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November 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM

College board kicks Occupy Seattle campers off campus

The board of trustees for Seattle's community colleges voted Wednesday to bar Occupy Seattle protesters from camping at Seattle Central Community College because of unsanitary conditions. Above, public art on the SCCC campus is used to secure tent lines. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

The board of trustees for Seattle’s community colleges voted today to bar Occupy Seattle protesters from camping at Seattle Central Community College because of unsanitary conditions.

The Seattle Community College District Board of Trustees believes it can legally bar the more than 100 demonstrators from camping there for 120 days and ban protests between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Occupy Seattle this afternoon filed for an injunction to block the eviction. The lawsuit was filed in Thurston County Superior Court.

The board, which met in Seattle today, is also working on a longer-term ban for the Occupy campers.

The group would not be forced out immediately from the Seattle Central campus. Board members said they would work toward an “orderly” transition.

The decision was made during a mostly-orderly board meeting at noon Wednesday. A crowd of occupy protesters and students packed the meeting room to challenge the board’s proposal.

“People are not going to back down without a fight here, so please work with us through these issues that are easily resolvable,” said one speaker, an Occupy protester.

Board members cited a recent report from Public Health – Seattle & King County that found overcrowded living conditions, dogs defecating and urinating, debris and litter between tents and evidence of rodents.

Seattle Community Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield said in her proposal to remove the campers that the college is concerned about “vermin, food handling and refrigeration, no approved water source, unsecured dogs and animal feces, and drug dealing and usage” as well as “syringes, human feces, public urination, drug and alcohol usage.”

The encampment has made the college’s childcare play area unusable, Wakefield’s proposal said.

According to Occupy filing, “It is Occupy Seattle’s sincere wish and concerted effort to make the occupation site a safe, healthy, environmentally friendly place. There are no conditions at the occupation site known to Plaintiffs that constitute serious health or safety concerns.”

Occupy Seattle moved to the campus Oct. 29 after an encampment at Westlake Park led to numerous run-ins with police.

Initially, the state Attorney General’s Office said the college could not legally kick out the protesters, but Wednesday’s “emergency rule” is temporary and can only be challenged by a petition to the governor.

Comments | More in Education, General news | Topics: Occupy Seattle

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