second-year college relative who rolls around during the holidays and somehow continues to come up with new ways to be wrong politically, CHAZ 2 is not as big or as impressive as the first iteration.
If you remember, the first CHAZ, later renamed the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, was created after strong-arming the city to abandon the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct. Within the zone's boundary was Cal Anderson Park, which was the main spot for the growing tent city. The goal of CHAZ was to at least defund SPD by 50 percent, if not abolish it altogether.
It did not take long before problems started to rise. Within a month, crime started to become a problem as police were unable to quickly respond to calls. Eventually, two shootings took place that resulted in the deaths of two black men. The deaths were a turning point and Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) finally allowed the police to take back the area.
This time around, the boundary of CHAZ 2 is mainly Cal Anderson Park with occupiers once again building barricades. One noticeable difference is protesters have taken over an abandoned house that is across the street from the park. The reason for this second occupation is to prevent the city from conducting homeless sweeps and to advocate for housing for all. In addition to barricades, occupiers glued and chained some of the gates within Cal Anderson Park.
MAKING THEMSELVES RIGHT AT HOME: People dressed in all black are now walking back and forth from Cal Anderson Park into this house on Denny Way. It is turning into another staging area. Neighbors say a developer now owns the house and it’s been sitting empty for months.@komonews pic.twitter.com/wFWZKfS796— Jonathan Choe Journalist KOMO News (@choeshow) December 17, 2020
Apparently not wanting a "winter of love," Durken has pushed to end the occupation sooner rather than later.