The state served Occupy Olympia with an eviction notice this morning, citing health and safety concerns at the Heritage Park encampment. Occupiers have been ordered to "remove tents, shelters, structures and other personal effects" by 12:01 am, Friday, December 16. Um... tomorrow.
It's part of wave of nationwide evictions of Occupy encampments on similar grounds, despite the fact that the other Washington—our nation's capital—somehow manages to host two separate Occupy encampments, about a half mile apart, without the same sort of sanitary and safety issues. What's OccupyDC's secret? Local government has worked with them to address health and safety issues, rather than using them as an excuse for eviction.
Occupy Olympia's official response, after the break:
Facing Midnight Eviction, Occupy Olympia Rallies to Support Camp
Olympia, December 15, 2011 – Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services handed down an eviction notice in the early hours of Thursday morning citing “health and safety risks” at Heritage Park. Occupy Olympia protesters have held the park since October 16th, building structures, erecting tents, and providing vital social services to those in need. The Occupy Movement manifested as a direct response to the social and economic injustices caused by a corrupt and heartless financial system. Occupy Olympia did not create the problems faced at camp. These are the same problems faced in communities around the country. Occupier Kyle Tanner states, “It’s disappointing that the state chooses to continue to sweep the realities of budget cuts under the rug rather than face the systemic inequities.” Since the early days of the occupation, Occupy Olympia has provided the community with free medical services, food, and shelter, all of which are needs the state has failed to meet. “While Occupy Olympia has been offering social services, it’s important to remember that the Occupy Olympia encampment is, and continues to be, a political encampment. Any attempt to discredit that would be a false representation of what the Occupy movement is all about,” states Occupier Owen Prout. Though the future of the physical camp may be uncertain, the community that camp has built will continue to fight the atrocities committed to benefit the 1%.
In response to the cease and desist letter, Occupy Olympia is planning a march at 4 p.m. and an assembly at 10 p.m. Thursday night at Heritage Park for camp defense and witness. General Assembly meetings will still take place, with the Sunday 1 p.m. meetings held in the Capitol Rotunda. Occupy Olympia has spent the last two months supporting the Olympia community and now is the time for the community to come out in support of the camp at Occupy Olympia under the slogan, “You can’t evict an idea.”