refuses to provide to people who don’t have anywhere to live or are facing food insecurity. I think it’s also important that this happened in the middle of the pandemic. There’s a tremendous amount of economic uncertainty. And a lot of people lost their jobs in the restaurant industry—here the restaurant industry is very big. So a lot of young people were out of luck.
There’s something called the No Cop Co-Op. Basically people asked, “Hey, bring food and hand sanitizer and whatever to the tent,” and Seattleites sent so many supplies that we had to stop taking supplies. We got trash service, porta-potties and hand-washing stations through the local utilities departments. There was a big gardening operation. The garden is still there.
It got less busy. After a while, there was less tourism, people just coming to see it. You could still go, and marches were still being organized from there. And people were speaking and livestreaming and doing all these things. I suppose it was less vibrant than it was at first. But yeah, so things kind of wound down a little bit. And one morning, a couple hundred police officers showed up and kicked everyone out. I think they arrested fifty people, threw everybody’s belongings in the garbage, closed the park. They closed the whole neighborhood, essentially. You couldn’t travel through the main area in the neighborhood without being a resident and showing your ID to these lines of riot cops. That was a disturbing experience. That’s how the main occupation ended. And the police presence went on for maybe a week and then people set up in the park again, basically doing on a small scale what was going on before: mutual aid, people living there, protest staging. And it’s been cleared two or three times, the most recently was last night [September 2nd]. They came in and cleared everybody out. There’s a small bathroom facility there that people were using as a distribution point for goods and supplies, and the police put a huge fence around it and locked everything up. And they’ll be back tomorrow.
KOERRI WASHINGTON, 32
The video [of the Jacob Blake shooting] was sent to me. I had literally just finished dinner, left the restaurant, walked into my house, and got a notification. It was the video. I saw the video and then my phone kind of was blown