Anarchist squatters removed from eastside house

Property owner said process took nine months

Several squatters were removed from a house in Olympia's eastside on June 4, 2021.
JOLT staff video
Posted

Seven or eight squatters were evicted from an Olympia rental home today after Thurston County Sheriff’s Deputies repossessed it on behalf of its owner based on a court order.

Some of the squatters were still at the home, seemingly unaware when a locksmith, a friend of the homeowner, and several journalists arrived early on June 4 at 10 a.m. in time to watch eight Sheriff's deputies knock on the front and back doors. 

One of the squatters demanded that videotaping of him stop, as he did not provide “permission.”  See video, above.  

The property owner, Neil MacLean, told The JOLT that it would cost him $5,000 and take six people two days to clean up. He said that the eviction process started last September. 

All of the tenants who were on the lease left on Nov. 1, 2020. The last sublease tenant left on May 1, 2021, said MacLean, who resides in San Francisco.

The inside of the house was trashed, with anarchist graffiti in several rooms and a dank smell throughout the house.

Sheriff’s Deputies spotted several ballistics vests and contacted Olympia Police Department for potential documentation.

A “cold case” was solved by the eviction:  a three-foot wooden structure that had sat outside the Frog Pond Grocery as an icon for decades on 2102 Capitol Way S, had gone missing in winter 2020. The frog had been repainted into a Teenage Mutant Ninja-style turtle with an anarchy sign on it. It squatted, too, in the house's living room.

No arrests were made and  "no attempt was made to identify the individuals inside the house," according to the Thurston County Sheriff's office, adding "no charges at this time will be referred" [for prosecution].

June 4, 2021, 3:07 pm - This story was updated.

Comments

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Jeff Evans

Great reporting, but what a sad and frustrating legal environment we live in. The story isn't over for the owner: after paying for everything to be cleaned up, he'll have to pay thousands more to get the property ready to re-rent. And the vandals stroll down the road to take advantage of the next situation.

Friday, June 4
JstPlnOnry

Good! It’s about time these squatters are evicted. Especially if they’re anarchist. Hopefully the homeowner can get their names, sue them for damages & owed rent, garnish their wages & hold them responsible. These anarchist need a slap in the face about how the reality of the real world works.

Saturday, June 5
PaulTheOak

For a journal seeking balanced reporting, this article was disappointing. "Anarchist" squatters - you labeled them because of some graffitti in their house. Did you interview them? What's the other side of the story? Why were they occupying the house - did they have any reason to share? Did they call themselves Anarchists? And while you're at it, did you interview other Anarchists to see if they agree with that strategy. Maybe the squatters weren't Anarchists - maybe they are just goofy young people who like making trouble and don't want to pay rent? Or maybe they had a sound political reason for their action. An even-handed article would have told us so much more.

While I'm at it, do you own a property that you rent? If so, perhaps you should declare your interest in an article like this. It certainly seems like you took the side of the property owner. Personally, I disagree with the actions of the squatters, but ... what's the "rest of the story"?

Thursday, June 10