Some thoughts on the Occupy Bellingham issue

• Topics: Bellingham, Law & Justice,

The Bellingham Herald photographers took a lot of very good news photos of the eviction process. Photographers Colin Diltzithe and Andy Bronsonithe have eighty some photos posted in the Bellingham Herald Photo Gallery. I recommend scrolling through them. All the photos are good. And these two guys took several outstanding news photos.

Dec 30 - noon

Dan Pike fled Bellingham for Seattle on Wednesday, according to a fairly reliable source. He did exit quietly - and I am still seeking to learn if it was before the police military action on Wednesday morning, or on Thursday morning. This whole debacle is a result of Dan Pike giving the finger to the Bellingham community. The chump would not even stick around his last two days on the job to take responsibility for his actions.

Far from wanting to antagonize his supporters, I would hope they now understand how some of us felt these past few years. We were totally taken in by Dan back in 2007. He made many serious promises and expressed his sincere desire to run our city differently. And the day he was elected he tossed it all out the window. We held no personal gripe with him - just a profound disappointment with his actions. Now all have seen his attitude at work.

Read Wendy Harris' latest posts. She is right on. And keep in mind that city hall today has no mayor and the department heads are catching the anger of citizens.

Dec 28 post below

Interestingly the Bellingham Herald sees the Occupy Bellingham story as a 'Public Safety' story and not a political one. The reporter for all the closing down and arrests of the folks exercising their rights to free speech on public property is being covered by Zoe Fraley, not John Stark. Stark covers Bellingham politics and city hall. This says much about how the Herald sees local issues and controversies.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Wendy Harris

Dec 28, 2011

To be fair to the Herald, this may reflect the fact that the statute cited for closing off an area of the park and bringing in riot police was based on public safety.  BMC 8.04.130.  There is a civil citation for illegal camping, but this does not permit the City to close off an area of a public park and restrict people from entering.  This was a tactical move by the City to get protestors, who could not otherwise be cited for any violation, off the property.  Maybe I will blog something on this.


Hue Beattie

Dec 30, 2011

Some poorly informed name calling by John Servais.


Mike Rostron

Dec 30, 2011

Like many, I felt safer with the OB folks in the park!


John Servais

Dec 30, 2011

Hue - after his actions this week, I feel calling him a ‘chump’ is going pretty easy on him.  Check today’s post where I say he is a ‘coward’ for leaving town just as his police - all in riot gear per his orders - were starting to arrest and drum the Occupy protesters out of the park.  He literally drove out of town at that very moment.

So I could say he acted like a chump and appeared to act in a cowardly manner.  Guess that would not be name calling.


Todd Granger

Dec 31, 2011

How simple “is” it?
Now he’s a chump, for allowing illegal overnight camping for how long?
Any old State Park with camping facilities has a 14 day limit, matching most federal versions too.
“Free Parking” and who won the “Get out of Jail Free Card.”

Democracy Now, do they have free camping at Pikes Peak too?


Rick Anderson

Dec 31, 2011

John-I believe that your reply to Hue is not entirely correct.  Mayor Pike issued an eviction order.  It was the duty of the police department to enforce it.  I seriously doubt that it was the Mayor who determined that the officers were “all in riot gear per his orders”. That would be the call of the Chief of Police, not the mayor.  The Chief has an obligation for the safety of his officers.  In view of what has occurred at other Occupy events I am sure the decision to wear riot gear to the eviction seemed like a responsible choice, but that will be debated on the blogs for weeks to come. 

I wonder how people would have felt if the eviction came the first night of camping in the park in violation of city ordinance?  Maybe that was Pike’s big mistake?  I’m just glad I didn’t vote for him in either election!  Happy New Year!


John Lesow

Jan 02, 2012

Yeah, John.  I live in Point Roberts.  Don’t know nuthin’ about big, sophisticated Bellingham.  I’m just a clodbuster from the County.  Like Vince Buys.

You remember Vince, don’t you?  Because were it not for Vince, a stripling neophyte whose political experience makes Barack Obama look like John Quincy Adams, we would not even be having this inane discussion about Mayor-Elect Linville, Ex-Mayor Pike or the merits of hugs vs. head-busting when it comes to clearing miscreants from public property.

As far as the housecleaning at Maritime Park, Kelli Linville would have done the same thing as Dan Pike, but maybe a week or two later.  She should send Dan a thank you note for sparing her the trouble.

Vancouver, that frontier city up north of which Hamsters know little, offers a convenient example of what happens when inaction turns to tragedy.

Occupy Vancouver (yes, we socialist Canadians have our very own group of More For Me’s), decided to set up camp on one of the few oases in downtown Vancouver—the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

The reaction of our telegenic Mayor, Gregor Robertson, was typical—provide free 24/7 security, free portable toilets and free electricity to these good folks.  Oh yes—there was no announced deadline for leaving the premises.  Stay as long as you want.  For free.

Unfortunately for Mayor Robertson, the Occupation of the Art Gallery Green occurred during a Vancuver civic election.

To the surprise of no one but Groupthink Liberals, the Occupation of the Green became a campaign issue for Robertson’s Mayoral opponent, Vancouver City Councilmember Suzanne Anton.  (No relation to Susan Anton, the statuesque babe from Baywatch and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy; check her out on Wikipedia—she’s still gorgeous at 61)

Anton advocated removing the protestors and not acceding to their inane demands, which included ratifying Kyoto, free college tuition for everyone and no cuts to public funding for the uber-liberal Canadian Broadcasting Company. Scratch the surface of any Occupy movement and you will find a burning mantle of egocentrism lurks just below.

Unfortunately, while Mayor Robertson dithered, a young girl (20) died from a heroin overdose in one of the Occupy tents on the Gallery Green.  Does the term “attractive nuisance” ring a bell with any of you lawyers out there?

Would this young girl have died on the sullied grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery if the Occupy Vancouver protestors had been removed, forcibly or otherwise, after a reasonable time? Like a few days?  The answer is No.

Had this unfortunate death occurred during the Occupation of Maritime Park, you can bet that every small-l liberal that reads this blog (which is just about everybody) would be calling for Dan Pike’s scalp.

Fortunately for Kelli Linville, she dodged this one.  But she would be wise to consider the Vancouver tragedy the next time the oppressed decide to occupy Maritime Park.

Just a passing thought—what if the Occupy folks decide to occupy Fairhaven Green?  Would the response by the nearby businesses be accommodating?  Would Village Books provide free lavatory facilities?

Footnote:  Despite the underreported story of the drug death on the Gallery Green, Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver slate swept the election, assuring Vancouver will continue to be run by the liberal elites and big development interests.  Just like Bellingham.

Another Footnote:  Suzanne Anton had to relinquish her seat on Vancouver Council to run for Mayor.  She is now dispatched to the political wilderness.  No seat on Council.  No voice.  The liberal elites are pleased.

Still, I admire the courage of Ms. Anton to speak her mind.  Ironic that an electorate and punditocracy obsessed by the illusory lack of X chromosomes in local government can be unwitting accessories to a politically-correct climate that fosters the kind of tragedy that occurred in Vancouver.


John Lesow

Jan 02, 2012

my previous post was in response to John’s valentine, “Kelli Linville Has Taken Oath as Mayor”, not “Some Thoughts on the Occupy Bellingham Issue”.

My mistake.


John Gray

Jan 10, 2012

Strangely enough the law says you can’t claim a section of one of the city’s parks and jut camp out there.Occupy Bellingham didn’t care and wasn’t going to leave until somebody made them do so.Pike was right to evict Occupy Bellingham and not leave it to Kelli Linville to clean up his mess.

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