Six arrested after protesters interrupt Seattle City Council meeting demanding housing for "refugees"

SEATTLE, WA - Seattle City Council members were forced to take a recess and leave their chambers on Tuesday after a group of protesters disrupted the meeting. The protesters were demanding funding from the city for refugees that are facing eviction from their temporary housing.

The group marched and chanted on the steps of Seattle City Hall and into the council meeting, proposing that the City of Seattle utilize police funds to meet the refugee’s housing needs.

Sara Nelson, Seattle City Council President, began the meeting by acknowledging that due to limited resources in the City of Seattle, discussions around funding refugees needs to be happening at the county and city levels. Additionally, she said that the city’s obligation to taxpayers is to house the people in need in Seattle.

About 2:55 p.m., Seattle police arrived in response to the commotion with the protesters. While inside the Chambers, they spoke with some of the protesters, and subsequently arrested six people. While many left the chambers without incident, according to police, three men and three women are charged with criminal trespassing, and one of the men was also charged with obstruction.

City Councilmember Cathy Moore addressed the protesters once the meeting resumed. She said, “I want the record to be clear. I physically feel threatened. I don’t know about my colleagues. The business of this council has been unnessarily interrupted. It continues to be interrupted. It is not appropriate, and this action needs to be recognized. We need to make sure this does not happen going forward. We are shutting down the operations of our democracy because of mob action, and it is not to be tolerated.”

When the meeting resumed, protesters continued to yell at council members from outside and bang on the windows. They dispersed after being approached by security.

KOMO News’ Paul Rivera spoke with one refugee, Genesis from Venezuela. She said that migrants were told that Seattle was a place where they would be heard. Genesis also stated that she understood that the protest “wasn’t the most correct thing to do,” but having kids with them gave urgency to their action.

It is unclear what Seattle's plan is moving forward. KOMO News reported that refugees had to check out of the Quality Inn in Kent on Wednesday.

The city of Tukwila is installing and funding a temporary large tent, to be placed at the Riverton Park United Methodist Church, for the refugees. The tent is heated and able to accommodate up to 100 people and is expected to be ready by the end of the week.

Mayor Tom McLeod of Tukwila said, “This large centralized tent provided by the city is a temporary measure – another band-aid solution – aimed at assisting asylees who are coming to our community looking for help. We’re trying to do the best we can with the limited resources available to us as a small city. But more needs to be done at the state and federal levels because this ongoing humanitarian crisis isn’t going away.”
 
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Comments

Deana

Please go back to where you came from, because you protesting our country to get what you want when you're already getting everything free, is absolutely ludicrous...All the undocumented illegal immigrants are sucking the American people dry, and your whinning and protesting just makes you look like entitled brats...

Deana

Please go back to where you came from, because you protesting our country to get what you want when you're already getting everything free, is absolutely ludicrous...All the undocumented illegal immigrants are sucking the American people dry, and your whinning and protesting just makes you look like entitled brats...

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