Inside Chaz, Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

After nine days of standoffs between Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters and the police, at last the cops ceded the area to the revolution.

What is Chaz? Depends on who you ask.

Technically Chaz is the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone," an area of Seattle that has become a quasi-experiment in what a completely police-free state might look like. After nine days of standoffs between Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters and the police, at last the cops ceded the area to the revolution.


"On an almost nightly basis, the SPD has indiscriminately used excessive force against protesters, legal observers, journalists, and medical personnel," read an ACLU lawsuit that played a role in finally pushing the police out of the precinct, opening space for a new experiment in government (or a lack thereof).

Now Chaz is the subject of ire, suspicion, rage, and hope. Its origins happened rapidly. After the police ceded the area, protestors set up boundaries and barricades to create a protected zone of about six square blocks.

Currently the area sounds like a utopian dreamscape, a commune slash co-op that comes complete with film screenings, free food, and a growing People's Garden. There's a medical tent and a makeshift Mutual Aid library. There's a medic station, a "No Cop Co-op" where people can get free supplies, a shrine made up of candles, flowers, and pictures of George Floyd and the countless others who have been killed by police. Protestors have screened films including 13th and Paris Is Burning. Murals and paintings fill the street.



What Is Chaz: A Block Party, an Antifa Hub, or a Revolution Waystation?

Conservatives, of course, are absolutely losing it. Trump described the protestors as "Domestic Terrorists" who "have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!"

Twitter has become completely overrun with conspiracy theories about the town and what it means. One Twitter user started a rumor that a SoundCloud rapper named Raz was becoming the zone's "Warlord," which was simply false.

Others are horrified, calling the town an Antifa stronghold, or an anarchist establishment that's threatening American democracy.

Reports from people on the ground beg to differ. "The CHAZ is not communist. It's not socialist or anarchist either. Most people here might subscribe to one of those ideologies, but mostly it's just an extended BLM block party," wrote one Reddit user.


The Future of Chaz

No one is exactly sure what Chaz will become. Some believe that the police will eventually retake the autonomous zone; but for now, the town will stand as a testament to the power of protest and possibility.



Others want Chaz to become the beginning of a momentous change. Some of the zone's inhabitants have drafted a list of 30 demands, which include abolishing the police, banning the police's use of arms in between now and when they are abolished, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, providing reparations for victims of police brutality, decriminalizing protest, providing a retrial for all people of color convicted of violent crimes, demanding release for anyone incarcerated on charges relating to marijuana, and much more.

Organizers are beginning to shape a makeshift government in order to actualize these goals. At Chaz's first Town Hall. "The goal was to hear speeches from local Black and Indigenous leaders, and then to break up into small groups to brainstorm ways to address concerns about trash, traffic, helping small businesses, establishing accountability structures within a non-hierarchical social arrangement, and whatever else came up," writes Rich Smith in The Stranger.

The main question the organizers grappled with at the meeting was what to do with the empty East precinct, but certainly bigger questions will come up. Some want to see the zone establish its own council. "It's very important that we get a council going of elected representatives of the CHAZ zone," said a protestor and Chaz resident named Malcolm, who works with Black Lives Matter Seattle. "Since you guys are going to be our sovereign state, you guys have to get that going immediately."

But some members want to avoid picking organizers, preferring to stay away from the fragility and corruptibility of leadership. Some approve of more anarchist models of organizing, others focus on anticapitalist ideals, and others keep returning to the movement that launched Chaz in the first place—the anti-police-brutality Black Lives Matter protests launched by the killing of George Floyd and 400 years of oppression.

Most organizers emphasized prioritizing Black and brown voices, but still, the town is certainly not free of the racial tensions that inspired the movement that created it. Some already fear that Chaz and its white occupants, in particular, are distracting from the Black Lives Matter movement, applying their own agendas or even treating the commune like the dreaded Coachella.

"As the protests continue across the United States, we risk finding ourselves lost in the same pattern of unproductive behaviors that have long plagued the country. An obsession with modes of racial protests rather than with the meaning of them belies an unwillingness to face the flaws they expose in the nation's ability to live up to its ideals and fulfill its obligations to the citizenry," writes Theodore R. Johnson in The National Review.

Similar problems plagued another memorable movement-inspired village: the outpost that cropped up during the Standing Rock protests in 2016. In those years, Standing Rock turned from a place where Indigenous tribes could reunite to a sort of gentrified Burning Man, forcing leaders to request that the encampment's white occupants learn to listen more and request fluoride-free water less.

At marches across the nation, Black Lives Matter organizers are reminding the thousands of people who have shown up for the cause that this movement cannot be an Instagram trend or another hashtag. Racism isn't something that can be shut off after a few weeks—it's lifelong and pervasive—and hopefully everyone showing up will stay in the fight long after the initial whirlwind has slowed.

The same fate could befall Chaz if things go south. On the other hand, perhaps this new settlement will fare better. Perhaps it will be the start of a new world—a new America where the police are replaced by mental health counselors and free food. Most likely the result will be a combination of both, but for all intents and purposes that seems to be Chaz's goal: to see what might happen in a world free from police violence, where people keep each other safe as long as they can.

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The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.

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Do Function Of Beauty's Products Really Work?

I tried their natural shampoo & conditioner for a month

When my social life suddenly dried up one weekend, I spent it with myself, and that meant I finally had more time to play with my hair.

I usually just throw it up in a ponytail, but I was French braiding, blow-drying, and having so much fun with it. It also meant I got to really study my strands, and I noticed they seemed drier and less shiny than they used to.

My cousin is a hairstylist, so I asked for her honest rec's, and she told me a lot of her clients have switched to the customized Function of Beauty haircare line, especially since it gets delivered to your door.

The packaging looked beautiful, and they had everything I needed to repair my hair. I decided to sign up and document my process to see if their stuff actually made a difference. Here's how my first month went:

Week One

The Quiz: Function of Beauty starts with a quiz. They ask for information on your hair type and your top 5 hair goals, so they can customize. For example, I wanted to cut down on frizz, so my shampoo and conditioner contained tamarind extract + argan oil.

The Basics: For scent, I chose the limited edition "strike a (r)ose" fragrance in strong, and for color, I went with a pink shade for both, but you can mix and match if you like.

The Rest: I also got the custom hair serum for styling, the weekly hair mask, and the leave-in conditioner.

When everything arrived, the colors were prettier in person, and everything smelled amazing. They at least looked high quality! I was excited to see if they would really help my hair.

Pink Function Of Beauty Shapoo Bottle

Week Two

I figured I'd forget to use some of my products some days, but everything smelled so good, I was really looking forward to my self-care hair routine!

The S & C: So, because I chose the strong scent for my shampoo and conditioner, every time I shower, I get to smell the rosiness in my hair for hours! That's a really nice touch.

The Serum: I'm using the hair serum now before I blow-dry my hair, and it definitely makes a difference - I notice my hair gets more volume without looking so dry and looks much glossier.

The Mask: The weekly hair mask was super goopy in a good way - it'll definitely last a while, even with medium-long hair. I don't know if I noticed a difference afterward, though.

The Leave-In: The leave-in conditioner isn't greasy at all, which is fantastic, and sooo much better than the last one I used, that would also leave me looking a lil' greazy.

Week Three

I was doing the mask when video chatting my friend in a different state, and she thought I was dying my hair blue. Since my hair is looking healthier, it gave me the idea that maybe I could dye it lighter soon, and not turn it into a pile of straw.

Oh, my Function of Beauty package also came with stickers, so I spent a night putting them on all the bottles.

Week Four

Ok, my hair definitely looks healthier.

This guy I was talking to on a dating app asked to FaceTime me the other day, and I was super nervous - what if we had no chemistry? Or literally, anything to talk about?

I did a fun blowout just to calm my nerves, but we ended up having a weirdly huge amount of things in common, like breaking the same 2 bones - so weird!! We're making plans to meet up sometime in the future.

After four weeks of taking care of my hair with Function of Beauty products, I can't imagine using anything else - even if my hair changes (like, if I do dye it blonde), I can easily change my formula for special purple shampoo or change my hair goals, to keep it healthy.

I really like all the products and their scents, and it's so convenient getting everything shipped to my door every 3 months (you can also choose every month, every six months, or a one-time purchase).

Since the packaging is so cute, I'm probably going to gift this to my best friend for her birthday! We can do hair masks together online, while she walks me through my upcoming date. 😂

UPDATE: Function of Beauty is offering our readers a special offer! Get 20% OFF your first order. Follow this link and start the hair profile quiz!

SPONSORED

Do Function Of Beauty's Products Really Work?

I tried their natural shampoo & conditioner for a month

When my social life suddenly dried up one weekend, I spent it with myself, and that meant I finally had more time to play with my hair.

I usually just throw it up in a ponytail, but I was French braiding, blow-drying, and having so much fun with it. It also meant I got to really study my strands, and I noticed they seemed drier and less shiny than they used to.

My cousin is a hairstylist, so I asked for her honest rec's, and she told me a lot of her clients have switched to the customized Function of Beauty haircare line, especially since it gets delivered to your door.

The packaging looked beautiful, and they had everything I needed to repair my hair. I decided to sign up and document my process to see if their stuff actually made a difference. Here's how my first month went:

Week One

The Quiz: Function of Beauty starts with a quiz. They ask for information on your hair type and your top 5 hair goals, so they can customize. For example, I wanted to cut down on frizz, so my shampoo and conditioner contained tamarind extract + argan oil.

The Basics: For scent, I chose the limited edition "strike a (r)ose" fragrance in strong, and for color, I went with a pink shade for both, but you can mix and match if you like.

The Rest: I also got the custom hair serum for styling, the weekly hair mask, and the leave-in conditioner.

When everything arrived, the colors were prettier in person, and everything smelled amazing. They at least looked high quality! I was excited to see if they would really help my hair.

Pink Function Of Beauty Shampoo Bottle

Week Two

I figured I'd forget to use some of my products some days, but everything smelled so good, I was really looking forward to my self-care hair routine!

The S & C: So, because I chose the strong scent for my shampoo and conditioner, every time I shower, I get to smell the rosiness in my hair for hours! That's a really nice touch.

The Serum: I'm using the hair serum now before I blow-dry my hair, and it definitely makes a difference - I notice my hair gets more volume without looking so dry and looks much glossier.

The Mask: The weekly hair mask was super goopy in a good way - it'll definitely last a while, even with medium-long hair. I don't know if I noticed a difference afterward, though.

The Leave-In: The leave-in conditioner isn't greasy at all, which is fantastic, and sooo much better than the last one I used, that would also leave me looking a lil' greazy.

Week Three

I was doing the mask when video chatting my friend in a different state, and she thought I was dying my hair blue. Since my hair is looking healthier, it gave me the idea that maybe I could dye it lighter soon, and not turn it into a pile of straw.

Oh, my Function of Beauty package also came with stickers, so I spent a night putting them on all the bottles.

Week Four

Ok, my hair definitely looks healthier.

This guy I was talking to on a dating app asked to FaceTime me the other day, and I was super nervous - what if we had no chemistry? Or literally, anything to talk about?

I did a fun blowout just to calm my nerves, but we ended up having a weirdly huge amount of things in common, like breaking the same 2 bones - so weird!! We're making plans to meet up sometime in the future.

After four weeks of taking care of my hair with Function of Beauty products, I can't imagine using anything else - even if my hair changes (like, if I do dye it blonde), I can easily change my formula for special purple shampoo or change my hair goals, to keep it healthy.

I really like all the products and their scents, and it's so convenient getting everything shipped to my door every 3 months (you can also choose every month, every six months, or a one-time purchase).

Since the packaging is so cute, I'm probably going to gift this to my best friend for her birthday! We can do hair masks together online, while she walks me through my upcoming date. 😂

UPDATE: Function of Beauty is offering our readers a special offer! Get $20 off your first order above $60! Follow this link and start the hair profile quiz!