SEATTLE — A huge mural is in progress in what protesters are now calling the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” or CHAZ.
The words Black Lives Matter are being painted on East Pine Street. The words run for a full city block from 10th to 11th.
People have been using paint rollers to block out the letters for the last few days.
Currently, the letters are white. People working on it said artists will fill in the white letters with murals.
The mural is one of several painted in a six-block area that is now barricaded off by protesters.
The Seattle Police Department East Precinct has been boarded up since Monday. A large banner over one wall says, “THIS SPACE IS NOW PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PEOPLE.”
At least one person KIRO 7 reporter Ranji Sinha spoke with in the area said there are hassles with the protesters, but she supported their right to protest, and didn’t want to see more violence.
On Wednesday, barriers were still in place, though the fire department and city leaders are trying to re-arrange them for easier access.
Leaders of the protest movement are talking about new rules for the area.
At least one resident said they were glad the tension had shifted.
“We’re glad that there are conversations happening in terms of how can we as a building, as a community, as local businesses here - how can we all communicate with the folks who are organizing this to make sure we’re all on the same page."
Seattle police said that some people have had to face armed people at the barricades. They also said anyone making conditions to access to the zone with money is extortion.
The people KIRO 7 spoke with didn’t say that these types of things were happening, but some residents have chimed in on social media saying they’re not happy with the changes.
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