Occupy Olympia refuses to leave

The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services sent a letter to Occupy Olympia asking protesters to take down their tents and evacuate the park.

Enterprise Services wrote in the letter that “Occupy Olympia activity is no longer sustainable in its current form.”

According to the letter from Enterprise Services health and safety issues are now a concern at the Occupy center.

“The tents are ugly but what’s happening to our country is ugly,” said Occupy supporter Daniel, who would not provide his last name. “Our government’s been hijacked and people are worried about the grass.”

“It’s no longer a political movement as much as it’s an encampment now,” said Jennifer Reynolds of Enterprise Services.

“Occupying Heritage Park is a great way to protest because people are actually going to see the real problem and who is affected,” said South Puget Sound Community College student, Anna Root.

Occupy supporter Wendy Hamlin also does not understand why the state is worried about how the park looks and the condition of the grass.

“This is the shittiest park I’ve ever been to in my life,” said Hamlin describing how the park was even before Occupy began.

The letter also claims health concerns are a reason to cease camping at Heritage Park. The letter mentioned illegal drug use and violence by Occupy campers as significant concerns to those in tents and the community surrounding.

Enterprise Services conveyed that help from social service organizations would be given to those who needed food, shelter, and medical attention upon the evacuation of the camp site.

However, homeless shelters in the United States are one of the reasons that Hamlin supports the Occupy movement.

“Shelters are not a solution to homelessness,” said Hamlin.

She spoke out against the homeless shelter system in America and how it is not actually helping those who are unemployed and without a home.

“I believe there is a problem with our country right now with so many people living in poverty and without work that something needs to be done,” said Root.

Occupy supporter Jessie Sparkles believes Occupy has served as a great resource for the homeless and those in need by providing food and a place to sleep to those who could not find that before.

Daniel said that Occupy Olympia respectfully said no to the request.

In response to the letter from Enterprise Services, Occupy wrote a letter that was delivered on Nov. 13.

“Our tents send a message of solidarity and symbolize this message in a very strong visual manner,” wrote Occupy in their response.

Occupy thanked Enterprise Services in their letter for protecting their freedom of speech rights, but stated they will continue to camp out as a part of their peaceful protest efforts in order to keep the movement visible.

SPSCC student Darien Springer hopes Occupy Olympia is “successful because corporate greed is ridiculous.”

“I don’t know whether the protests will get anything done. I’m behind the motivation but I don’t know if the method will work,” said Springer.

Reynolds also said that some surrounding Olympia businesses had expressed issues with the current state of the Occupy movement and the camp site. Ginger Street and Capital Florists both made formal complaints.

According to Reynolds about 50 Occupy supporters congregated at the Capitol Campus to deliver an eviction notice to Governor Gregoire.

They first took the eviction notice to the General Administration Building, but then moved to the Capitol steps due to the fact that the General Admission office has been moved for possible demolition of the old building.