The city of Seattle threatened to sweep a homeless encampment located across the street from City Hall on Sunday, Feb. 20, but were thwarted by activists who stayed with people experiencing homelessness overnight to prevent the clearing.
City officials and police came on Feb. 20 but ultimately left around 10 a.m. Two residents said that they’d stayed in roughly the same place for more than four years, but the sweep was tagged as an obstruction, meaning the city didn’t have to give warning before moving people along.
Workers came with rakes to move trash and other debris around activists who stood in front of tents, interlocking their arms.
Bridging the gap
Repairs to the West Seattle Bridge, which has been mostly closed to traffic since March 2020, will likely be delayed as a result of an ongoing strike by concrete truck drivers.
Contractors working to fix the bridge need roughly 30 truckloads of cement, according to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
Members of Teamsters 174 met with federal negotiators and offered a one-year extension while negotiations continue, but were rebuffed by employers, according to a post on the union’s website. Approximately 330 members of the union at six different concrete, cement and construction companies have been on strike for more than 100 days.
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Feb. 9 that he would direct the county to seek out alternative sources of concrete to keep projects moving forward. One of the qualifications to win the $28 to $35 million contract was an agreement to prevent work stoppages and employer lockouts.
“With transit improvements stalled and construction sites gone quiet, the impact of the labor dispute is leaving people out of work and taxpayers suffering delays in the critical infrastructure that the region needs built now,” Constantine said in a statement on Feb 9. “Our proposal today seeks to protect the public’s interest by providing economic certainty to suppliers who treat workers fairly and keep our infrastructure projects moving forward.”
Public safety #1
A majority of likely voters in Washington state support legislation that would ban the sale of high-capacity gun magazines, according to recent polling by the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI).
Approximately 60 percent of 700 likely 2022 voters said they would support prohibiting the sale or possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, with some exceptions, NPI said. A piece of legislation in front of the House Rules Committee would ban the manufacture, distribution, importation and sale of high-capacity magazines, but wouldn’t outlaw possession.
Ashley Archibald is the editor of Real Change News.
Read more of the Mar. 2-8, 2022 issue.