Seattle mayor 'patient' with 'Occupy Seattle' in park

Oct 11, 2011

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says he's being patient with the Occupy Seattle protesters camping out for a second week in the downtown Westlake Park.

Occupy Seattle issued its own statement Tuesday saying it will stage a march Saturday in coordination with the Occupy Wall Street protest against corporate power.

In a statement Tuesday, he says he's supporting free speech while working to bring the group into compliance with city rules. McGinn is asking the group to move to City Hall, which can support protest campers.

About four dozen protesters were tired and soggy Tuesday morning after cold, rainy night. They put their bags and belongings on benches for the morning cleaning by park workers.

A couple of police cars and cops on bikes monitored the group.

Mayor McGinn's statement this morning, post on the city's Website:

"The Parks Department and the Seattle Police were under instructions last night to inform people of the rules that apply to Westlake Park, but to not make arrests for camping at this time. The rule prohibiting camping in parks is a long-standing provision of the Seattle Municipal Code, which has previously been communicated to event participants. We continue to make City Hall available, which is an appropriate facility for camping associated with protests.

"We have been patient with Occupy Seattle because we have been giving event participants the opportunity to respond to our offer of City Hall. We also wanted to ensure public safety for the large scale free speech activities planned for the long weekend.

"This is consistent with our approach from the first day. We wish to support valid free speech activities, while working to bring Occupy Seattle into compliance with applicable city rules and regulations. Those efforts will continue. The Mayor’s Office and other city representatives are communicating with participants in the Occupy Seattle protests with the goal of resolving these issues."

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