Charges Filed Against Occupiers as Group Looks For New Home

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee December 7, 2011

City prosecutors have filed criminal trespassing charges against a 38-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, and are preparing to charge 14 others for taking over a vacant warehouse on 10th Ave. and Union St. as part of an Occupy Seattle protest last weekend, according to city attorney's office spokeswoman Kimberly Mills.

A police SWAT team arrested 16 protesters early Saturday morning after the group partied inside the warehouse for about 10 hours. As we reported earlier this week, police intentionally left an exit door unguarded, allowing a number of Occupiers to escape the building via a slide.

Where they can escape to is now a bit of a question for the Occupiers.

Now that Seattle Central Community College has evicted Occupy Seattle from its campus, protesters are debating where the group should go next. While Mayor Mike McGinn previously offered an open invitation to Occupy protesters to come to City Hall, it might not be so simple for Occupiers camped out at SCCC to make a mass exodus downtown.

The current Occupy Seattle permit only allows for 10 protesters to camp out at City Hall which, obviously, wouldn't allow for a large group of Occupiers to relocate there. Initially, the city allowed 50-60 protesters to camp out at City Hall, but after most of the protesters moved back up to Capitol Hill, the group was issued a new permit, only allowing 10 campers. Any new protesters at City Hall would be in violation of Occupy Seattle's permit, and could be trespassed from the property.

While it would seem that Occupy Seattle would simply have to renegotiate for a larger permit, the city's being mum about just how long that renegotiation process would take.

"It all depends on timing," says city spokeswoman Katherine Schubert-Knapp, who notes that "nobody has approached" the city about additional protesters camping out at City Hall.

We haven't heard back from Occupy on what their next move is.

A few other Occupy notes:

•We've also heard Occupy Seattle members are preparing to occupy a recently foreclosed SeaTac home in the hopes that the bank, which now owns the property, will work with the previous owners (a family) and modify their loan.

•Occupy Seattle's apparently holding a "clean-up party" at Seattle Central Community College Thursday.

•And, just in case you missed it, Occupy is looking to move its headquarters to St. Mark's church on Capitol Hill.
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