by Renee Raketty
The Seattle Police Department and crews from the Seattle Parks Department swept Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill shortly after 10am on Tuesday, September 1, of its unhoused residents and shut down volunteer-led mutual aid efforts that had provided services.
The Shelterhouse area and nearby bathrooms were fenced-off and the windows and doors covered with metal plates. Several doors also appear to have been welded shut. Community volunteers were providing hot meals, personal protective equipment and a wide variety of services here since mid-August when protesters took control of the buildings.
In response to the sweep of the park, the volunteers spent the day picking up trash – including diapers, compost and meat the SPD had confiscated and left on the sidewalk. Later, approximately 50 protesters with the group ENDD – dressed in all black – marched that garbage over to the East Precinct at 12th Ave & E Pine St.
An online video streamer, Malcontentment Tango, broadcast the action as protesters threw bags of the garbage over the massive barrier (referred to by some in the neighborhood as the “Blue Bunker”) that surrounds the building. A few minutes later, two molotov cocktails can be seen being thrown over the walls. Fire and smoke leapt into the air as protesters retreated and officers emerged to extinguish the flames.
When the Seattle Gay News arrived on the scene, smoke was in the air and fresh graffiti could be seen. “Pigs Eat Trash” and “Sweep This” were spray painted on the walls. Police had declared the area an unlawful gathering and had begun to swarm the area with patrol cars blaring their lights and sirens.
The SPD later released a statement that said that a machete, hatchet, homemade spike strips, an unexploded mortar, and multiple makeshift shields had been recovered during the sweep of the park earlier in the day. An investigation into the weapons is ongoing.
More Photos HERE