New York Times, “In the Autonomous Zones”

Autonomous zones, protest camps and intentional communities alike thrive on hard work and consensus — and can become disastrous rapidly.

By Ezra Marcus, June 1, 2020

At first they called it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

In early June, protesters aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement took over six city blocks of a gentrified Seattle neighborhood. There, activists screened films, served spaghetti, painted murals, held vigils and planted a community garden.

Their demands, according to Dae Shik Kim Jr., 28, an organizer who lives in the neighborhood, are: Defund the Seattle Police Department by 50 percent, fund more social services in the city, and drop charges against all protesters.

“We firmly believe that the type of leverage that we have during this moment would not be made possible if it wasn’t for the on-the-ground protesters who are there every night, putting that type of visible, strategic pressure on the city,” Mr. Kim said.

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