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State troopers in riot gear clear Occupy Olympia camp

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Several dozen Washington state troopers in riot gear cleared the Occupy Olympia encampment early Friday. The troopers moved in after several verbal warnings to clear Heritage Park on the Capitol Campus.

“If you choose to remain, you may be subject to arrest for criminal trespass or obstructing a public servant. Please remove your property and depart from the park immediately,” the troopers announced.

Most campers heeded the warning. However, several activists verbally challenged the troopers as they pushed through the park.

In the end there were no arrests. As soon as the encampment was clear of people, crews fenced it off. Occupiers left behind a significant amount of debris. State employees planned to spend the day cleaning up.

The forced eviction comes more than a month after the state asked campers to leave voluntarily. The governor says conditions had become unsafe and unsanitary.

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.