A Seattle judge has ruled 16 activists were not trespassing after they occupied a vacant Capitol Hill building in December. Some 200 activists occupied the Union Cultural Center at 10th and Union for about 10 hours before they were forced out in a pre-dawn SWAT raid by Seattle police.
According to court records, Judge Judith Hightower ruled the building was abandoned, incapable of being trespassed. The building had been empty for more than a year and was scheduled for demolition two weeks after the activists moved in.
Hightower dismissed the trial May 24; it was slated to start this week. The 107-year-old building had since been demolished to make way for new mixed-use development.
Kimberly Mills, spokesperson for the City Attorney's office, tells CHS the judge denied the prosecutor's request to reconsider the ruling.
Braden Pence, who represented some of the UCC 16, says the ruling calls into question how and why Occupy crackdowns were carried out.
For some background on the