Occupy Olympia relocates, sets up tents at Capitol Lake

On Oct. 16 participants decided to move to Heritage Park on the outskirts of Capitol Lake. The movement in Olympia began at Sylvester Park.

They moved everything from Sylvester Park over and made sure to clean up any garbage that may have been left behind. The only signs of occupation left at the park were the paint stains on the grass from sign making.

Currently demonstrators have been allowed to set up tents at Heritage Park. They are encouraged by the movement to stay the night.

According to an anonymous Department of Enterprise Services spokesperson, the protesters are allowed to set up camp not because they got a permit, but because it is considered a political encampment that demonstrates freedom of speech.

The DES is a Washington support service to state government and residents.

Sergeant Kevin Bell, one of the patrolling officers said, “We haven’t had any issues,” and that the protest is running smoothly.

According to Bell all lines of communication have been open throughout the stages of the developing movement. This is due to the DES that has been working with both the state patrol and the demonstrators as a liaison.

Amongst the occupied tents are various service stations some of which are first aid, “town hall”, and supply storage.

The first aid station has approximately 10 people in charge, according to Alex Daye, a former South Puget Sound Community College student.

The first aid station is going by the acronym OUCH, which stands for Olympia Unit for Community Health.

Daye, who is an emergency medical technician, said, “We pass out warm clothes, dry socks, blankets, hot tea and [assist] medical needs.”

Daye has been communicating and working with local medical field personnel in hopes of one day opening up a clinic that is not affiliated with medical corporations.

Gabriel Stranahan, a member of the food committee, said their goal is to meet participants’ nutrition needs.

According to Stranahan supporters of the movement are donating food. “The amazing part of what I have realized is the food is here,” he said.

Ed Welter, a member of the supply committee, stayed at the movement the first night. It was “super chill, peaceful,” he said.

“We are building a village and reorganizing our community to meet our own needs,” said Welter.

They hold anything that might be used for future use within the supply tent. Various participants spoke up and said things they will need more of are “tents, tarps, sleeping bags, tomato sauce, toilet paper, batteries, more blankets, first aid things, latex gloves, hand warmers, socks and more engagement; people opening up kitchens and showers.”

The occupy movements have developed in many new ways of communicating amongst themselves. One of these developments is referred to as a “mic check.”

This is where one person who wants to relay a message to the crowd says a few words and the crowd repeats.

Only a few words are spoken and then repeated until the whole message is out.

The first “mic check” said at Heritage Park was, “We created a town center here with all the tables.”

This was important because a few people were working on creating this town center, but the whole crowd needed to be informed. The town center was created for a central location that allows people to communicate important ideas that need to be relayed to the crowd.

On Oct. 18 at 4:30 p.m. the demonstrators conducted a march. The march was allowed to occupy one lane of traffic in order to get around.

Occupy Olympia officially began Oct. 15 at noon in Sylvester Park. Throughout the day people came and went. People were encouraged to camp out, but were not allowed to use any structures. Instead they were encouraged to sleep in and around the gazebo.