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Occupy Seattle

Latest Information

Updated: January 10, 2012

  • Final City Hall permit issued This permit expires at 7 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2012. The City does not expect to renew this permit upon its expiration. The permittees will remove their belongings and material before the expiration of the permit.

Updated: January 5, 2012

Notice from November 22, 2011:

  • Permitted Events at Westlake

The City of Seattle has granted three permits for activity to take place at Westlake this Friday. Westlake Center was granted a permit for the 23rd Annual Westlake Center Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will take place at 5 pm. The permit includes the use of Pine Street between 4th and 5th Avenues from 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM for the event, as well as a closure of 4th and 5th Avenues between Union and Stewart from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

The Downtown Seattle Association requested a permit for to operate the Holiday Carousel in the north end of Westlake Park, which will open this Friday. The Seattle Parks Department granted the permit, which lasts from November 20, 2011 to January 3, 2012 and includes an allowance for amplified sound from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM as well as canopies, a stage, fencing, commercial vendors, and commercial banners. This year proceeds from the Carousel benefit Treehouse, a local nonprofit that fills in the gaps for kids in foster care, providing services that no other agency addresses – funding for summer camp, clothing and school supplies, and educational support.

We also received a request from Occupy Seattle organizers to host “a day of protest, community, education, creativity and caring” in the south end of Westlake Park during the afternoon of Friday, November 25. The Occupy Seattle event  is expected to include an “arts and crafts booth, various speakers, choral groups, on stage as well as a square dance and a teach-in about supporting the local economy.”
Seattle Parks granted this permit request. It requires the event to operate with the limits of the Seattle noise code, limit its amplified sound to between noon and 5 pm, take reasonable action to direct the sound system away from other activities and the neighboring residential building, and clean-up after itself when the event ends. The sponsors of the Carousel and the organizers of Occupy Seattle have met and discussed how their events can coexist in Westlake Park.

Seattle routinely grants permits for free speech activities in public parks and streets. In 2001 a federal court ruled that Westlake Park was sufficiently large for multiple activities, and that the City was obligated to provide a permit for protest activity at the other end of Westlake Park from the Carousel. Since that court order, Seattle Parks has routinely granted permits for free speech activities at Westlake Park during the holiday season.

Our goal as always is to ensure that events held in our parks are successful and abide by the terms of their permits and other applicable laws.

Click here to for older updates

Owners of tents or other belongings removed from Westlake can contact Cynthia Thurmond of the Seattle Parks Department at (206) 684-4075 to arrange for pickup during regular city business hours.

The City of Seattle supports the free speech rights of individuals and groups. We are also committed to protecting the public and providing for other legitimate uses of city property.


Westlake Park: As of January 5, 2012, there are no current permits for Westlake Park.

City Hall: Read the complete text of the City Hall Southwest Peninsula Permit, issued Jan. 10, 2012.

  • This permit expires at 7 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2012. The City does not expect to renew this permit upon its expiration. The permittees will remove their belongings and material before the expiration of the permit. All such belongings and material remaining after permit expiration will be removed by the City.
  • Use of City Hall Southwest Peninsula will comply with all City, County, State and Federal laws and rules.
  • The City is making the City Hall Southwest Peninsula (see attachment 2 of permit) available for canopies to be used for storage, first aid and information purposes. A lead person must attend and be responsible for the canopies throughout the entire permit period.
  • No camping is allowed, except as a use of these permitted canopies. Those under the age of 18 are not permitted to camp on City Hall grounds.
  • Portable toilets will be available on the Plaza for use when City Hall is closed and will be locked during the normal business hours of City Hall. Restrooms are available inside City Hall during normal business hours.
  • Demonstrators may not close off, rope off or partition any part of the premises at any time. All pathways, walkways, stairwells and access ways must remain open at all times. Demonstrators may not block off public access.
  • The City Hall Lower Plaza is to be kept clear during the day. Unattended items may be removed at the City’s discretion.
  • Demonstrations in other areas are prohibited.
  • No amplification may be used.
  • The interior of City Hall is closed to the public from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. during the week and entirely on the weekends, except for scheduled events.
  • Demonstrators will not interfere with the operation of the Homeless Shelter located in the City Hall Red Room, nor will they interfere with anybody entering or leaving the building. In respect of the occupants of the homeless shelter, demonstrators shall observe quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Prohibited activities: The following are NOT ALLOWED:
    • Distribution of food (food for personal use of the permittees is allowed).
    • Sale of food, beverages, goods or merchandise.
    • Charging admission or fees for services.
    • Alteration, painting, or construction on any City property.
    • Fires (including open fires, stoves, fireplaces or any other heating devices) are prohibited in any location. 
    • Smoking in any tent or canopy. (Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.)
    • Alcohol and illegal drugs (alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs shall not be kept, sold, served or consumed on the premises)
    • Animals (animals, except disable person’s service animals or law enforcement animals, shall not be brought to or kept at City Hall).


January 5, 2012: City Hall permit issued

January 3, 2012: City Hall permit issued

December 27, 2011: City Hall permit issued

December 19, 2011: City Hall permit issued

December 12, 2011: City Hall permit issued

December 12, 2011: Westlake Park permit updated

December 5, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 29, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 28, 2011: Westlake Park permit issued

November 21, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 18, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 11, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 9, 2011: There are currently no permits issued for Westlake Park.

November 8, 2011: City Hall permit issued

November 1, 2011: City Hall permit issued | Westlake Park permit updated

October 26, 2011: Westlake Park permit updated

October 19, 2011: Language updated to reflect new Westlake Park permit rules.

October 18, 2011: Permits issued for Westlake Park and City Hall.

October 14, 2011:

  • After working with Occupy Seattle for a week, the City was able to grant them a permit on Wednesday for protest activities in Westlake Park, including an informational tent. Consistent with other events, uses of this tent were limited to handing out information, first aid, and prepackaged food. This permit was issued and signed two days ago. Yesterday we warned them that they were violating the terms of the permit. We reissued the permit to be more explicit, and Occupy Seattle accepted the new permit and the new conditions.

    Occupy Seattle violated the terms of the permit again last night. The tent was actively used during hours when the park was closed between 10 PM and 6AM, and numerous items not related to the permitted purpose of the tent were stored inside overnight including an operational propane tank. These are violations of the detail provisions as well as the overall intent of the permit.

    Staff informed the people responsible for the tent this morning that the permit was being revoked and that the tent was to be dismantled. People with Occupy Seattle dismantled the tent without incident.  We will not be reissuing a permit for an informational tent at Westlake.


Seattle Parks Department: (206) 982-4583
Seattle Police Department: 911 (if emergency) or (206) 625-5011 (non-emergency)
Office of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn: or (206) 684-4000

Regular updates and information can be found at