Judge rules against West Seattle homeless encampment

(photo added 12:15 pm)
According to this AP report on seattletimes.com, a federal judge is refusing to block the state from evicting the homeless encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” from its current site on the eastern edge of West Seattle. In an update on their website last night, organizers said that if they didn’t get a court order to stop eviction, they would start packing at 5 pm today. We are going over to the camp to see what’s happening right now. 12:03 PM UPDATE: Looks like they’ve already started breaking down the camp. No one at the site would officially comment, however. 12:30 PM UPDATE: Organizers just sent an official news release – they say they’ll sue, and that they expect state troopers to arrive right at the 7 pm deadline tonight that they were given to clear out – read on:

This morning Judge Richard Martinez denied the restraining order filed by Nickelsville. Nickelsville will move forward with a lawsuit based on the rights of the poor to safety and adequate shelter.

State Police are expected to arrive at 7 pm today, the end of the 72 hour warning posted by the State. Nickelsville has also requested the State wait until noon Friday to send police. This would allow them sufficient time to pack the homesteads and belongings of 70 people. There is no word from the State at this time and no church or private entity has yet come forward with a place for them to move to.

The majority of Nickelsville residents have committed to stay at the site. They are prepared to be arrested and will not leave the present site unless it is to move to another permanent site. Nickelsville states this is the right, legal, and moral thing to do.

Nickelsville is asking any and all friends and supporters to arrive at 5 pm this evening to help them load belongings into vehicles (so they are not confiscated or destroyed during arrests) and to show their support. There is nowhere left to go.

For more info, go to nickelsvilleseattle.org

Nickelsville is located on 2nd Ave SW near West Marginal Way Sw, S. Seattle

“No permanent site has been secured for Nickelsville to move to. As we’ve consistently said, we will not leave this present site unless another good permanent site is secured. Therefore, supporters are needed tonight to stay in solidarity with those Nickelodeons who will nonviolently stand our ground. We know what we are doing the is right, legal and moral thing to do.” – Nickelsville 07/23/09

3:40 PM UPDATE: We just ran over to see what’s happening now. KOMO TV is there. So is a state trooper, who sat down for a meeting with some of the residents:

Here’s an overview of the camp – not seen in this shot, there are some dismantled tents here and there:

More updates later as we learn whether troopers plan to force the camp out or whether residents and organizers will voluntarily leave.

5 Replies to "Judge rules against West Seattle homeless encampment"

  • sarelly July 23, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    Suppose they are forced to move and disperse? Where are they going to go?

  • marty July 23, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Sarelly: I guess they will have to figure that out, just like I would if I was in the same situation.

  • christopherboffoli July 23, 2009 (3:00 pm)

    Interestingly, there are some fairly extensive homeless encampments in the forest just up the hill and west of the site. Spreading out and hiding out of sight doesn’t seem to attract the attention of the authorities as much as staking a claim with an organized camp on public land.

  • Jenava July 23, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    This makes me sad.

  • thejunctionhobo July 23, 2009 (4:46 pm)

    Buh bye bye..

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