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Cal Anderson sweep — Day 2: Police in the park, outreach update, graffiti removal, and plans for adding ‘ongoing connection to social services’ — UPDATE

Work crews clear the park Friday (With permission to CHS)

After a Friday raid and sweep to clear remaining campers and activists and the first day of work in what city officials say will be a weeks-long effort for Seattle Parks to clean and reopen the park, Seattle Police maintained a late night presence in Cal Anderson including a cruiser parked on the Bobby Morris turf. Overnight brought no reports of significant efforts from activists to reenter the space. A large group of protesters was reported in the area.


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CHS coverage of Friday’s Cal Anderson sweep is here including reports on the more than 20 arrests, the SWAT clearance of a nearby house occupation, and Mayor Jenny Durkan’s efforts to justify the clearance due to public safety concerns and after what the city says has been an intensive homelessness outreach effort to break up the encampments during the ongoing pandemic — despite CDC guidelines

City officials are telling media that 51 people living unhoused at the park have accepted shelter referrals, hotel vouchers, “and services at the park” and city staff have reportedly offered resources “to virtually every individual experiencing homelessness.”

Preliminary data from service providers include the following referrals:  

·        8 villages 

·        6 youth and young adult shelters 

·        32 hotels 

·        3 basic adult 

·        2 unknown location (REACH) 

·        Assisted one individual to return to Olympia 

The city says it is storing “32 clear bags full of belongings (clothes, personal items, shoes, radios, etc.).” Property and belongings, the city says, can be retrieved by calling (206) 459-9949.

Saturday’s work in the park will focus on “graffiti removal and repairing/cleaning play equipment.”

“Cleaning and maintenance work will continue for many weeks, as there is extensive damage to the shelter house and the restroom on site,” the city said in a Friday night update.

Beyond Cal Anderson, Seattle Parks is also trying to manage the COVID-19 crisis and its burdens on the city’s public spaces. Smaller encampments in Capitol Hill parks including Williams Place and at the Miller Community Center field are still in place following outreach and clean-up activities. A parks spokesperson tells CHS reports of a sweep at Miller were not true. “Parks and Recreation staff staged vehicles at Miller that were to be used at Cal Anderson, but there is no encampment removal at Miller Park,” the spokesperson told CHS.

Officials have responded to criticism and concerns that this latest Cal Anderson sweep will not stick after previous clearance efforts have quickly been undone and as the living needs for unhoused people in Seattle continue to be a challenge to meet.

The city’s statement says Seattle Parks and Recreation “will begin to bring activation efforts of art, music, ongoing connection to social services, community work parties, and recreation opportunities to the park, along with installation of community supported lighting” to Cal Anderson.

City Hall’s acknowledgement of calls for investment in real “mutual aid” solutions — permanently — at the park could be a sign that there will be at least discussion of maintaining outreach and services in Cal Anderson which continues to be part of the core of the city’s unhoused communities.

Friday, participants said a previously scheduled teleconference to discuss efforts to add activities in the park to try to break the camp and clearance cycle went on as planned despite Friday’s sweep.


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CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago

“Cal Anderson continues to be part of the core of unhoused communities.” Really? A year ago there were no tents. The encampment of activists and drug addicts is a direct consequence of the power vacuum created by CHOP. I am so tired of the false framing.

Travis
Travis
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

Agreed. The issues at Cal Anderson all started during CHOP, and it’s been a flash point since. A resident of Seattle for the past 20 years, I have lived one block away from the park since 2008. I’ve seen this disaster take hold our of community over the past six months. Sure we’ve had an occasional tent go up from time to time, but nothing that comes close to what we have been witnessing the past several months.

Nick R
Nick R
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

Yeah, this framing is a bit weird / non-neutral.

The Jungle, parts of the ID/Pioneer Square, etc all make up that core. Or if we’re specifically talking about the hill, perhaps 15th/John or even the Olive/Melrose I-5 on-ramp? Those are places that have been used by unhoused communities for years.

Like you say, significant camping in the park (besides the odd tent or two) was not common until this year. Perhaps it’s a new part of the core now, but an unfamiliar reader might incorrectly be convinced it’s been so for years.

Raphael Ladero
Raphael Ladero
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

How do you know that? Did you do a tent census? Persons experiencing homelessness do not fit your privileged, elitist stereotype. Stop spreading false narratives that seek to oppress and marginalize your neighbors. You are on the wrong side of history.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

I know because last winter I went for a walk in Cal Anderson every night. The park was in good shape last year and this spring. The Parks Department had even started some long overdue maintenance such as edging the paths. It was and could be a wonderful park again. I miss going there, particularly on these short winter days to get a bit of fresh air. It is depressing to see the neighborhood trashed and Cal Anderson park privatized by “activists” and the drug addicts that moved up from the Jungle during CHOP.

Tom
Tom
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Ah yes, the history books will definitely favor the people who wanted the homeless to live in unsanitary conditions in the park, rather than be offered hotels, tiny homes, and other safer housing options. /s

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Nobody gave black bloc kids the right to steal our park. You don’t live here or contribute anything but false protest and divisive BS. You cause people to support SPD out of necessity. You are so far up your own rhetoric to see it.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Actually living in this neighborhood and observing it is not a false narrative…. I’ve lived here for around 25 years, and I can unequivocally tell you that it is not false that tents in Cal Anderson has never been common, not until CHOP/CHAZ.

Travis
Travis
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Sorry you have a history of anger and delusion. Keep up the bully tactics though. It’s really working.

Mimi
Mimi
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

It’s pretty telling that people are responding to your satire as if you are serious. This is the kind of rhetoric spewed at our community so often that people think it is the real thing. Take note activists, this is how you sound..

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

If he’s posting satire, he needs to try a lot harder to make that clear…. we’ve all been hearing entirely serious people saying the exact same stuff for too long now….

stan
stan
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Virtue signal harder, Bruh! Harder! You almost made it to the land of make-believe.

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

They said they lived adjacent to Cal Anderson park. Long term residents are out in our neighborhoods daily. We know what changes and when.

Mimi
Mimi
2 months ago

Thanks Justin. I watched Friday’s Converge Update Show. I agree with you that the providing long-term services in the park could be a step in the right direction. Are you aware that the church across from the park has been serving free meals to people in need for years? They have stopped recently because they no longer feel safe. Please don’t minimize safety concerns of neighbors. Many of us are trying to be part of the solution. Our perspectives and concerns often get ignored, minimized and/or demonized by some of the local press and the activists. We often get lumped in with developers and accused of all being rich and NIMBYs. That’s far from the truth. I know for a fact that some neighbors of Cal Anderson went into the park, talked to our homeless neighbors and connected them with shelter this week. This was done quietly all while the activists were building blockades and occupying a house in the neighborhood.

Raphael Ladero
Raphael Ladero
2 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Your comments constitute a direct, violent attack on vulnerable people with diverse experiences. The reason people don’t feel safe serving meals at the church is because of roving gangs of police that roll out of the East Precinct every night to murder, rape, loot, burn and pillage our community. Any discussion or comment that does not acknowledge the need for an immediate, 50% defunding of police, followed by a gradual abolition of all police and prisons, is on the wrong side of history. You are on the wrong side of history.

Jason
Jason
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Lol

Brian N.
Brian N.
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

This cat has def nailed the Onion-esque prose by satirically pointing out the absurdity of some of the protesters most radical beliefs. Well played.

Tom
Tom
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Lol, Poe’s law in full effect with Raphael’s comment.

Travis
Travis
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

There have been long lines of folks waiting outside the church without incident for year. Funny how your version of the truth is so brand new and false.

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Go sell the radical rhetoric to your buddies on social media. We are fed up with it. Give us our park back you BS peddling fake Revolutionary.

CD Rez
CD Rez
2 months ago
Reply to  Raphael Ladero

Give me a break. Lol

caphiller
caphiller
2 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Thank you Mimi for your voice of reason here, and for your and fellow residents’ outreach to the campers.

stan
stan
2 months ago

“130 houseless people have died in Seattle this year. 20+ allies were arrested today defending the houseless”

“Preliminary data from service providers include the following referrals:  
·        8 villages 
·        6 youth and young adult shelters 
·        32 hotels 
·        3 basic adult 
·        2 unknown location (REACH) 
·        Assisted one individual to return to Olympia”

Sounds like the sweep did more to house and keep the houseless safe than the “allies” ever could.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago
Reply to  stan

Not sure where they are getting that data… I found a list of 118 people who’ve died, presumed homeless, in *all of King County* many (if not most) of whom could have possibly been helped by involuntary treatment for drug/mental health problems… Only a very few died from the consequences of simply being outside – 1 hypothermia, 1 pneumonia, 2 burns.

stan
stan
2 months ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

Yeah, I don’t know where their data comes from either. But hyperbole and sensationalism make for a more dramatic message in their minds, I guess.

Moving On
Moving On
2 months ago

Actually, the CDC guidance says not to clear encampments if you can’t offer a socially distanced option.

Nearly 50 people were given safe indoor arrangements – motel rooms, tiny homes, shelter with a door that closes.

In what world is this not a better solution than living in the park? When we talk about expanding tiny house villages and building more shelter everyone supports it, but suddenly it’s a problem when people can get into it?

This is a win-win. This is a good thing for everyone.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  Moving On

“In what world is this not a better solution than living in the Park?”

In the upside-down world created by the zealots on the Seattle City Council. Like their anarchist allies that have co-opted the park, they use the homeless as political pawns. If they are in shelters, they are less visible and thus less effective to advance an ideological agenda.

DEFUNDNOW
DEFUNDNOW
2 months ago

What does the Seattle PD feel the need to TERRORIZE innocent people who are down on their luck, especially now at a time when so there are so many more homeless due to the pandemic. A disproportionate amount of these people are from marginalized communities who our city has done NOTHING to protect. So many comments from those of privilege its disheartening.. DEFUND SPD NOW and divert those funds to assisting those who are most at need!

Nick W
Nick W
2 months ago
Reply to  DEFUNDNOW

Let’s divert some funding from SPD, continue funding homelessness services, continue providing safe indoor shelter options as we did this time, and clean up our parks. We can do all of those things without extremist politics and mindlessly screaming at each other in all caps.

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  DEFUNDNOW

Hackneyed slogans in all caps are not going to solve systemic issues. Letting a bunch of teenagers from Kirkland and drug vagrants take over the park isn’t either.

csy
csy
2 months ago

Not-too-off-topic:

Overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the
173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far.

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Overdose-deaths-far-outpace-COVID-19-deaths-in-15816356.php

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  csy

The drugs addicts and mentally ill have migrated and been pushed to Seattle and other tolerant-to-the-point-of-absurd cities on the west coast from all over the country for years. The activist class that uses Seattle for their theatre either doesn’t see this or benefits from it. People like Sawant don’t want to lift everyone up. On the contrary, they want it to get worse and be highly visible so it fuels the Marxist revolution. During CHOP there was a major migration of encampments up to the Hill from the jungle overnight. I believe that it happened with assistance from Sawant’s army of zealots. They saw it as an opportunity to build strength of numbers for the occupation, intersectional politics (thereby co-opting and drowning out the BLM message as their own), and creating cover for illegal activities. They knew that the city didn’t have the political will to move a “houseless” encampment during covid, and that they could blend in and use Cal Anderson Park as a base so they could dress up like ninjas, put on a cloak of self-righteousness, and attack the neighborhood with impunity. After several assaults, threats, a murder suicide, fires, and millions of dollars damage to the park, utility infrastructure, and neighborhood businesses, including BIPOC-owned businesses, and the setting up of markets for stolen bikes and catalytic converters, the city and neighborhood had finally had enough. Hopefully more people from the neighborhood will start to speak up to break the ideological fever that has settled over Seattle. We want are park, neighborhood and city back.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago
Reply to  CHqueer

Yours is an excellent comment, and a very accurate summary of what has happened in our city and our neighborhood. I wonder what the total price tag is for the destruction that the “activists” (aka far-left criminals) have inflicted on us with their nefarious activities. I know it’s ALOT!

CHqueer
CHqueer
2 months ago
Reply to  csy

I would also like to add a suggestion for neighborhood resistance against black bloc. When the larpers walk by in their ninja outfits, throw tomatoes and eggs at them from the roofs of our apartment buildings to make it clear that the residents of Capitol Hill will not be intimidated and that we want them to go home to their neighborhoods and suburbs.