Another move and another challenge for Nickelsville," proclaims Bruce Beavers, a proud resident of the roughly 100-person encampment built of tarps, tents, and pallets. The group is packing up and preparing for yet another move, their fifth since organizing in late Sept. of 2008.
On Thur., March 5, Nickelsville ends its stay at the University District's Congregational United Church of Christ. This time, the Nickelodeons are headed to the southern end of Lake Washington near Renton, where Bryan Mawr United Methodist Church has agreed to host the camp for three months while the search for a permanent location continues. Group organizers have begun discussing the issue with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), hoping that more political support will eventually lead to a permanent site.
The Methodist church has obtained a 90-day permit from King County. The new site lies on unincorporated King County land, which puts the encampment under county jurisdiction -- a move some Nickelodeons say they hope will minimize conflict. In October, the City of Seattle drove campers from their original site along W. Marginal Way and denied land-use permits at three subsequent locations. Nickelodeons say that Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has lacked empathy in dealing with their attempts to house themselves and they look forward to leaving city jurisdiction, despite potentially long bus rides for those who work in the city.
Nickelsville is looking for volunteers to help with the move; if interested, please call (206) 450-9136, or drop by the United Church of Christ, 4515 16th Ave. NE., anytime after 8 a.m. on Thur. Mar. 5, 2009.