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Occupy Seattle gets pass from police

Seattle Police threatened to arrest anyone who stayed in Westlake Park overnight, but Occupy Seattle protesters stayed and the police didn't follow through.

Westlake Park is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. The demonstrators defied a police order Monday night to leave when the park at 10 p.m., but there were no arrests.

The officers did test the waters a bit by driving patrol cars into the park and shining their lights on the protesters, but protester Forrest says that's as far as it went.

"There were like four different warnings that everyone had to leave and then sort of a slow draw back," he said. "I was definitely expecting a little more to happen."

Protesters celebrated what they called a small victory over the police by playing soccer in the park. They rolled several garbage bags into a ball and taped it together. They wrote "1 percent" on the ball. They said they were kicking the 1 percent around.

So far, the demonstration has cost the city about $33,000 in overtime for the police and parks departments.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it's part of the city's responsibility to the public.

"In the city of Seattle, we have spontaneous events, we have planned events, and it's the job of the city to provide support for those types of events, whether planned or unplanned, we find a way to afford it, because that's one of the services government provides to the public."

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About the Author

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.


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