As I type this, the Occupy Bellingham encampment in our Maritime Heritage Park is preparing for a forced eviction scheduled for 9am, a few minutes from now. Bellingham, Washington, a city of only 80,000, might not be a mighty metropolis and media hub, but our hearty occupiers have been camped out since October.
It is with deep regret that, for a variety of reasons, I am unable to join my fellow 99%ers this morning in person. And so, I offer up this blog post of solidarity, my humble effort to spread the word of this injustice, knowing, as I do from visitor stats and such, that I’m fortunate enough to have readers from all over the world, from the west coast of the U.S. to the east, from the west coast of Canada to the east, from England to The Netherlands, and all the way to India.
Lame Duck Mayor Dan Pike, whom I praised so highly for his stance against the coal terminal project, has ordered the eviction on the grounds that there have been complaints from neighboring businesses and reports of damage to park property, namely the grass where the tents are pitched.
I did stop by the camp before I went to work this morning, and was told by the brave souls there that they’ve been doing near constant outreach to nearby businesses, checking in with them to make sure that they aren’t disturbing anyone, and the occupiers have been planning on repairing any damage to grass or other park property, though they insist that the damage is minimal.
Meanwhile, Occupy Bellingham’s lawyer insists that the eviction is a clear violation of First Amendment rights, and he plans to take legal action against the city on behalf of the occupiers.
For anyone interested, you can follow today’s events via Ustream and on Twitter via #OccupyBellingham.