Update 1:30pm: Fife police release statement on the events of the day covered below
Update 1:00pm: Police are still onsite at the motel continuing to clear the building. Two groups have gathered outside the fence of the property, Antifa and conservatives. Both groups are peaceful at this time.
Update 12:46pm: Antifa activists are gathering, apparently answering the call of Tacoma Housing Now for reinforcements. There are also conservatives and 2nd amendment advocates who are taking video and want to protect the motel against Antifa retalitory action. There is concern from those onsite that Antifa will retaliate against the motel and attempt to retake the location or that there will be conflict between the different groups.
Update 12:23pm: Police Chief Pete Fisher: A criminal investigation is underway. “No one has been arrested.” What happened was a crime. Those who have “criminal culpability” will be held “accountable.” Fisher promised “zero tolerance” on this kind of illegal action. Fisher said health and housing resources are being made available to all of the homeless individuals.
Update 12:19pm: Police Chief Pete Fisher is giving an update to the press. according to Fisher, there were “criminal elements” on site which necessitated the hotel be cleared as well as assiting the business owner “who is a victim” and a health concern of a “super spreader event” due to positive cases of COVID-19 amonth the occupiers. Police were trying to clarify state COVID regulations, that follow the CDC guidelines that the homeless should shelter in place which delayed action on the site. After clarification on the guidelines as well as the city and police finding shelter for the homeless occupants, the raid was authorized. Extra precautions had to be taken because of confirmed COVID cases among the activists. Fisher confirms that the city and police were negotiating with the activists.
Update 12:05pm: Police are offering assistance to the homeless occupants at the motel and are helping them relocate their possessions. Despite calls for reinforcements, no additional Antifa activists have arrived.
Update 12:00pm : According to a live stream video there is almost no resistance from Antifa. Police can be seen wearing PPE gear. Activists posted on Twitter that some of their members at the motel are positive for COVID-19.
Original story: According to the Tacoma Housing Now Twitter account “Cops are breaking doors open…” and they believe “…arrests are about to happen.” Witnesses said that no doors were broken and most activists left peacefully. Police assited in relocating the homeless to services.
The timing coincides with checkout time at the motel. Yesterday activists told The Post Millennial that they have be protesting in the parking lot everyday at 11 am during checkout time “…in case the owner decides to call the police on us to come kick us out.”
On Christmas Eve, Antifa activists rented sixteen motel rooms in the Travelodge in Fife, Washington. Then the next day, on Christmas, they refused to leave and refused to pay for the additional nights and have been illegally occupying the motel rooms since.
Since then, activists broke into an additional two rooms and claimed they had over sixty people occupying the motel. Antifa activists have called for reinforcements.
The activists demanded that local government pick up the tab for the rooms and turn the motel into a shelter using money from the CARES ACT, FEMA and defunding the police. Despite the calls for reinforcements, the occupiers appear to be leaving peacefully with one or two of the activists yelling at police. Police said health and housing resources are being made available to all of the homeless individuals.