As I left the encampment a few moments ago, Seattle police were still making their way past the pink tents, arresting anyone who hadn't vacated the SDOT-owned property. The whole thing took a long time to get going. "Seattle process," joked Anitra Freeman (below) who was the first to be taken in. The interactions were peaceful. About 12 people had been arrested so far-- with approximately a dozen more to go. But Nickelsville is far from through. Thanks to persistent calls from organizers, the Governor's office is now involved. Ron Judd, a senior Gregoire adviser, arrived as the SPD made the initial arrests. He says the city's honored the state's request to allow the Nickelodeons to stay on the adjacent WSDOT-owned parking lot for five days "until we can work through these issues and find a solution." Sure that news didn't sit well at City Hall.
Freeman, before she was hauled off, had this to say: "Until the mayor does the necessary things to end homelessness, there will be more Nickelsvilles, not less. He can't make it go away." The next five days should be interesting. The WSDOT property is a fraction of the size of the grassy area the Nickelodeons had been occupying, with no protection from the street.