A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Occupy Seattle planning to protest in front of mayor’s Greenwood home today

April 20th, 2012 · Comments

Update Saturday: You can see pictures of the protestors in front of the mayor’s home from The Seattle Times, and SeattlePI.com.

Earlier: Members of Occupy Seattle plan to protest near Mayor Mike McGinn’s Greenwood home today, beginning at 4 p.m. The activists say they are protesting the city’s stance on homelessness.

From the Occupy Seattle press release:

At 4:00pm on Friday, April 20th, activists of Occupy Seattle’s Camp Safety workgroup, Media workgroup, and Food workgroup, together with soon-to-be-evicted resident’s of “the Jungle,” will stage a protest at the corner of Greenwood Ave. N. & N. 87th St., an earshot away from the Mayor’s house. The protest is expected to last through the weekend with meals being provided daily by Food Not Bombs and Occupy Seattle’s Food Group. A generator has also been donated so the Occupy Media workgroup can successfully cover the entire event.

Darryl Smith, Deputy Mayor of Seattle, is expected to attend and share a meal with the activists on Friday evening.

The protest was planned after word spread that the homeless encampment of West Beacon Hill’s “The Jungle” would soon face eviction by the Seattle Police Department. Based on uncorroborated reports of gunfire near the area and a need for Department of Transportation to clean, an eviction notice will soon be posted at the site, giving the 20-30 homeless residing there, 72 hours to pack up and disappear. “These people have nowhere else to go,” says David Delgado, a 37 year old social worker and member of Occupy Seattle. Protestors tout that the majority of the people living in “the Jungle” are already on long waitlists for housing.

Momentum and support strengthened when it was found that, contrary to news reports by KING 5, no social service workers or outreach had been done at the site. “The only service that was provided was the Parks Department came by with a number to the Crisis Clinic,” said Enoch Madison, a 45 year old US Army veteran and resident of “the Jungle.

With nowhere else to go, yet thousands of homes continue to sit vacant due to foreclosures, the protestor’s message is clear: Let’s change our process and approach.

We have a message in to the mayor’s office and will update this post when we hear back.

Mayor McGinn’s spokesman, Aaron Pickus, provided this response to protestors’ concerns about the homeless encampment on Beacon Hill:

Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith is the lead on a Neighborhood Action Team to help support the Beacon Hill neighborhood as we deal with challenges presented by the Duwamish Greenbelt. One of the outcomes of this work has been assisting in the construction of a new trail on the north end of Beacon Hill through the Greenbelt, accompanied with lighting. As a part of this ongoing work and since the trail has been opened to the public, we have heard concerns from the neighborhood about people camping in the Greenbelt south of Holgate, where the trail terminates.

South Precinct Officers had been hearing rumors of various assaults, including shootings and potential homicides in the East Duwamish Greenbelt and under I-5. There have been several reports of shots fired in this area over the last couple of months. During one recent incident possible suspects scattered as officers arrived; a pistol was recovered. The weapon is believed to be linked to other serious crimes. The intelligence gathering resulted in reports that weapons are hidden in that area and possible victims of gun violence/violent assaults (unreported) and/or natural deaths may be in these areas that are untraveled. The Anti-Crime Team has interdicted organized drugs sales under the freeway and has purchased narcotics there during the last month.

On Monday April 2nd, SPD South Precinct conducted a violence suppression/crime victim sweep. This work included Anti-Crime Team, Community Police Team, Department of Corrections, SPD Mounted Patrol Unit, SPD Bomb Dog Team, King County Search and Rescue, Northwest Disaster Search Dog Teams, SDOT/WSDOT, and patrol assets. The purpose was to ensure that access remains open to law enforcement, search for weapons (firearms in particular), and search the area for crime victims and/or persons deceased from natural causes. SPD arranged for the use of multiple bomb dogs to locate potential weapons and search/rescue dogs to locate potential victims. The K9 officers and the search and rescue dog teams largely used this as a training opportunity that could lead to the discovery of weapons and victims of crimes.

On Thursday April 12th, the Neighborhood Action Team sent representatives from Parks, Human Services, Neighborhoods and SPD to review two encampments that appeared abandoned based on staff and neighborhood reports. Both of these encampments are south of Holgate where there are a total of six to seven encampments in the Greenbelt. One of the encampments was determined to be abandoned. Staff determined that both of the sites being surveyed that day would require clean up based on litter, evidence of human waste and neighborhood complaints. It was determined that the encampments were on Parks property and a request was made to Union Gospel Mission to perform outreach with their search and rescue staff.

On Monday April 16th, Union Gospel Mission informed city staff that outreach would be performed the evening of the 16th.

On Tuesday April 17th, a 72-hour notice was posted at both of the encampments that had been surveyed on April the 12th. Clean-up has not yet been scheduled. The city policy regarding encampments, updated in early 2010 after consultation with homeless advocates, calls for on-going outreach before clean-up occurs.

Notices for clean-up have not been posted at the other existing encampments in the Greenbelt, south of Holgate.

Typically, outreach work includes telling those without shelter how they can connect with services and shelter. There is currently shelter space available at City Hall and Frye Hotel. There are also beds dedicated for those leaving encampments available at Roy St. and First Church shelters.

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Comments

  1. Whopper says:

    Occupy?

    THey’re sooooo 2011.

  2. Block Watcher says:

    What can the Mayor do?

  3. Tiktok says:

    Tough weekend for the folks who happen to live next to the Mayor.

  4. markwalt says:

    I was just down there (I live a few blocks from the Mayor) and they seemed quiet and respectful enough. I did have an interesting conversation with them, and I told them that I support them but I think they should protest at City Hall, not the Mayor’s private house. We didn’t see eye to eye on that.

  5. manonstilts says:

    why does the mayor live in the crummy part of town?

  6. Block Watcher says:

    Let’s face it, most of the homeless are substance abusers and that’s why they living on the edge. The homeless camps are unsanitary and that’s reason enough to clean them up. The areas under the bridges and freeway on ramps are littered with garbage and they’re always tossing their crap on to I-5. The bottles, cans, food containers, cigarette butts and cardboard debris make Seattle look like a third world country. Enough is enough.

  7. Whopper says:

    What does Mayor McSchwinn have to do with Wall Street exactly?

  8. giiggen says:

    Wow, I didn’t even realize I lived in the 1% neighborhood!

  9. interested party says:

    I’d be happy to view the photos on the PI website if their ad didn’t take over the site. It refuses to close.

  10. Jon says:

    People should, instead, be protesting the churches and other non-tax-paying NPOs that claim to be doing work to prevent this sort of thing, but instead, just send out disagreement press releases every time this subject comes up.

    If they have “nowhere else to go”, then perhaps the churches can ask their patrons to open their hearts to kindness, or let the homeless camp inside or on their property?

    The opposition to the eviction has provided us with one “fact”: “They have nowhere else to go, and that’s not fair.” The City has provided us with a laundry list of crimes and violations that justify the eviction.

    I fully support the government’s decision in the eviction notice. It’s unfortunate to be down on your luck, but there are better ways to handle it than living under a bridge with a bunch of littering, drug-addled riff-raff. I don’t feel bad for saying it: some of these people don’t want to be “saved” or helped, and frankly, don’t deserve it. And for the homeless people that are willing to find a facility to clean up in, and to stay sober, there are plenty of accommodating jobs out there to get them on their feet.

    No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not fair. But you know what? Neither is life for those of us who can (barely) afford to pay their rent or house payments. And just because I don’t like paying my water bill, doesn’t mean I get to go and relieve myself in the park, down the street.

  11. Patrick says:

    Who says farce is dead?