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Washington To Evict Occupy Olympia Encampment

Washington To Evict Occupy Olympia Encampment

Governor Chris Gregoire says her Occupy Olympia eviction order comes as conditions in the camp deteriorate.
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Governor Chris Gregoire says her Occupy Olympia eviction order comes as conditions in the camp deteriorate.
Occupy Olympia residents and volunteers comply with a state cease-and-desist notice to pack up and leave.
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Occupy Olympia residents and volunteers comply with a state cease-and-desist notice to pack up and leave.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Occupy Olympia has until midnight Thursday night to clear out of Heritage Park on Washington's Capitol Campus. Governor Chris Gregoire Thursday issued a cease-and-desist notice. Her move comes more than a month after the state asked for the voluntary removal of tents and two months to the day after the camp was established.

"We have allowed people to express their First Amendment rights unfettered," Gregoire says. "We have been as patient as we could. And now it's time for them to go home."

For those who are homeless, Gregoire says help is available to find other shelter. The Occupy Olympia camp includes about 60 tents and several wooden structures.

Thursday afternoon several residents were heeding the eviction notice and packing up. Bruce Wilkinson is an Occupy Olympia organizer. He agrees it's time to go.

"Conditions were deteriorating, people are leaving town, people have holiday stuff so a lot of the effort that went into supporting the camp has fallen back a lot," Wilkinson says.

Wilkinson hopes the Occupy Olympia movement will regroup and channel its energy into other actions. However, he expects some people will defy the eviction notice and are prepared to go to jail.

It's not clear if or when the State Patrol will move in.

On the Web:

Occupy Olympia:

http://occupyolympia.org/

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.