We walked down the street this morning to have a look at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or as locals call it The CHAZ. More on this in a moment.

What is a Domestic Terrorist? There’s no hard and fast definition, so let me give you my answer.

A Domestic Terrorist is someone who, through fear, misinformation and the advocation of violence seeks to undermine the American democracy by means of intimidation and by setting our people against one another.

If you have a functioning brain and are not blinded by your ideology, you will have recognized Trump for what he is long ago.

What we saw today in the CHAZ was in no way what this tough-talking coward and his puppet masters at Fox “News” have claimed. It was more like a Flower Power gathering from the Sixties. ????

For the record, the story reported in the press attributed to the Seattle Police Department that there were heavily armed civilian “guards” proved false. Likewise, the story that protesters were demanding protection money from shopkeepers. Are you trying to help, SPD?

CHOP is an alternative acronym for CHAZ. Some are unhappy with the phrase “autonomous zone”.

People talking politics, people handing out free food and water, art and entertainment. I suspect that it will stay peaceful until the police decide to return and overreact — again. Another end to the peace could come from heavily armed conservatives who seem to believe that “freedom” only applies to what they want.

Just past the Welcome sign, Pine Street has acquired a gigantic “Black Lives Matter”. Here are a few of the letters. Here’s a drone view of the whole thing.

Moving further east along Pine, we came to the No Cop Co-Op and the (temporarily?) abandoned East Precinct police station. This seems to be the commercial and political focal point. Perhaps “commercial” is the wrong word, since no money changes hands.

Other causes besides racial equality have found a home in the CHAZ.

As you can tell, I’m kind of worked up about this. No, the protesters are not going to get to turn a bit of Seattle into some kind of alternative state. No, we’re not going to get rid of our police. But there is room for a lot of improvement in how we allocate resources and what we expect of police.

If I fall and break my arm, I don’t want them to send a policeman to set it. If I’m feeling down and thinking about killing myself, a cop isn’t best qualified to help. But if someone is trying to beat down my front door in the middle of the night…

My point is: for too long we’ve used our firemen and police as Swiss Army knives. We can do better.

Just so this post doesn’t end on a downer, let me introduce you to System Failure. These guys were good and I love that their instruments look like they’ve been through a war. I also loved the tuba solo version of La Vie en Rose.

The guy on the left is not with the band. He’s handing out free Rainier beer.

Want to help? My young neighbor Clara sent this photo of a sign posted at the Co-Op.

What to help, but don’t live in Seattle? Have some pizza delivered. This is a fun, practical and easy way to make life a little better for our young brothers and sisters who have been camped out in some pretty crummy weather.

You can go here and have the pies delivered to The East Precinct Police Station. They’ll find it. 🙂

Finally, for those of you still with me. You may have recognized the title of this post from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It seemed appropriate since I’ve received several concerned messages asking whether we are OK. Thanks for your concern and yes, it’s all good for now.


  1. Thank you so much, Mary Anne and Steve. This is amazing and eye-opening. I am glad for the Seattle mayor and how she is working on this. I’m very glad that you went there and showed us. I am going to send this on to some others!

    1. I had to smile when I listened to Trump ranting about how “desperate characters” had taken over “a huge part of Seattle”, blah, blah, blah. I doubt that he could find Seattle on a map.

  2. Thank you for an enlightening and uplifting view of what is actually going on in your neighborhood.

  3. Thank you for enlightening the situation in Seattle. In the german news, we can read about Trumps “desperate characters” but not so much of the sense and the reality of all the real american people, in CHAZ. I hope they will stay there for a longer time, to show the world, most of the american people have better visions than their president T. From berlin-view it resembles a little bit all the “free republics” we had in the 70th and 80th in Germany. But something has changed: now for supporting, you order the pizza by delivery service – what a modern idea! Steve and Mary Ann You are real correspondents of the daily Life! I think Fox-News will never do. Thank you! We are waiting for the next stories.

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