Lander, WY – Hot on the heels of the secession of six blocks of downtown Seattle two weeks ago to become the independent nation of CHAZ, several areas in and around of the small central Wyoming town of Lander split themselves off this morning to become their own nation. Inspired by the founding of CHAZ, a bunch of bored and mildly, maybe a little at least, discontented students and graduates simply took the idea for their own to form LAZ or the “Lander Autonomous Zone”.

Headed by WCC 2020 graduate Parker Eidle, who, like the popular band leader who founded and now rules CHAZ, was also looking for a job in town, the LAZ protestors simply set up wooden barricades, parked a few cars in the middle of streets, and set a few members on patrol to create their new “zone” which comprises several detached enclaves in and around Lander, focusing on Wyoming Catholic College school buildings and places students frequent, like the Methodist Thrift Shop (recently reopened).

Observers aren’t quite sure what the Lazistanis, as they are now called, want, or are looking for from their protest, but varying slogans have been heard chanted by an assembled crowd of a few dozen protestors throughout the day, who, under Pako, formalized the takeover/secession with some spraypainted cardboard street signs proclaiming “Welcome to LAZ”.

When IIT reporters we visited, we heard among others, chants of “Canada’s a Myth”, “Rights for Longboarders”, “Buy the Hotel”, and “We Love the KWAS”. “No real purpose unifies them, excelpt perhaps boredom and a little excitement to be back out on the street,” our chief political analyst Sophia Donaldson reports. “They’re mostly peaceful, but heavily armed,” she added.

LAZ comprises, as far as is currently known, five separate enclaves in and around Lander with a total area of around twenty-five acres although the situation may be changing rapidly on the ground according to Lander Police Department officials who report they are leaving the occupation/secession pretty much alone

While the WCC summer program PEAK is running this week, so far it has been mainly, and suprisingly unaffected so far by the protest/secession with LAZ leaders allowing PEAK students nearly completely unrestricted access to the school buildings

WCC has not yet made any official statement on the current situation. Although officials from the school privately admit to some concern they beleive the school will simply try to ignore the situation as long as possible in hopes the protestors (or should they be called nation-builders) get tired and abandon the project.

No response from LAZ founder Parker Eidle has yet been forthcoming.