Homeless activists occupy Washington state hotel in apparent takeover attempt, at least 7 in custody: report

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At least seven people were in custody late Sunday after homeless activists with a group called Oly Housing Now occupied the lobby and 17 rooms at the Red Lion hotel in Olympia, Wash., in an apparent takeover attempt demanding pandemic housing, reports said. 

Law enforcement and SWAT teams closed off the nearby roadway and are going through the hotel floor by floor, The Olympian reported. A group of hotel employees, who fled into the basement after activists entered the hotel, were safely removed from the building, police said. 

Shauna Sowersby, a reporter, tweeted that a loud bang was heard inside the hotel just before 11 p.m. local time.

A crowd across the street from the hotel was later seen chanting and harassing local law enforcement, according to videos on social media. 

The group on Saturday night purchased one night at the hotel and moved 33 homeless people in, reports said. By mid-day on Sunday, 35 members of the group gathered in the lobby and outside the hotel. They released a list of demands and planned to stay indefinitely until Thurston County committed funds for permanent housing. 

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