Apparently, those “brave, well clothed’ activists” are needed for campus clean-up. Seattle Central’s Broadway at Pine plaza was a hive of activity Friday as the deadline arrived for Occupy Seattle campers to vacate the area where they have been camping for six weeks. A giant pile of trash was being slowly worked down by a CleanScapes contractor as campers broke down tents, hauled trash, folded tables and raked leaves to clear the space now that an emergency rule banning campus has gone into effect at Seattle Central.
Despite a call for a “passive resistance” vigil (details below), Occupiers appeared to be diligently working on surrendering the southern end of campus back to the school. Police presence — save for a brief moment of excitement when a SPD motorcade cruised by on Broadway as part of a memorial procession — was extremely light.
With many of the campers homeless, city and school representatives were providing shelter and services information to some who had been living at the camp.
ORIGINAL POST AND UPDATES: It’s time to break camp. Friday is the deadline of a 72-hour notice period before school officials say the Occupy Seattle camp at Seattle Central Community College must be cleared.
UPDATE 12:54 PM: As of noon, the camp is busy with activity as campers haul trash to a large pile in the plaza as a CleanScapes hauler tries to keep up in emptying the dumpsters. Logistics like providing access to haul away the chemical toilets is being worked out. While plans remain for a 24-hour vigil, the camp organizers give every visible sign that a full clean-up and re-location is underway. END OF UPDATE
In a statement posted Thursday, school officials said they believe that many of the remaining campers are “chronically homeless” and said that the school has brought in City of Seattle outreach workers to inform Occupiers of shelter options. The statement also reinforces the Friday deadline message:
Throughout the last few weeks, we have kept appropriate authorities and agencies apprised of the situation on the campus. Starting Friday, we will be working more closely with them to determine appropriate next steps. Some of the campers have already left the grounds. Everyone wants to see this situation resolved peacefully, but it is up to Occupy Seattle to make this happen.
According to this notice posted to occupyseattle.org, Occupy Seattle is organizing a “24 hour Teach-in and Passive Resistance Vigil” starting on the campus at noon. “We especially need brave, well clothed activists from midnight to 8 in the morning,” the statement reads:
Occupy Seattle and faculty from SCCC are hosting a 24 hr teach-in and passive resistance vigil. We need students and peacekeepers around the clock from Noon Friday till Noon Saturday. At noon Saturday OS will have a rally, which leads into the 3:00pm march for non violence. The teach-in can only be successful with our participation. The Teach-in will start with “Civil Disobedience Training”. Other subjects include restorative justice, passive resistance, and much more. Please come support Occupy Seattle in four hour shifts from noon to 4, from 4-8, etc. We especially need brave, well clothed activists from midnight to 8 in the morning.
Temperatures are expected to top out in the low 40s today before dipping back into the low 30s tonight.
Earlier this week, school workers tied individual trespass notices to each tent remaining in the encampment at Broadway and Pine. Last Friday, the state won a legal skirmish brought by Occupy Seattle to challenge an emergency rule banning camping from SCCC property. That night, protesters took over a soon-to-be demolished building at 10th and Union prompting a SWAT raid in which 16 people were arrested.
Meanwhile, a representative for Occupy Seattle’s legal working group said Thursday that his group will be in court again Friday morning to ask a Thurston County judge to reconsider the emergency rule.