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SPD sweeps Cal Anderson to clear homeless encampments and protesters from park — UPDATE

(Image: Matt Mitgang)

Chief Diaz and Seattle Police officers sweep the encampment at Cal Anderson Park, on Friday, December 18 2020. (Tom Walsh/CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Seattle Police in riot gear and accompanied by armored vehicles and chainsaws to cut through makeshift barriers entered Cal Anderson Park Friday morning starting just before 8 AM in a sweep anticipated for days but met with little resistance.

Campers scrambled to clear tents and activists gathered to protect the park camps and protest for homelessness services and rights recorded police movements and shouted at officers to stop the sweep. Activists have vowed to continue to hold space in the area — if not in Cal Anderson, in a nearby house destined for demolition around the corner on E Denny.

Bicycle police pursued one group of black bloc marching in protest from the park on 12th Ave and moved into position near the yellow squat house.


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(Image: CHS)

Police surrounded the house and deployed a SWAT team to make entry. After a long standoff with police attempting to hail anybody inside the structure, the entry team entered the property but did not appear to find anyone inside.

Meanwhile, the protester signs and banners from the house were torn down as activists fled the area.

Activists and black bloc protesters did their best to fill the park Wednesday, the city’s deadline for clearing the area after what it says has been an intensive outreach effort to offer homeless campers shelter across the city. Police circled and patrolled the area of the occupied protest but did not enter the park to engage with protesters Wednesday and overnight into Thursday.

Activists and organizers point to CDC guidelines against sweeps during the COVID-19 crisis and the city’s lack of adequate shelter space. Others say sweeping in the middle of winter only days before Christmas is especially cruel.

Friday’s sweep follows a federal court decision Thursday denying a temporary restraining order to halt the clearance of the park on personal property and civil rights grounds. In the session, lawyers for the city argued that outreach efforts have been successful but that “a number of individuals are refusing to leave” for “extremely complicated political issues.”

Seattle Parks says “a multi-day intensive maintenance and cleaning project” at Cal Anderson will follow the clearance.

Parks officials say workers have been threatened with violence and “recent regular SPR maintenance efforts have been met with threats of physical violence.”

SPD interim Chief Adrian Diaz was on hand for the large SPD deployment.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office says city-contracted outreach workers have been conducting “needs assessments, identifying potential service connections, making referrals for those interested in shelter, and offering support to help individuals voluntarily relocate from the park” and that there were “more than 60 shelters beds available, which included youth shelter (basic and enhanced), tiny homes, and adult shelter (basic and enhanced)” on Wednesday.

The city also says organizations including LEAD, LIHI, and the Urban League have been at the park “offering resources including hotel rooms and tiny homes.”

“At Cal Anderson, City-contracted outreach workers have been conducting needs assessments, identifying potential service connections, making referrals for those interested in shelter, and offering support to help individuals voluntarily relocate from the park,” an update on the situation sent by the mayor’s office to nearby property owners and businesses reads.

We are still receiving updates from our outreach providers today, but they have shared with the Human Services Department’s HOPE Team there have been 17 shelter or hotel referrals, at least eight individuals relocating from the park, and one individual returning to Olympia.

City officials have also said that, before the sweep, approximately 10% of people remaining in the park were “unhoused.”

Meanwhile, as of Friday morning, smaller encampments in Capitol Hill parks including Williams Place and at the Miller Community Center field were still in place following outreach and clean-up activities. UPDATE: A parks spokesperson said reports of a sweep at Miller were erroneous. “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.

CHS reported here on the city’s order posted Monday morning to clear the park after months of closure, protests, and camping in the wake of the CHOP occupied protest and Black Lives Matter rallies and marches. Police say one person was arrested after pushing an officer during Monday’s attempts to post notice of the order.

The action also comes as the city says property owners, community groups, and businesses have called for Seattle Parks to reopen Cal Anderson and bring an end to its months as a center of unrest.

Late Thursday night, campers and activists reported a molotov cocktail attack from someone in a passing car burned a vehicle parked on the east side of the park. There were no reported injuries.

We do not yet have arrest report information from Friday’s sweep and there were no immediate reports of injuries. UPDATE: CHS witnessed four arrests and have details about at least three to four more people being taken into custody. SPD reports 10 arrests as of around 10 AM. UPDATE: There are now 21 confirmed arrests. UPDATE 5:40 PM: SPD reports three more arrests bringing the total to 24 confirmed. Those arrested have been booked for investigation of charges including obstructing, trespass, and property destruction. “Parks Department employees have concluded their clean up of Cal Anderson Park for the day,” the SPD update reads.

We asked Seattle Parks what their plan was for the weekend and if SPD has been asked to remain at the park. A spokesperson did not respond to the SPD inquiry but said camping and “illegal fires” are prohibited in Cal Anderson and “will be enforced moving forward.”

“City employees will be continue to be present at the Park in the coming days as the City tries to reopen the park,” she said. “Service providers will also continue to offer shelter and services, including available shelter.”

A person being arrested is carried by police (Image: CHS)

The aftermath of a heated moment after a man pulled a knife on protesters north of Cal Anderson (Image: CHS)

A tense situation also played out in the streets north of the park where black bloc protesters tangled with a man recording video of the SPD arrest van and a standoff with police on the edge of the park. When the man pulled a knife on one activist during an argument, nearly 20 black bloc swung into action to surround him and force the man to back down. The crackle of a readied stun gun could be heard as the large contingent of police held their line and the situation around the arrest area calmed.

But within minutes, the situation in the area again escalated and police moved in, reportedly firing rubber bullets and making several arrests.

It’s not yet clear how Seattle Parks and SPD will keep Cal Anderson clear of tents and mutual aid efforts after any sweep. In recent clearances, activists and campers quickly returned — sometimes within hours. Parks says it plans a three-day clean-up in Cal Anderson once the park is cleared and is beginning plans for neighborhood and community-led work sessions after New Year’s to try to reactivate the park once it is officially reopened.

UPDATE 10:40 AM: The city has released a statement on the morning’s sweep. “The City has urged individuals to come inside to safer spaces over the last nine days,” it reads. “City contracted service providers have been offering shelter, hotel vouchers, and services at the park and reported to offer these resources to virtually every individual experiencing homelessness.  Outreach providers have offered resources such as hotel vouchers, 24/7 enhanced shelters, tiny home villages, and flexible funding for individuals, which at least 20 individuals have accepted.”

The full statement is below:

Mayor Durkan believes our City can have mutually shared values: individuals experiencing homelessness should be in safer spaces like shelters and hotels especially during the winter, and our parks should not be places with illegal and unsafe conduct like fires, makeshift barricades blocking access to residents and first responders, or individuals who are threatening city workers conducting routine maintenance and breaking into city facilities.

Last night, SFD Engine 25 responded to 1635 11th Ave. at 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 17 for a fire in a vehicle (Jeep Liberty). Fire investigators responded and determined the fire was intentionally set by an incendiary device which was thrown into the vehicle and ignited nearby combustibles.

At approximately 7:35 am, City departments arrived at Cal Anderson Park. Because of the recent threats, City staff were joined by SPD to secure the area. The area was secured by 8:15 am.

Most individuals left the park without incident. A small group of individuals remained at the park, and SPD can provide additional information regarding those incidents.

Around 8:15 am, City workers began cleaning the park. Because of the condition of the park, the City Departments expect it will take 6-8 hours to begin initial cleaning efforts to remove makeshift barricades, secure city facilities, clear hazards like needles, and remove large debris, garbage, and trash. Additional work will be expected to continue in the days to follow. You can find initial photos of the conditions of the Park here[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Per the request of a homeowner, SPD also secured a house occupied by activists without incident.

The City has urged individuals to come inside to safer spaces over the last nine days. City contracted service providers have been offering shelter, hotel vouchers, and services at the park and reported to offer these resources to virtually every individual experiencing homelessness.  Outreach providers have offered resources such as hotel vouchers, 24/7 enhanced shelters, tiny home villages, and flexible funding for individuals, which at least 20 individuals have accepted.

For any individual experiencing homelessness, please call 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-9274.  Belongings – such as IDs and personal items – still within the park will be stored in accordance with City policy, and individuals have been given information on how to retrieve their belongings. The City’s storage policy is available here.

Cal Anderson remains closed, but the City intends to reopen the park soon.

UPDATE 12/19/20 5:00 AM:  Seattle Police maintained a late night presence 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.

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 can be retrieved by calling (206) 459-9949.

The city says 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.

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.


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T in Capitol Hill
T in Capitol Hill
2 months ago

How about nightly cleanups so this doesn’t just start up again? Without regular daily enforcement, we’ll just be discussing the same thing again in March 2021 and every 2-4 months thereafter.

LetsGo
LetsGo
2 months ago

Definitely – or bring back the video cameras to keep an eye on the park.

Gordo
Gordo
2 months ago

Yes please

Ralph Macdonald
Ralph Macdonald
2 months ago

Good idea

Moving On
Moving On
2 months ago

Let’s try another framing.

Seattle provides shelter to those living outside while beginning an intensive park clean up that will restore Cal Anderson for public use.

CaringSeattle
CaringSeattle
2 months ago
Reply to  Moving On

Agreed the goal should be: help those who are unsheltered find shelter (tiny home, properly spaced shelter beds, hotels) and allow the public safe and clean use of our public parks. Nice job with the reframing.

Derek
Derek
2 months ago
Reply to  CaringSeattle

So they can turn those into drug dens, crack houses, and a more permanent version of these parks that suck money faster than a defense department contract? No thanks. You either prove you want and need to better yourself, or you are not allowed to camp anywhere in city grounds.

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
2 months ago

Pathetic and shameful; The only 2 options our society has to offer.

Derek
Derek
2 months ago

You’re obsessed with shame. Shaming other people, feeling shame yourself. Get over it. You don’t get unlimited chances in society, and we live in one of the richest and safest countries, in the safest most peaceful time, in one of the most economically prosperous times to ever exist.

stan
stan
2 months ago

Except for the offer of shelter that many of the homeless in the park took advantage of. But, that doesn’t fit into your use of the homeless as human shields for your political agenda; does it? Pathetic and shameful indeed.

Tim Westinghouse
Tim Westinghouse
2 months ago

You do know that these folks were offered assistance and shelter right? When people are offered help and they decline, it’s not a housing issue. It’s an addiction issue. City-sponsored housing means no drug time.

Wealth is disgusting
Wealth is disgusting
2 months ago

Maybe the bill should be sent to the Sackler family?

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
2 months ago

Headline: Multiple Ghosts Visit Sleeping Mayor Durkan Ahead of Christmas Holiday

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
2 months ago

Yeah – she’s just horrible, offering those homeless people an indoor place to stay and cleaning up a park. HOW DARE SHE.

HTS3
HTS3
2 months ago
Reply to  Pork Watcher

Just curious. This statement from the City Council representative says that the City doesn’t have shelter options for all the people in the park, yet an article yesterday said that only 10% of the people sleeping in the park were actually needing housing. Hmmm. So that would certainly decrease the amount of housing needed. I wonder if the city does have enough for the truly in need population. Then the rest of the people could actually go back to where they are from.

Moving On
Moving On
2 months ago
Reply to  HTS3

The City said they had 50 beds available. They’re the ones who actually have access to the shelter data and hold the contracts with providers.

Where’s Councilmember Mosqueda getting her information and why should we believe she’s in a better position to know how many beds there are?

Peter
Peter
2 months ago

I have an excellent idea. The people who are protesting the opening of Cal Anderson Park to us neighbors numbering in the thousands, lets pay them $500 per month to house one homeless person in their homes, or their neighborhoods. It would be an inexpensive way to solve the homeless encampments happening throughout the city. Let those who want to destroy our neighborhood – Capitol Hill – take action while earning some money and doing a good deed.

The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
The Ghostt Of Capitol Hill
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

Or they could just stay at the park which is really the only solution and requires the least amount of effort and is far less dangerous than sending paramilitary in “remove them” (meaning puff their chests out while people yell at them, shake up the situation temporarily while we all comment on a blog and then everyone just comes back to the park because, spoiler alert.. they never had anywhere to go so they came to the park!)

The park.. The solution that has already shown itself.. is the park.

Peter
Peter
2 months ago

The park is not the solution but your house and your neighborhood is a start. Please invite a homeless person to stay there. As commentators have stated, our neighborhood is for living and not a neighborhood for destruction. The homeless in the Park are causing a dangerous situation with fires, hygiene, and crime. Our neighborhood is being destroyed by people bent on destruction and violence, all caused by whites. As the attorney for BLM has stated, these “bozos” should all be arrested and thrown in jail and the whites have used the BLM to promote their agendas. It has been like this for centuries; the whites could care less about African-Americans and by their destructive actions, they are hurting the movement for black rights. So, Ghostt, if you are one of these whites that are destroying the BLM movement, please desist from doing so.

Ghosst, please volunteer to house a homeless person. For $500 per month, as someone else has stated, it is cheaper to do this than destroy a neighborhood and park. Looking it another way, should we allow a neighborhood of thousands to be destroyed by allowing 50 homeless people that are presenting a health hazard and danger to everyone living around them?

So, the solution starts with you, Ghostt, please invite a homeless person to live with you. Instead of creating problems, be part of the solution if you really care about housing the homeless. Start with just one person, that is all that is needed.

Debbie
Debbie
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

A woman in our apartment complex she was (61) lost her husband and then because she had been an alcoholic for many years she almost lost her liver while spending 10 days in a hospital. We barely knew her, but were asked to take care of her dog while she was gone even though her adult son was home. He could not be trusted. They got an eviction notice, The son took her truck and moved out leaving her there sick. It was winter and had just snowed. My very giving sister invited her to stay with us..giving her one of our bedrooms to use. We live in a small 2 bedroom apt. and were barely making our bills. We drove her places to fill out forms for public assistance until her husbands social security check came and another pension check. While there her very big dog bit me one day on my hand and leg pretty badly. Come to find out he had done it before. I basically started confining myself to my bedroom now. She chose to put her dog to sleep, but of course I was made to feel like it was my fault. I kept asking her if she had heard from SSI or anyone else. She was very evasive. It was now 3 months she had been here and she did not seem to be making any progress to move. At the 5 month mark while she was gone with my sister I noticed a bunch of papers spread open on her bed so I went in to see if they were from SSI. I was totally unprepared for what I saw…she now had 10,000 in her bank account from all the back pay she had been receiving. She had been buying $60.00 lunches for herself and her son plus buying him plane tickets to fly to see his ex girlfriend, Yet she had not offered us any money towards our bills and she had not told us she heard from SSI. My sister did not believe me and was mad at me looking through her papers. This lady was only supposed to be here for 6 weeks and never bothered to go looking for a place. I had to ask her again about the SSI. She knew that she had to tell the truth because I kept offering to help her call them about it. She was getting more money a month than both my sister and I combined. I then asked her to split the rent three ways. She was not happy and kept making excuses to pay me less. I knew she was lying but she did not know I knew. This went on for two more months. She finally realized that I meant business and she found a place to move..9 months after we took her in. I told her that before she left I would need the back rent she owed. She tried to lie to me again about how poor she was and I told her to just quit lying and pay me which she did. *So the purpose of this long story is that you have to realize that behind the addiction there is a reason why people are homeless. It is important to make them comfortable but they must commit to being responsible and start a new way of life. Being homeless and on drugs is not the answer to living.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago
Reply to  Debbie

Your story is a classic example of an addict (alcoholic) who is dishonest, irresponsible, and manipulative….and this is true of almost all addicts. Nothing they say can be trusted. And good luck getting them to start a new life, which can only happen through inpatient treatment, which many of them reject. So, what is the answer? Mandatory treatment!

HTS3
HTS3
2 months ago

Hmmm. So you claim that they never had anywhere else to go, except the park. An article yesterday stated that only 10% of the folks camping in the park are actually without housing. And that these people have been offered housing. So I know you love to talk about the police being a paramilitary unit. I guess if I was being asked to go into a situation, to enforce the law, and people were likely to be throwing things at me, most of which would be hard, some of which might be on fire, I might dress appropriately. I know you use the word “shame” a lot in your comments. I think it’s a waste of a good word to use it so often that it starts to not mean much of anything. Now when you say it, I don’t feel it nearly as much.

Ralph Macdonald
Ralph Macdonald
2 months ago

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re the problem

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago

No. You and your Anarchy cohort do not get to demand we surrender city property to your LARP Socialist agenda. Leave and don’t return.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  C Doom

No, you. Idaho is nice this time of year for folks like you.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago

“Leave them outside’ is a breathtakingly cruel take.

caphiller
caphiller
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

Plus, I imagine $500/mo (over even $1000/mo) is much less than the cost of housing someone in a shelter or hotel…

Dan
Dan
2 months ago

Look, I care about the homeless and recognize that we are dealing with a dire situation here. I think if the shelters are full, the homeless should be allowed to camp in certain parks in business districts such as Denny Park and other downtown locations.

But Cal Anderson is a residential neighborhood. Activists keep pretending the residents simply don’t like the look of the homeless in the park, but that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that between the homeless and the activists, there has basically been an endless amount of screaming, and explosions, and pots and pan banging, and helicopters, and cops yelling through megaphones, and glass breaking, for seven freaking months now, and you are driving the people who live here freaking insane.

Do you know how many times I have had to apologize to my co-workers because of all the noise you are making in the background during my work meetings? Do you know how many sleepless nights you have caused me during my work week with your late night parades down my side street, or how many people clearly suffering from drug induced and/or mental health crises have stood outside my house at 3 or 4am screaming terrifying threats at invisible enemies? You have made me feel unsafe for more than half a year, and it has nothing to do with the look, it has to do with your actions. You are making our living situation untenable, and we are rightfully upset about that. If only you could extend some of the empathy you have for others to us.

Classic
Classic
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

You do know there are people that live around Denny park too right? Your idea to just move them away from your house is pretty funny though! Glad you kinda care about the homeless but really only enough to get them tf out of ur sight.

Classic

Classic
Classic
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Guys we need to be empathetic to Dan’s crisis. His zoom meetings are getting to loud! We need to think about Dan more. Just Dan, nobody else.

Dan
Dan
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

You know what’s classic? The fact that you and your anarchist buddies can only afford to be anarchists because you have rich parents who can pay your bail. Jacob Greenburg can afford to break all the stuff he wants while his mommy pays his $20,000 bail from her fancy Kirkland home.

Ralph Macdonald
Ralph Macdonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Right!

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

LOL yum yum yum this right wing narrative sure is tasty! Almost as good as boots!

Daily reminder: Culp lost.

Classic
Classic
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

lol I am not an anarchist. Just because I think pushing folks out of a park where they have literally no where else to go makes me an anarchist. Get a grip Jack. I mean don.

Dan
Dan
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

Pretty ironic, huh? Anarchist children keep getting sprung from jail thanks to their capitalist parents. Some principles you’ve got there.

stan
stan
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

Guys we need to be empathetic to the “activists’” crisis. Their protests aren’t getting as much exposure now that folks are bored with their antics. We need to think about the “activists’” need for attention and their using of a vulnerable group as human shields more. Just the “activists” (and their opinions), nobody else.

There fixed your comment for you.

Troy
Troy
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

Classic, f off. I’m sorry someone’s ability to have mental health in their home that they pay for is not of concern to you. We are in a time in which mental health is key for all. Dan’s vocational choices do not merit your scoffing and your dream world that corporations dont exist. How about this? How about the frontline medical worker who lives at the corner and is subject to this noise after their night shift helping to save lives and comfort loves ones from the losses of COVID? Is that okay for you? How about the service workers in the community who are in the job hunt and dont need the added stress?

There’s been a firework nearly every night in the park for the last 7 months. The anarchists cant say they are being neighborly while being disruptive.

Classic
Classic
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy

Never said I have a dream world where corps done exist buddy. I’m actually a CPA and CFA so I actually quite support capitalism. Don’t speak out of your rump, Troy.

C Doom
C Doom
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

How dare he try and have a normal life.

Kiddo
Kiddo
2 months ago
Reply to  Classic

I am empathetic to Dan’s crisis :)

Mimi
Mimi
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Exactly right and it continues. For the last few hours the anarchists have been blasting extremely loud music at the north end of the park – right in front of a building that is LOW INCOME HOUSING. They are literally terrorizing the residents of a low income housing apartment building *and the rest of the neighborhood) while claiming to fight for the rights of people who need housing. Get it?

Another thing I want to draw attention to is that all over social media the activists are portraying the people in the park as victims when it comes to the city clearing the park and tossing their possessions. The fact is that the city gave them 48 hours to vacate. If they wanted to save their possessions they could have packed them up and left the park.

KinesthesiaAmnesia
KinesthesiaAmnesia
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan, do you know how many times I have had to apologize to my co-workers because of all the noise people from Denny Park were making in the background during *my*
work meetings? I thought I was going to lose my job over that also losing sleep because of screaming and breaking glass every night, and now I kinda wonder if I did.

Even though it looks a little abandoned nowadays, the neighborhood surrounding Denny Park is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods after Capitol Hill. And unlike the residents of Capitol Hill, residents on northern edge of downtown don’t have much or any arboretums and natural environments to walk through. Denny Park is (was?) it. Not to mention the violent crime and theft rings based out of Denny Park that have hammered the neighborhood with impunity.

But my own BS aside, nobody should be getting dumped and left to die in any of our parks. That includes Denny Park.

CH Resident
CH Resident
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

You’re not alone, Dan, keep the faith, my friend. This won’t last forever. You’re not a bad person for wanting to see a resolution to this crisis and I hope that the self-centered jerks being awful to you for posting this don’t get you down.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago
Reply to  CH Resident

+1 That was a really nice thing to post, CHR. Empathy is the only thing that is going to get us through all this BS.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Muh work meetings! And who is “You”? People who have a shitty hand in life? A lack of work meetings?

kathy
kathy
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Dan, I completely understand your concerns and frustration and I empathize with you. Things have spun so far out of control in Seattle (especially Capitol Hill) that some including our city “leaders” as well as protesters, homeless campers, drug addicts, mentally ill persons etc. etc. etc. apparently think endlessly discussing whether the law should continue to be broken is the way forward. Anarchy reigns on Capitol Hill while the neighborhood is destroyed. This is not the case in most of Seattle or the state of Washington. Look how long the re-located residents from the Morrison Hotel are going to last in Renton and they were re-located to an abandoned hotel in the middle of nowhere! NIMBY apparently rules in Renton. The current and on-going situation has enabled a good number of opportunists, especially in Cal Anderson, who are laughing all the way to the bank so to speak. They’re grabbing everything they can and are taking advantage of anyone and everyone who allows it. So many people want to be victims these days and it seems that whining, complaining and much worse gets you exactly what you want unless you are a neighborhood resident just trying to live your life. Lets at least make this an equitable situation. If you want to destroy my neighborhood and the way of life I have chosen while working hard to have it please compensate me. I pay outrageous property taxes, for what??? I don’t plan to pay them anymore nor do I plan to continue to live on Capitol Hill. I’m not a Seattleite so perhaps I maintain a bit of objectivity about this place. I can say one thing for sure, I’ve NEVER seen anything like it (fake liberalism taken too far) and I hope to never see anything like it again.

Eric
Eric
2 months ago

This did not have to end this way. The self-proclaimed homeless advocates made it that way. Cal Anderson was and untenable and unsafe situation that categorically needed to be dealt with. These protesters chose a militarized solution. They could have been responsible human beings and advocated for the most humane and respectful resolution to a public health crisis. But, in the end, I do not think they care about homelessness so much as finding cause to fight with the police and derogate their fellow citizens.

Nick W
Nick W
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric

If the protesters took as much effort into cleaning up the trash as they did setting up barricades and waving around weapons, there probably wouldn’t have been this sweep in the first place.

Ralph Macdonald
Ralph Macdonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric

Agree. Helping to find viable solutions through the agencies available is not as much fun as starting fire and taunting the police

Cap Hill Res and Worker
Cap Hill Res and Worker
2 months ago

Word is 85% or so of the homeless living in the park got help from the city to get out of that dangerous situation. If just 5% of these persons find effective treatment, this whole thing could be a great success. Hopefully the Capitol hill residents feel safe enough to start using the entire park again, day and night.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago

To coexist in this City, we ALL have to abide by the same laws. Otherwise, it’s chaos and lots of garbage.

Squasha
Squasha
2 months ago

That house is not destined for demolition.

Stop the sweeps
Stop the sweeps
2 months ago

Imagine if we just provided no barrier housing instead of wasting valuable resources on continual sweep cycles that provide value for literally no one. Build people REAL and PERMANENT homes. Seattle estimates 11,751 homeless individuals in 2019. Finding average housing at $1k/month per individual x 12 months: $141,012,000 cost per year. Sounds like a lot until you find that SPD’s proposed 2019 budget was $409,538,851. We as a city have the ability to end homelessness but instead, we collectively choose to kick the can down the road and provide band-aids to massive fractures.

TransitRocks
TransitRocks
2 months ago

Sorry, that might work for the non-addicted, non-mental health-services-needing portion of the homeless population, but sticking an addicted or mentally unstable person in housing without massive investment in services alongside it just won’t work.

Good idea for the small percent of people who just need a helping hand to get out of homelessness though, and we should be doing it.

RWK
RWK
2 months ago
Reply to  TransitRocks

Exactly right!

Todd
Todd
2 months ago

I imagine if people were camping on the front lawns of our city council members the tragectory of this problem would be quite different.

Mimi
Mimi
2 months ago
Reply to  Todd

We saw this exact thing happen with CHOP. The valid concerns of the neighbors were ignored by our “representative”, the rest of the city council and the mayor. I’ll never forget Durkan’s smug “Summer of Love” comment. But, BUT when protesters showed up at her house, suddenly she is outraged, yammering about safety and fears for “the children” that were home. Total f-ing hypocrite. Durkan’s not running again but payback will come for the city council at the next election. They are going down and I’m here for every minute of it.

Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
2 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Mimi, in order for your scenario to come true there will have to be electable candidates running in opposition to the current slate. And “the next election” will see only 2 of the current council up for re-election, and both of them may well run for mayor. Your prediction’s only chance of success is for there to be candidates who won’t be eaten alive by The Stranger, district Democratic clubs, etc., who also somehow stand for more aggressive construction of shelter, enforcement of civility laws, lowering the bar on involuntary commitment, yadda yadda yadda. Not sure it’s possible anymore in our city.

stan
stan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

I would love to believe that but unfortunately I don’t see it happening. Sawant almost went down in the last election but then folks got their panties in a twist because Amazon donated to a PAC that supported Orion. And because “Amazon = Bad” we had a bunch of people virtue signaling with their vote by giving Sawant another term. If we want to change the direction of our city we need to vote with rationale thought not heated emotions.

Jack Flanders
Jack Flanders
2 months ago

IF the issue was just sweet non-violent down on their luck good folk just, gosh darn it, trying to find a place to sleep…then this was mean.

BUT the REALITY was this was super dangerous, a pile of drunks and drug addicts, who littered, damaged and “took over” the park. No less than 3 different person friends of mine who live in the area (First Hill, 12th Ave, and near Union) have ALL been threatened and harrassed from trying to cut through the park. THAT IS NOT COOL. If you need a place to put your head down, that’s fine, but threatening people, destroying property, leaving trash EVERYWHERE (when you have nothing to do all day and could collect your trash and TAKE it to a dumpster)…that is not cool.

WE HAVE A RIGHT to that park too. YOU should have access to that park, and so should I. And ANYONE can march up and down the sidewalk “protesting” (a Jesus freak was yelling at me about Jesus 2 week ago at Pike Place Market). But how DARE people threaten my friends and tell us WE can’t go in the park which now their private ‘home’. Those people HAVE TO GO. FIX and clean the park, it belongs to ALL of us, it’s not supposed to be just a needle/beer-bottle dumping ground.

stan
stan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack Flanders

“If you need a place to put your head down, that’s fine, but threatening people, destroying property, leaving trash EVERYWHERE (when you have nothing to do all day and could collect your trash and TAKE it to a dumpster)…”

THIS. I’ve been thinking this same thing for the past couple of days. If the homeless, who don’t have a job or anything to do during the day, actually helped clean the park, remove graffiti, and provided general upkeep of their space we likely wouldn’t be having these discussions right now.

Seattle (and the west coast in general) is FAR more tolerant than any city I’ve lived in on the east coast; and particularly in the south. But tolerance only goes so far when you claim the right to live on public land but do nothing to give back for what you are taking by maintaining health and safety for all.

Ralph Macdonald
Ralph Macdonald
2 months ago
Reply to  stan

I was homeless for 4 years. But I’ve been a hiker and camper all my life. And I always practiced the “leave no trace rule”. Nobody ever knew I was homeless because I kept myself clean and groomed and left no trace. But the difference is I never abused drugs or alcohol. So, it’s not the homeless that’s the problem it’s the drugs.

Fearless
Fearless
2 months ago

I became homless when the housing athority broke my less and stuck me with a 2000 dollar bill! I’m fleeing demstic violence. For moths I put up with harassment from citazens, wile trying to stay one step ahead of my abuser whom threatened to kill me in open court! Your housing athority put me on the streets your athority general said public safty top concern.
Now I have a cracked skull still homless and still dealing with shit like police incampment sweeps some help!
Iv never been offered housing sens mine was ripped away how about medical capital medical center Streeted me as soon as I said please no cops. Why would I want cops all I ever see them do Is show up in riot grear and destroy my camp. O and they never came when I called 911.

Fear Less
Fear Less
2 months ago
Reply to  Fearless

How you enternetz then; if u be no homed? U shud go 2 cal andersen pork. Sea if owtreach give u hotell.

Fearless
Fearless
2 months ago
Reply to  Fear Less

No thank you agen did you see the sea of cops in roit gear agen I called 911 when my skull was cracked open i was told no one was comeing and no one did.
And agen my abuser out on the streets too. Homless shelter refuss to deal with demstic violence. And not for nuthing IM NOT AN ADDICT BEEN SOBER 10 YEARS thanks to AA. I chose to drive as far the hell away as I could now wher I am dosent much apresheat it but after showing this vid they don’t blame me eather. Agen only reason I became homless was the housing athority was allowed to brake there less over cost and your attorney general I have in several emails saying public safty topconcern. But we all know that’s crap!
What the police did was agenst the law but ha anything for some political bow sh#t and friends wher at Anderson and THERES NO SHERTER SO YOU ALL CAN STOP THE INN IS FULL THERES NO WHER TO GO UNLESS U CAN SERVIVE OUT IN THE WOODS UP IN THE MOUNTAINS

Fear Less
Fear Less
2 months ago
Reply to  Fearless

I can haz cheeseburger, Troll?