The following day, a coalition of black activists associated with the autonomous zone released a more specific list of demands, including the total abolition of the Seattle Police Department, the retrial of all racial minorities serving prison time for violent crimes, and the replacement of the police with autonomous “restorative/transformative accountability programs.” Activists pledged to maintain control of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone until their demands are met—setting the stage for a long-term occupation and the establishment of a parallel political authority.
The city government has not developed a strategic response to the takeover of Capitol Hill. According to one Seattle police officer with knowledge of internal deliberations, the city’s “leadership is in chaos” and “the mayor has made the decision to let a mob of 1,000 people dictate public safety policy for a city of 750,000.” The officer said that Chief Best had dispatched high-ranking police officials to the autonomous zone to establish a line of communication, but the officials were immediately sent away by armed paramilitaries at the barricades. “The tide of public opinion is on the side of the activists and they’re pushing the envelope as far as they can,” said the officer. “It’s not hyperbolic to say the endgame is anarchy.”