A group of about twenty Occupy Seattle protesters who stayed in Westlake Park last night—apparently disregarding an edict from Mayor Mike McGinn banning overnight stays in the park—were working to turn a nearby pay parking lot into a staging ground for the protests Thursday morning, and said they had no plans to take McGinn up on his offer to relocate to city hall.
Around 9:30 this morning, a contingent of about twenty (mostly) young men and women lugged large tarps stacked with blankets, clothes, umbrellas, guitars and books, down Pine St. to a parking lot on 2nd Ave.
Group members said they planned to store their belongings in the parking stall for the day and take them back to the park later that night.
Several group members said police woke them up around 5 am Thursday morning and said they had “two or three hours” to move their personal belongings, which they had left outside Occupy Seattle’s single permitted provisions tent last night.
One man, sporting a duct tape red cross on his back, said parks rangers had already seized a number of his belongings Thursday morning. [pullquote]”If we’re doing what they’re saying, it’s not an occupation.”[/pullquote]
As members of the group—who appeared to mostly be in their mid-20s—stacked items in a parking stall, they started talking about how they were going to come up with the approximately twenty dollars needed to pay for a parking spot for the day.
One man suggested members of the group “all panhandle a dollar,” but this plan was quickly shot down by another group member, who matter-of-factly shouted “In Seattle, you won’t get shit.”
When asked why the group didn’t simply move to city hall, where they could store their belongings and had access to bathrooms, Travis—a 28-year-old man from Port Angeles, who said he quit his job “landscaping for the one-percent” yesterday—responded: “If we’re doing what they’re saying, it’s not an occupation.”