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Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone facts for kids

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Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Welcome Sign
Outside of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) was sometimes called Free Capitol Hill, or Capitol Hill Free Zone (CHFZ), others called it the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). Some people called it a country. It was in Seattle, which is a big city in Washington. It was 6 city blocks in size. A city block is a group of buildings with a street next to it. It started on June 8, 2020 because all police left the area.

They wanted the United States of America to lower costs of rent, destroy expensive buildings near cheap buildings, make medicine and hospitals free, make all people who have been seen destroying things while in groups be let out of jail, and to lay off all police officers. Lay off means to make someone stop working.

Some people liked the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Some people did not like the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz did not like the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. The mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan thinks that it is party, not a real country.

Some people who live in Seattle are suing the city because they say they should move people out of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

Background

Capitol Hill is a place in Seattle. Sometimes, it has lots of people who gathered to talk about problems.

On May 29, 2020, many people gathered to talk about the killing of George Floyd. Some people fought police and soldiers, but nobody died. Some people stood around a building with police inside. Police used pepper spray to get the people to go away, but it did not work. Then, police covered the windows in the building with wood. Then, police went away and did not lock the doors in the building. The people who stood around the building then said that the area with and near the building was a new country, and was not in the United States of America anymore.

Geography

CapitolHillAutonomousZoneMap10Jun20
Map of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

Near the middle of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone is a building that was used by police. There are many kitchens on the street in the area, as well as a park. The park has a large screen that plays movies outside.

There are walls on the streets that keep people from entering without permission, near the edges of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. There is also lots of paint put on walls.

There are homes in the area. There are also restaurants and small businesses.

Government

There were no paid police officers in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. There were many people who had guns in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. No one outside of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone knows who the leaders in their government were. Some people think their leader was a singer named Raz Simone. Raz Simone likes to sing rap. Some people think their leader was Nikkita Oliver. Nikkita Oliver wants to be the mayor of Seattle, but lost the election. The leader puts things that they want people to do on paper, and then put the paper on walls.

Services

Tents were built for people to live in. Water, food, and soap was given to people for free. The United States Government gave toilets to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and cleaned up their trash. The United States Government said that it would have put out any fires that started in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

Police with riot shields in Lewisham, 2011
Shields that can be used to fight

The Government of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone made shields that can be used to fight, and gave them to it's citizens.

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