OLYMPIA, WA – According to reports, seven people were arrested in connection with an incident on Sunday in Olympia, Washington when a mob seeking pandemic housing and with alleged ties to ANTIFA stormed a hotel with batons and knives and took it over.
Homeless activists and a group called Oly Housing Now allegedly booked 17 rooms in the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Olympia, and subsequently moved in 33 homeless people with no plans for them to leave, instead demanding that Thurston County officials pay for the stay utilizing funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The activists, who allegedly have ties to the left-wing anti-fascist group ANTIFA, were reportedly dressed in black and armed with weapons including hatchets, batons, and knives when they entered the lobby of the hotel and demanded that staff open the 17 booked rooms. Members of the mob allegedly assaulted one employee while several others hid in the basement for safety, reports say.
From there, the mob occupied the 17 rooms in question as well as the building’s lobby for several hours.
“We’re just ready to stand our ground. We don’t mean any harm. We actually want this hotel to get business,” said Oly Housing Now member Emma Veite. “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.”
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Authorities responded to calls from the hotel starting at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday, and after obtaining a search warrant they confronted the mob, which was apparently anticipating a conflict with authorities since they were equipped with gas masks, helmets and goggles, officials say.
Officials say that so far between 7 and 12 arrests have been made on charges ranging from burglary to trespassing, with police expecting more as they continue to sweep the entire hotel. The employees who hid in the basement were freed after remaining there for approximately 6 hours.