Church Asks Members To Consider Hosting Occupy Seattle

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee December 7, 2011

With Occupy Seattle facing eviction from Seattle Central Community College in a matter of days, some members of the group have approached leadership at St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill and asked whether protesters could set up a headquarters at the church.

Last week, Bishop Gregory Rickel sent out an email to church members, asking them for their input on allowing Occupy to set up tents in the church's parking lot. On Sunday, church members also met with Occupy Seattle protesters to discuss the potential move.

In an email to St. Mark's members, Bishop Rickel said "one compelling point" Occupy Seattle has made for the move "is that the movement needs to find 'uncontested ground' in which to move beyond simple survival and begin the work of solidifying their mission and vision."

While Occupy Seattle has to move off Seattle Central's campus by Friday, the church hasn't made a final decision on whether any protesters will be allowed to move to St. Mark's.

"We haven't made any kind of decision or set a deadline. We don't want to feel rushed by making our decision," says Liz Sloat, St. Mark's communications director. "It's a hot topic. [We] didn't want to move forward without consensus with community."

Sloat says Occupy would be allowed to set up tents for  "Occupy Seattle's offices" in the church's parking lot, but would not be allowed a full-fledged "tent city."


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