Homeless activists take over hotel with hatchets, knives

Homeless activists take over hotel with hatchets, knives

Homeless activists take over hotel with hatchets, knives

Homeless activists staged an armed protest at a hotel in Olympia, Washington, on Jan. 31, 2021 (Video screenshot)

Armed with hatchets and knives, homeless activists in Washington state’s capital city forcibly occupied the lobby and 17 rooms at a Red Lion Hotel, demanding it house people afflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the occupation Sunday by a group called Oly Housing Now, at least one employee was assaulted, according to the Olympia Police Department, reported the local paper, the Olympian.

At least seven people were taken into custody.

SWAT teams and other law enforcement officers closed off the nearby roadway and went through the hotel floor by floor after employees fled to the basement. The activist group had purchased a room at the hotel Saturday night and moved in 33 homeless people. On Sunday, at least 35 members of the group assembled in the lobby and outside the hotel.

Videos on social media showed a crowd chanting and harassing police officers.

“Employees reported that some members of the activist group inside the hotel were armed with items such as hatchets, batons, knives and had gasmasks, helmets and goggles apparently in preparation for a confrontation,” the city said in a statement.

Emma Veite of Oly Housing Now said, according to KIRO-TV in Seattle, that her group is “just ready to stand our ground” and doesn’t “mean any harm.”

In a press release, Oly Housing Now listed demands, threatening to stay until they were met, the Olympian reported.

The group wants Thurston County to use funds allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for “non-congregate” shelter, meaning for people older than 65 who have conditions that put them at greater risk of death from the virus.

“We actually want this hotel to get business,” Viete said. “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.”

KTTH talk-radio host Jason Rantz posted two videos of the scene:

Olympia’s Democratic mayor, Cheryl Selby, said, “Making sure our unhoused residents have access to safe and affordable housing has been Olympia’s priority for more than a decade.”

She said Olympia “has led on responding to homelessness, on coordinating shelter and other basic needs.”

However, Selby continued, the tactics used today by Oly Housing Now are unproductive and won’t make the mission more attainable.”

Last June, as WND reported, Antifa activists claiming to support Black Lives Matter threatened Selby’s home, with one wielding a torch.

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Homeless activists take over hotel with hatchets, knives