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Posts tagged: Occupy Olympia

State ‘unoccupies’ park

OLYMPIA — Protesters who set up an “Occupy Olympia” encampment in a park below the Capitol Campus were evicted overnight. But a handful broke into an abandonned building a few blocks away in a brief effort to try establishing “squatters rights.”

Police surrounded the building, but didn't immediately move to evict protesters, who set up a tent in the parking lot, hung signs down the side of the old Thurston County Health Building and continued to move in and out through a door in the roof.

Eventually, all protesters left the building without incident.

Leon Janssen, a commercial painter and part-time student who had spent the last two months at the encampment, said the protest would continue, just not in the park. Some protesters who have nowhere else to go may move to unoccupied or foreclosed buildings, he said.

Demonstrators will hold general assembly meetings every Sunday afternoon in the Capitol Rotunda, Janssen said.

The state Department of Enterprise Services erected temporary fences around the encampment and state workers started gathering up tents and other items left behind when protesters were evicted.

State to Olympia ‘occupiers’: Leave park by midnight

The Occupy Olympia encampment last week in Heritage Park.

OLYMPIA — Members of Occupy Olympia, who have be encamped in Heritage Park below the Capitol Building for about three months, must leave by midnight, a state agency said today.

Protesters have set up tents, signs and even a display of Christmas lights in the shape of their signature numeric designation “99%” in the park near Capitol Lake. Today the Department of Enteprise Services said the protesters must clear out by 12:01 a.m. Friday.

“The current activity at Heritage Park is no longer sustainable,” Turner said. “We also recognize that some individuals who have been staying at the park need assistance. We have contacted local non-profit organizations that provide that kind of help.”

Occupy Olympia protesters joined demonstrations against proposed budget cuts in the early days of the special session but stayed away after the first week.

At a press conference this morning, Gov. Chris Gregoire said the state had allowed protesters a chance to exercise their First Amendment rights, and unlike other states and cities “weh have not used tear gas or mace.”

But she declined to say whether the State Patrol, which showed restraint in evicting protesters from the Capitol rotunda on the first day of the special session, might resort to more forceful means if people stay beyond the deadlilne.

“Now it's time for them to go home,” Gregoire said, adding that when she looks out from the Governor's Mansion every night “I can't worry that these people are going to freeze to death.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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