Washington police arrested at least 12 people who occupied an Olympia hotel in an alleged attempt to “forcibly take over the hotel” and demand local authorities provide housing for homeless individuals during the coronavirus pandemic, according to local reports.
Olympia police arrested at least a dozen homeless activists who are said to be from the group Oly Housing Now, local news station King 5 reported. The group of approximately 45 people barged into the Downtown Olympia Red Lion Hotel around 11 a.m. local time Sunday “armed with items such as hatchets, batons, knives and had gasmasks, helmets and goggles apparently in preparation for a confrontation,” the city announced in a subsequent press release.
They are now chanting to Olympia cops to “choke and die.” pic.twitter.com/EnMh9esHbu
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) February 1, 2021
Olympia officials said 40 hotel rooms were booked by bystanders at the time of the apparent takeover.
“Before the occupation, the activist group had earlier reserved 17 rooms, which were occupied by currently unhoused individuals as the occupation occurred,” the city said.