Legalize Camping at Westlake

I was reading this piece on the laws that are being used against the Occupy movement, and it occurred to me that there is a process to change any law that isn’t working. So while there’s a case to be made (one that I don’t agree with) that McGinn and other mayors across the country are just enforcing the law, there’s no case that the law needs to stay the way it is.

So, while I understand that the legislative process is necessarily slow and as such tough to deal with in reaction to fast moving events, the City Council could take up a law legalizing camping in Westlake. They could make it temporary (say 3 months) if they were worried about what happens afterwards. They could at the very least extend the park’s hours to keep it open all day. They could just do that in the South part of the park if they’re worried about what’s going to happen with the Christmas Carousel. The same for preparing hot food or any other complaint that they’re breaking the law. I assume the Parks & Seattle Center Committee could at least start the process, even if I wouldn’t expect it to go that far.


  1. 1


    Something tells me Carl would have been against letting a protest he strongly disagreed with from legally camping in Westlake park.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 That’s probably just an echo of your own ass from having your head too far up it.

  3. 3

    Fiht deh powur! spews:

    YaAAay I is wan kamp in weSlaik…I cans waiV mi sine aganSt deh ebil zEonest jOoos!

  4. 5

    pulp friction spews:

    so carl, better be careful what you ask for. I assume that since you support camping at Westlaks, then you must support anybody camping at the local park near your house as well….

    hope you enjoy the hordes of derelicts camping out near your house – after all, you said it was ok.

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What Goes Up Doesn’t Come Down

    Food commodities are dropping from last year’s highs but don’t expect to see grocery prices drop anytime soon. Food corporations, which are already making record profits, want to pocket the higher prices they passed on to you when commodities went up. Plus they’re doing some extra skimming on the side:

    “Since the beginning of 2010, the food and drink component of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index is up about 4 percent, while the Producer Price Index, which measures costs for manufacturers, has gained about 7 percent. But that has not been as destructive to margins as it may seem … in general for food companies, a 1 percent rise in retail prices would offset a roughly 5 percent to 7 percent rise in commodity cost pressure.”

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Okay, so if a 1 percent retail rise offsets a 7 percent commodity rise, and food companies raised retail prices 4 percent, they got four times as much from price increases as they needed to offset higher commodity prices.

    So, the next time you see a food company blame higher grocery prices on commodity costs, don’t believe ‘em. They’re just using that as an excuse to gouge you.

    Oh, I know what our trolls will say about this — if you can’t afford to eat, get a job, you dirty fucking hippie!

  6. 7

    Steve spews:

    If I get down there this week I hope to ask a few people about why they camp there. I’m not clear about why they do that. And where did this “Occupy (name of city)” come from? Is there some semi-organized social media element to this that isn’t necessarily reflective of all who are showing up?

    I’m all for a revolution when the time comes. It has the upside of my killing and maiming people I don’t like. I’m just a little wary and hoping that I don’t find some of those people living in tents on the stupid mall or whatever they call that wasteland. Any self-named movement might be at least a little bit too organized for my tastes. I prefer mayhem, death and destruction!*

    *heh. Just kidding.

    Occupy. I never warmed up to that one in the sixties. It seemed unimaginative and offensive to the sensibilities of those you need to win over and become a part of something deserving of broader support. So, yeah, I want to try to understand what’s up with this.

    Eh, it’s a stupid mall because they tore down Bartell’s. Please don’t tell me that you don’t know what I’m talking about. What, no window seat lunch at the second floor cafe overlooking 5th? Next thing, you’ll be telling me that you’ve never been to fucking Ben Paris to poke at a fish. And don’t be telling me you’ve never ridden the “don’t touch the walls” elevator to the 211 Club on Union across from the Embassy. The magic store on 1st? Damn.

    Media imagery along with biased tales of dirty fucking fleabaggers and heroic occupation warriors doesn’t tell me much. Arrgh! I reckon that I have to go there. Or maybe I’ll just have my own “Occupy Hoodsport” and it’ll at least be truly reflective what I believe, that 99% of us are working the plantation. A few work in the house. The vast majority work the fields and are allowed nowhere near the house. As far as the 1% are concerned, we’re all “niggers” now.

  7. 8

    proud leftist spews:

    I concur in some of what you say. Cross the Sound, give me a call, let’s go hang out with the DFH’s. Not much was happening today. Some of the people are at cross purposes. But, I kind of think unrest is good. And, there is great reason for unrest at the moment.

  8. 9

    pulp friction spews:

    you set up an Occupy Hoodsport and I will bring a keg of Georgetown Brewing’s finest.

  9. 10

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    I’ve been on the road for the past month, so have not been following all the details.

    my comment:

    Allowing “camping” anywhere is non value added.
    Civil Disobedience the key here because whether we are talking about Seattle or anywhere else the “Occupy” movement and its message grow stronger with each passing video of anti-Occupy over reaction.

    So, it is not about camping but camping and protesting where it is not allowed and protesting in the most civil manner possible.

    Last, kudos to all of those who have and will be ready and able to face the music as the 1% continues to flex its muscle against we, the 99%.

  10. 11

    Michael spews:

    it is not about camping but camping and protesting where it is not allowed and protesting in the most civil manner possible.


  11. 12

    Blue John spews:

    Last, kudos to all of those who have and will be ready and able to face the music as the 1% continues to flex its muscle against we, the 99%.
    If this doesn’t translate into changes in politics and laws, what’s the point?

  12. 13

    Blue John spews:

    The teabaggers and their handlers are brilliant. Their message is “vote the way we require, or we will primary you out of existence”.
    If the 99% don’t do something equivalent, then it’s all for nothing.

  13. 14

    rhp6033 spews:

    I thought it was hilarious when the Tea Baggers were quoting Jefferson to the effect that a little rebellion now and then was a good thing. (Shortly thereafter, the Wingnut “intelligencia” attempted to eviscorate Jefferson as being anti-Federalist, then went on to eviscorate the Federalists as being, well, too “Federalist”).

    But the “Occupy” movement pretty much seems to be the sort of thing Jefferson was arguing about. Yes, he was an aristocratic slave-owning planter, but he was also an avowed enemy of the moneyed financial interests in New York and Philadelphia whom he feared would subvert democracy and take control of the Republic.

  14. 15


    I want to be a Fleabagger for halloween. Can anyone help me with my costume? I know I’ll have to do a few weird things like tape a dollar over my mouth, and smear poop and urine all over my body, and shout “this is what democracy looks like,” and have a sign that has the number 99 on it somewhere. And demand that other people pay my college tuition debt.

    Anyone have any other tips to create my costume?

  15. 16

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    The price elasticity of demand for gasoline -was estimated to be about -0.15% back in the Seventies. That means that the price of gas could go up by $1.00 per gallon, and the demand would only drop by 0.15%. So, they could make the price of gasoline $100 per gallon, and they’d still sell every drop!

    Not a bad business, if you can get into it! but, then, one of these days the oil will all be gone and it won’t matter. We’ll be back to walking and horses and carriages to get around.

  16. 17

    ArtFart spews:

    @7 Steve, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I don’t remember whether or not Roger grew up here, but if he did he’s certainly old enough to remember, too.

  17. 18

    Michael spews:


    The teabaggers and their handlers are brilliant. Their message is “vote the way we require, or we will primary you out of existence”.
    If the 99% don’t do something equivalent, then it’s all for nothing.

    Maybe not. The Tea People are overwhelmingly right wing Republicans they all think alike. The OWS’ers are center to far left, which is a pretty big territory and they’re just as pissed at the Democrats as they are the Republicans. They could be hurt by becoming a Democratic thing. They need to keep asking questions and pointing out flaws in the system. Democratic and Republican electeds need to come up with the solutions.

  18. 20

    ArtFart spews:

    @6 It’s actually a far more insidious process than that. The food industry is now truly international, and dominated by giant companies that put the squeeze on us with higher prices at the store, while at the same time conspiring to force prices paid to farmers lower and lower. The unwholesomeness of much of the milk supply is one result–dairy farmers’ margins are so thin that they’re forced to squeeze the most production out of less healthy herds. Almost all commercial milk contains a certain percentage of pus due to the hormones fed to the cows to make them grow faster and produce more–it also gives them zits on the inside of their udders. Farmers are being coerced into paying for proprietary, genetically engineered seed, struggling to run things the way the companies dictate, and taking all the risk and debt on themselves. The suicide rate among farmers is the highest of any major occupational group, both in the US and worldwide.

  19. 21

    ArtFart spews:

    I’m not sure I understand why the Occupy folks have their hearts set on doing their thing at Westlake if one of their main issues is calling attention to the abuses of the financial industry. What’s more significant about that location as opposed to City Hall escapes me–and in fact, the latter is closer to the Columbia Tower. That’s the real epicenter of “high finance” in our city nowadays.

  20. 22


    13 – I agree. The progressives, the folks who are for positive change, have to primary out the squishy types in order to be taken seriously..

    Haven’t done that to any degree the tea baggers have done.

  21. 23


    21 – No the location is the best. If they have a message to get out – that’s the place to do it.

    The movement is nascent. One of the impressive features in my view is the general assemblies – grass roots democracy in action.

    If more and more people from all walks are draw in – especially people who’ve never been all that politically active – then it’ll really take off.

  22. 24

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @12. Blue John,

    If this doesn’t translate into changes in politics and laws, what’s the point?

    The point is change. The usage of tactics is about getting the change in meaningful amounts and in meaningful time.

    Moneyball is an effective tactic of the 1%.
    ‘Law & Order’ is an effective tactic of the 1%.
    Funneling unrest in to tri-corner hat wearing costume parties is an effective tactic of the 1%.

    Repeated peaceful Civil Disobedience is the most effective counter tactic for the 99%.

  23. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    The problem with locating the Occupy demonstrations anywhere else in Seattle is that there is limited park space which has as much visibility. What the opponants want to do is move them to a location where they can be ignored. As long as they are at Westlake, that’s not going to happen.

    A couple of things will change over the next month or so. First, the weather will get worse, which will drive away the faint-of-heart (or weak of body) protesters. If the police keep removing tents, that’s going to exascerbate the situation. Second, those that remain are going to consist of a large number of students, but as papers come due and finals approach, they are going to have a hard time maintaining their presense.

    I think they really need a “Plan B”, a plan where the “Occupy” morfs into a political force puncutated by frequent but time-limited demonstrations all around town. That way the occupation can eventually end on THEIR terms, not being perceived as a victory by the powers-that-be as their numbers inevitably dwindle.

    They do need to be smart about it. Note that in 2010, the Tea Party tried to organize a national rally in Los Vegas, only to have to cancel it when it became apparant that the working class can’t cancel planned summer vacations or take time off work at the drop of a hat – and many didn’t want to go to Los Vegas anyway. Likewise, the Occupy Seattle movement needs to partner with both organized labor (locally) and with un-organized workers to arrange protests and political meetings which will accomodate a working-stiff’s schedules.

  24. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    We may not need to “primary” our local politicians. We just need to scare the pants off them with our clout and intensity, and let them know we will be watching every move they make over their next term of office.

  25. 27

    fIte deh zEonest jOoos! spews:

    wE is waIven aRe sines and PoOpin on deh koP KaRs an usn ares ifones an DrincinG aRe staRbuks!

  26. 28

    fleabaggerssuck spews:

    Here is the first significant poll by a Democrat Pollster (Clinton’s main guy) on who these fleabaggers are.

    They may represent 10% of America, certainly not 99%. Obama is sealing his doom.
    I get a real kick out of these fleabaggers.
    Out of one side of their mouths they are saying take more from the rich. Most of them have jobs and seem to resent that part of their pathetic lives.
    But the real joke is, they are complaining about the theft of their I-Phones and other expensive electronic gadgets!
    So they promote taking from others.
    But when someone takes from them, it’s a catastrophe?
    They should be glad some other fleabagger less fortunate than them has their I-phone.

    God, this is so darn funny.
    Thank you Lord for all the laughs.

  27. 29

    Michael spews:

    There’s been all sorts of polling done and it doesn’t show what the WSJ is alleging. Shit, all you have to do is look a map of where there are protests (which would be everywhere) to know the WSJ’s wrong on this one.

  28. 30

    Michael spews:

    Here’s the actual polling data.

    They interviewed 200 hand picked folks (and I bet they tried to skew the data by who they picked) in NYC and tried to extrapolate those answers to a group of people with protests going on all over the country. Sorry that just wont fly.

    Here’s a map of where the protests are taking place.

    From the WSJ:

    it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth

    From the polling data:

    4% Radical redistribution of wealth

    They found 8 people at a huge protest in NYC that supported radical redistribution of wealth. Wow! Shocking!

    OMFG, give it a rest.

  29. 31

    Michael spews:

    Like the OWS’ers or don’t like them, I really don’t give a fuck. But, please don’t use bad data.

  30. 32

    fleabaggerssuck spews:

    Michael can’t be serious quoting a poll from a fleabagger organization?? The fleabaggers don’t want the truth out about the demographics of who is in their group. The problem is many of these lice-infested, dope-smoking screwballs have diarrhea of the mouth. Over & over again are videos from hate the rich, take from the rich.
    Obama is digging himself a huge hole with Independents. He is trying to get the focus off his miserable record and on to emotional BS like the fleabaggers. It isn’t working. Obama has moved ZERO in the polls the past 2 weeks. It is starting to grow old with the Independents as they see and listen to one moronic fleabagger after another spew ignorance and hate.