Mayor Mike McGinn just issued the following statement about last night's confused orders to Occupy Seattle protesters—police may arrest you, no they're not going to arrest you, actually they're going to play head games until they provoke protesters to do something rash—to say police were operating under his orders to warn arrests could happen:
The Parks Department and the Seattle Police were under instructions last night to inform people of the rules that apply to Westlake Park, but to not make arrests for camping at this time.
Got it, brilliant, police were simply under orders to threaten arrest. McGinn didn't intend to follow through. So when Paul asked Lt. Nollette what they were doing, she was simply communicating that order:
"Everybody was advised twice that the park closes at 10:00 p.m. and that they could be subject to arrest." Asked if the mayor knew about this, she said, "I have no idea."
Very clever, Mike McGinn. You're declaring support for the protesters and harassing them. The commanding officer on the scene was just telling protesters what could possibly, maybe, perhaps—who knows, really?—happen if they don't leave. That jibes with this announcement that if protesters "don't leave the area you can be subject to arrest for criminal trespass."
But interesting that the cops didn't know what the mayor's office knew, the mayor's office sent a staffer scrambling down to the scene to defuse the situation, and the police needed to make regular loudspeaker announcements (even though making noise was a ticketable offense a few nights ago because it would upset nearby residents). What will "Mayor" McGinn threaten next—and is he capable of following through? In related news, remember that time he followed through on his promise to put light rail on the ballot within two years of getting elected?