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Activists Say “Sweeps are Violence,” as Ballard Encampment is Cleared

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Homeless Propaganda

The problematic encampment in front of Quest Church along NW Leary Way is now gone. Several people got into tiny houses which are considered temporary stays. Others simply left to set up tents in other parts of Ballard. But the real story is the false messaging coming out of Stop The Sweeps Seattle. This FAR-LEFT activist group keeps saying “Sweeps Kill” and “Sweeps Are Violence.” Yet no one has been able to show any data or stats that show a direct correlation between deaths and an encampment removal. In other words, these people are making things up to fit their “housing first” socialist narrative. There are even Seattle councilmembers who push this lie. Problem is, no one in local corporate Seattle media is questioning these disingenuous talking points or holding these people accountable. On a side note, most of these Stop The Sweeps volunteers are also regulars at the pro-Palestine protests sweeping across the city and are part of the Commie/Socialist/Marxist movement.

Happening Now

Massive encampment clearing along NW Leary Way in Ballard. Stop The Sweeps Protesters are out in full force. This stretch from Fremont Brewing to Quest Church is just pure urban decay. Earlier this week, I counted 43 tents and that doesn’t even include the RV’s parked along the streets.

City officials tell me the recent string of crimes in the area triggered this removal, which includes the story I broke last week about the vigilante justice near UW Medicine and the church. The city was facing enormous pressure from the hospital to remove the encampment after this incident. Just to be clear, the tents near UW and the church are the only ones being removed today. Outreach workers say several campers did get tiny houses or temporary housing. But other homeless advocates say they’re shocked by this move since Councilmember Dan Strauss (@CMDanStrauss) told them they would have until the end of November to get people off the streets.

Bottom line, the recent series of public safety failures were just too much for this neighborhood. The concern now, what happens to the remaining dozen or so homeless people? The city continues to offer services and shelter options, but the vast majority of people out here are rejecting the accommodations saying it’s just not good enough. Before I left, several campers told me they want to be left alone and live on the streets, so they don’t have to follow rules, worry about a job, or pay rent.

Once again, this is not an affordable housing crisis. This is all being fueled by broken relationships, drug addiction, and mental illness. You cannot build your way out of this problem.

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.