LOCAL NEWS

Federal judge won’t stop sweep of Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park

Dec 16, 2020, 6:08 AM | Updated: Dec 17, 2020, 5:15 pm
Cal Anderson Park...
Makeshift barricades have been put up around Cal Anderson Park in an attempt to stop a city sweep of the homeless campers. (Meili Cady/KIRO Radio)
(Meili Cady/KIRO Radio)

UPDATE: A federal judge has just denied the request for a temporary order to keep Seattle city workers from clearing a homeless encampment in Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.

Seattle’s parks department is working to clear the park, once the center of the CHOP zone, so it can clean it up and repair damage.

An attempt to remove everyone living in the park Wednesday was unsuccessful when the homeless and their supporters put up barricades.

KIRO 7 reports that since the ruling, activists have taken over an abandoned house about one block from Cal Anderson Park.

————ORIGINAL STORY———–
Protesters gathered in Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park Wednesday morning, believing that city officials had planned to sweep homeless campers and aid tents out of the area.

Seattle Parks & Recreation posted notices about its planned sweep Monday, letting people know they needed to have their stuff out of the park by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. That led to a big defense effort among those who are considered protesters or defenders of the homeless people who live at that park, KIRO Radio reporter Hanna Scott explained, asking for materials, old furniture, boards, and whatever they could get to build barricades. They were prepared to stop the city from taking people out of the park.

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda issued a statement expressing her concerns over the developing situation on Wednesday evening.

“I remain concerned with the planned removal and urge first placement in non-congregate shelter options in order to be in compliance with current public health CDC guidance,” Mosqueda said. “We need to place folks in available housing and appropriate shelter options, like the additional tiny houses and hotel rooms authorized in the budget, that meet the demographic needs of those in an encampment. City parks represent public space and healthy communities and should be usable by all; and we must balance access to this public health resource with the public health crisis to not put at risk our entire community health.”

The city is classifying the planned sweep as a multi-day cleaning and maintenance project. Social workers were reportedly going to be present Wednesday to provide support services and offer services.

Police and parks workers did not ultimately attempt to enter the park or move homeless campers out of the area. It’s unclear at this point when or if a sweep will occur.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by a homeless person camped in the park is asking a U.S. District judge to issue an injunction, which would put a pause on any efforts to clear Cal Anderson Park. Judge Richard Jones — who heard arguments for and against the lawsuit Wednesday evening — indicated a ruling on a possible injunction could arrive by Thursday.

If the sweep moves forward, this would mark the third time Seattle has cleared homeless campers out of Cal Anderson Park this year, with a pair of sweeps taking place in late-summer months. At the prior sweeps, police officers that were present to support the city were met by a group of protesters, and campers and aid tables returned to the park soon after police left the area.

Mayor Durkan ‘in conversation’ to remove East Precinct wall, reopen Cal Anderson Park

Seattle city officials confirmed in early December that Mayor Jenny Durkan was entering into talks to remove the concrete wall surrounding the city’s East Precinct, and to reopen the neighboring park.

Cal Anderson Park has been closed since June 30, with city officials citing the need to enact repairs after a summer of protests, and repeated clearances of homeless encampments in the area. The concrete wall around Capitol Hill’s East Precinct went up in late August, “in an effort to protect the facility from arson and other damages,” after a 19-year-old from Alaska was arrested and federally charged for attempting to set fire to the building.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report. This is a developing story.

Local News

starbucks office...
L.B. Gilbert

Requirement for Starbucks workers returning to office is about ‘fairness’

Starbucks office employees can no longer work from home full time, says interim CEO Howard Schultz in an announcement earlier this month
10 hours ago
Cold Seattle...
Bill Kaczaraba

Frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound

It will be a frigid, but sunny start to the workweek across the Puget Sound, with highs in the 30s. Temps are even lower in the mountains.
10 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
10 hours ago
Tyre Nichols 900x506...
Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 News

Local law enforcement officials, community leaders continue to lament death of Tyre Nichols

Anger and heartbreak over the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is felt around Puget Sound this weekend.
10 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
10 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Thurston County community continues to remember victims of deadly house fire

Tumwater District Stadium was packed Sunday night as family, friends, and most of the community came out to pay tribute
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Federal judge won’t stop sweep of Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park