Breaking News: Occupy Olympia Removed From Heritage Park – UPDATED
At about 9 AM Friday morning, over 50 state patrol troopers in full riot gear began slowly marching through Heritage Park. As they inched forward at 30-40 feet every few minutes, they inspected each remaining tent they passed to ensure no one remained. About a dozen remaining protesters marched backwards before them, until the park had been cleared of everyone except law enforcement, media, and a small group of observers from local faith communities. Meanwhile, workers from the Department of Enterprise Services hastily erected a portable chain link fence around the portion of the park where Occupy Olympia had resided for the past few months. DES also posted signs saying that part of the park would remain closed for the time being.
A few protesters called out to the officers, and a few officers gave quiet orders to the troopers, but the whole event was largely silent. There were no physical altercations or injuries.
DES has said they plan to remove all tents and other personal belongings from the park, and would store them so that owners can reclaim them later.
Earlier, around 2:30 AM, several dozen protesters had left the park and entered the vacant health department building across the street from Bayview grocery store, and proclaimed it a community center that they would continue to occupy. Shortly before 10 AM, at least some of them were still inside. Olympia police, who had watched from afar most of the night, had by then closed off the parking lot outside the building and were not letting anyone enter, but had not made any attempt to enter themselves.
Keep checking Olympia Power & Light for updates, including pictures and videos coming soon.