The New York Times applauded the efforts of Seattle protesters who took over the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and imposed their own set of rules for the area.
The newspaper headlined the news surrounding the self-proclaimed government-free and police-free neighborhood, “Free Food, Free Speech and Free of Police: Inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone.’”
Seattle police officers withdrew from their police precinct in the neighborhood and protesters took control over the area and called it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or “Chaz” for short. City authorities visited the area to observe conditions and to coordinate essential services if the need arose, but have not attempted to force protesters out. The article said that the “protest zone has increasingly functioned with the tacit blessing of the city.”
The Times reported that the Capitol Hill neighborhood “is the heart of the city’s art and culture” and blamed capitalism for threatening the neighborhood’s culture “as rising tech wealth brings in gentrification.” The newspaper praised the protesters for their actions, which protesters “reversed the barricades to shield the liberated streets.”
But the New York Times’s praise continued, calling the protester-run area “part street festival, part commune” and outlining the area’s rejection of capitalism. The area boasted a “’No Cop Co-op’ where protesters “could pick up a free LaCroix sparkling water or a snack.” “No currency was accepted,” the article said, “but across the street, in a nod to capitalism, a bustling stand was selling $6 hot dogs. It was dealing in U.S. dollars.”