I don't know whether it was the Madonna who heard that big fat Hail Mary, or if it was by intercession of St. Jude, but Nickelsville stands. Thanks to some impressive work from the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Gov. Gregoire's aide Ron Judd showed up at around one o'clock — just as arrests were beginning. He brought news that the parking lot on Marginal Way was still technically under the State control, and that he'd negotiated a truce with the city. Nickelsville would be allowed to stay on state property until the close of Wednesday.
The phalanx of cops and horses that sat around the corner on Highland behind the Subway would not be deployed.
As Seattle Police set to work arresting the 22 people who chose to make their stand on the city's proposed site for a new jail, others busied themselves carrying pink tents and other supplies over the berm and into the safe zone. Once all the media trucks are out of there, the lot will be big enough to accommodate a few hundred.
Chief Hansen of the Duwamish said their tribe holds claim to the land as well, and was in touch with the Governor. She was there this morning, and said, "My tribe has been homeless since 1864. We know what it' s like to go without an identity."
During the one-week grace period, Nickelsville organizers will work to secure more permanent location for the survival encampment.