The Brief: CHAZ is the name of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone: an area in Seattle that was occupied by protestors on June 8, 2020. This area has since been renamed CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest).


Update: since 6/14/20, manny occupants of what was formerly known as CHAZ have renamed the area to CHOP: Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. 

CHAZ, also known as “The Chaz” or #CHAZ is the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle: a section of the city that has been occupied by the people and reclaimed as a police-free community space. This area includes the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and spans several blocks in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

This occupation began after over a week in which Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protestors marching to demand justice for George Floyd clashed with police in Seattle, with the police using tear gas even after it was banned in the city.

Reports from inside CHAZ depict various forms of mutual aid, community building, and organizing. CHAZ is host to free food, community gardens, medic tents, movie nights, mural painting, a designated smoking area, bathrooms, hand washing stations, a book lending library, and more. Occupiers have reportedly been in contact with city officials to discuss their demands and plans for going forward. Some protestors in CHAZ are associated with anarchist groups and/or Antifa organizing, but the autonomous zone doesn’t currently have formal centralized leadership.

On June 10, President Trump tweeted at Washington’s governor Jay Inslee, demanding that officials put a stop to this occupation, writing “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”