Washington police arrested 12 people in Olympia, Washington who have attempted to occupy a local hotel and demand local authorities provide housing for the homeless as a “COVID-19 relief measure”. The leftist protesters themselves claimed that “they mean no harm” and sated that FEMA would cover the expenses.
Approximately 45 people arrived at the Downtown Olympia Red Lion Hotel at Sunday 11. PM, “armed with items such as hatchets, batons, knives and had gasmasks, helmets and goggles apparently in preparation for a confrontation,” the city announced.
The police reported that it received calls of a “mob of people wearing black” with batons and knives had entered the lobby and demanded them to open rooms. One employee was assaulted while trying to stop part of the mob from entering the lobby while about seven to eight other employees hid in a basement room, police said.
The individuals were apparently members of the Oly Housing Now, a group which advocates for housing for homeless. Protesters displayed signs saying “stop raids” and “housing is a human right”.
The group had reserved and paid for the stay of the homeless in 17 rooms for one night. They were unwilling to pay for more stays, urging the hotel to seek Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds that cover expenses for housing for the homeless.
The activists moved 33 homeless people in, where they planed to stay indefinitely. They want Thurston County to apply for FEMA funding to pay for “non-congregate” shelter for people who are 65+ or have pre-existing health conditions that put them at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.
“We’re just ready to stand our ground. We don’t mean any harm. We actually want this hotel to get business,” said Emma Veite of Oly Housing Now. “So they’re going to get the FEMA funds. And the rooms are going to be occupied by people who need them. So it’s a win-win. The funds are there; the county just has to apply for it.”
However, the hotel management was apparently not interested in that arrangement, and opted to call the police and demand the eviction of the activists and the homeless from their property.
Police obtained a search warrant for conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary and trespassing, and a SWAT team was called to the scene.
Charges against the 12 people were not immediately specified. It was not clear if more people would be charged.
It is not clear if the group in question is connected with recent Antifa riots in Washington and Oregon. Many protesters were armed and wearing black, signature Antifa tactic. More will be known once the names of those arrested are released.
It it interested to note that the hotel in question did not have an issue with leftists, LGBT and trans activists organizing their events there, even displaying their flags on the hotel balconies.
This clash could be yet another example of the increasing drift between the “woke, trans-friendly capital” and the anarchists and far-left activists, which escalated after Joe Biden’s inauguration.