Much has already been reported about the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, aka Free Capitol Hill, or just the CHAZ. I won’t recapitulate any of that; but as I live only four miles south of the abandoned east police precinct, I decided to go down there yesterday to check it out myself. Apparently even as I was there, it was being rebranded CHOP for Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Protest yes, organized somewhat. Here’s what I saw on Saturday June 13th. Click any image to load at hi-res.
Overall I was quite surprised by the scope of the investment. I had ridden by just the previous Saturday, before the police abandoned the precinct, when the police barricades were still in place. At that time, there were just a handful of small tents along 11th near Pike handing out water and offering medical supplies. I spoke a policeman at that time, flanked with what looked like national guard in paramilitary light camo, and he said the police line had been moving around almost hourly as “conditions” changed. A week later, we have the CHAZ/CHOP.