Community Resists Eviction of Umoja Peace Center [Seattle]
From Its Going Down
The Umoja Peace Center, home to Omari, are staples in the activist community and are central to the defense of the central district in Seattle, and are currently under direct threat of eviction. Earlier this morning sheriffs arrived and entered his house with an eviction order, and as they searched the house and removed his belongings, were unable to locate him anywhere.
Meanwhile, construction crews began clearing the property and attempted to build a fence to establish a perimeter. Roughly 25-30 people came out in the morning, actively blocking the construction of the fence by sitting on the border of the property in pouring down rain. Defense continued into the afternoon, as people formed a human blockade in the streets. Those resisting the eviction also
25-30 cops were on the scene surveilling and enforcing, preventing anyone from obstructing the removal of Omari’s belongings and the Umoja Peace Center.
There was one arrest and a series of tussles between police and protesters as both the protest and the work effort to clear the property dragged into the afternoon. East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh was at the scene and told CHS the King County Sheriff’s eviction was complete and SPD units were at the property to “ensure the peace.” In the arrest, a protester who had been at the house since crowds first formed Wednesday morning and who had been moved by officers multiple times through the day was taken into custody after police cleared 24th Ave to make way for a truck to drop a large bin on the property for workers to fill with trash and materials. Following the arrest, a backhoe began tearing into the house to remove elements around the windows to allow workers to board up the structure and block access after possessions were removed from inside. Some of Tahir-Garrett’s things were piled into a car on the property that police allowed a protest organizer to drive from the scene, diffusing one of a series of standoffs with the crowd through the day.