DailyCaller reports a Seattle resident living in Capitol Hill, where activists have taken over a roughly six-block radius and turned it into the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), spoke with the Daily Caller in an exclusive interview about life on the border of the commune.
The man, who asked to only be referred to as Brandon, said he has been terrified since the protests began. Brandon said protesters are at his gates every night, adding that his “own government” has abandoned the people.
“I’m scared,” Brandon said. “I’ve been scared every day since Sunday, and I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep. For the first time in my life in Capitol Hill, I hear gunshots every single night.
I’ve heard people screaming every single night outside. And they’re not protest screams … I’ve also heard screams of terror out there, and I don’t know what’s happening out there.”
Per Newsweek, some members of the black community in Seattle, Washington say the message behind recent protests in the city have been undermined by activities in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).
Originally an area where protests against the death of George Floyd occurred, the CHAZ now is seen as a kind of commune with no discernible leadership hierarchy. According to information on the CHAZ website, the 6-block area is “a small section of Seattle Washington left to rot by its leaders.”
“Abandoned by police and left to burn, this area was instead seized by anarchists, BLM [Black Lives Matter] supports and other protesters who have since transformed it into a universal community based on mutual aid,” the CHAZ website explains. “Fundamentally, CHAZ is an occupation of Capitol Hill, not an official declaration of independence.”
However, some black protesters claim the popularity and activities in the area are “hijacking” the protests.
Members of the African American Community Advisory Council (AACAC) said during a meeting at CHAZ on Thursday protesters in the Zone have “taken the meaning away” from activities aimed at achieving reforms in police culture.
In an interview with KOMO News, AACAC Chair Victoria Beach compared the CHAZ with the desert-based art festival Burning Man.
“We’re going to keep our voices loud and clear,” Beach said. “We’re going to be heard. How are we going to be heard if that’s happening? How are we going to come to the table and talk?”
In a statement sent to Newsweek, representatives from CHAZ said, “The protestors are diverse in opinion and politics, but form a broad coalition standing against police brutality along with activists across the country. Let me be clear: the impetus at CHAZ is the same as everywhere else. Black Lives Matter, abolish the police.”