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On 8 June, after a number of increasingly dangerous clashes between protesters and law enforcement, police officers in a popular area of downtown Seattle abandoned their precinct.
Hundreds of activists, who had been demonstrating against police brutality since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, then flocked to the neighbourhood and set up a peaceful occupied protest. There, they distributed free food and medical supplies, planted community gardens, and held film screenings and workshops. One small group painted a large, bright statement on a wall within the zone: "Black Lives Matter".
The area was declared the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone - or Chaz, for short. It was to be a police-free, self-governing utopia. A few days later, in an interview with CNN on 11 June, the city's Democratic mayor Jenny Durkan said the zone could herald a "summer of love".
Protester Grace Morgan, from Portland, Oregon, told the BBC that she travelled up to the Chaz about a week after it had been established.
"It was absolutely astonishing," she said. "There was a food co-op, as well as a full medics corner with actual doctors from around the city that had volunteered, and had their own ambulance. There were classes, lectures, speakers, poetry, lots of live music, huge works of art… It was really beautiful."
— Max Fox (@mxwfx) June 28, 2020
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