A section of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood where protestors have built barriers and declared themselves autonomous has already made it into the history books—or at least onto Wikipedia.
As of Wednesday morning, the online encyclopedia had a freshly created page titled “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” describing it a “self-declared intentional community and commune of around 200 residents, covering about six city blocks.” Protesters in the area established the zone after clashing with police for several days, according to local media reports. On Tuesday, Seattle police said they would open the streets around the city’s East Precinct, which is located in Capitol Hill, and allow protesters to march by it. The precinct has been boarded up, although police said it would still be staffed.
Seattle, like cities across the world, has seen ongoing protests against police violence and racism since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis more than two weeks ago.
The autonomous zone’s Wikipedia page—complete with maps and a description of its “internal governance” (or, rather, lack thereof)—lends credence to the local effort, but it may not last. Wikipedia editors have marked it for potential deletion, according to a note on the page, with some in the discussion section expressing concerns that the zone was established only two days ago and that details are likely to change rapidly.
According to the Stranger, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, began as “Free Capitol Hill” on Monday.
You can check out the page here and read all about it while it lasts.