A new autonomous zone, “The Free State of George Floyd,” has been cordoned off in Minneapolis around the area where Floyd died in May. There are no police officer or U.S. government officials allowed inside the newly autonomous state, but American citizen are encouraged to travel to the state, as the Free State of George Floyd largely depends on tourism.

The Free State of George Floyd was set up last Friday, now encompasses a few blocks surrounding the place of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, going from E 37th and 39th streets north and south, and Columbus Avenue and Elliot Avenue east and west.

Road blocks are in place at the intersections at the entrance of the zone, for the purposes of stopping the police entering and exiting, with signs proclaiming that people are “entering the Free State of George Floyd,” when they pass through the barriers.

The area directly around the death site of Floyd has also seemingly be renamed “George Floyd Memorial Square,” in a sign near the entrance. It dictates “guidelines” for cyclists to follow when entering the zone. “As a guest in this sacred space, you have a responsibility to respect the community you are entering,” the sign reads, instructing cyclists to “prioritise space for BIPOC community members and visitors.”

There are is now a permanent memorial for Floyd set up by protestors, covered with local “art.” A YouTube video uploaded by “middleside topwise,” claims that residents have petitioned the city to keep the memorial there. “This whole occupation is here to stay. It’s not just a temporary occupation,” the camera person claims.

This is not the first “autonomous zone” of its kind to pop up in the US following the death of Floyd and the recent Black Lives Matter riots. The most notable was CHAZ or CHOP, featured in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. The zone lasted for 22 days before police shut it down, during which time it was run by a rapper-turned warlord, Raz Simone, and multiple murders had taken place within its borders.

Harrison and Tom Pappert remember all the highlights from CHAZ and what we can learn from its lessons.

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