Homeless Antifa activists booked 16 hotel rooms at a Travelodge in Tacoma, Washington on Christmas Eve and are refusing to pay, demanding the local government pay for their accommodations and turn the motel into a shelter.
KOMO News has reported that over 40 homeless people have moved into the hotel, with no plans on paying.
Shawn Randhawa, the motel operator, told KOMO News that if the occupants continue to stay, he will be forced to shut down and lay off his employees. Protests in the parking lot have driven away most of the other paying customers, Randhawa said.
“I’ll have to lock the doors. and if the city won’t kick them out, they can have it,” he said. “I’ll shut off the water and I’m not fighting with these people. I believe there should be a law.”
A spokesperson for the Antifa group Tacoma Housing argued that they are bringing business to the hotel.
“Like most – or all – hotel owners, he’s struggling right now because of the pandemic, in fact we are bringing business to the hotel. We paid for the first night and now we’re demanding that the city and county pay for the other nights we’ve been here,’ the spokesperson said in an interview with Andy Ngo.
“I’m just devastated,” Randhawa told The News Tribune. “Because of the protest, I have nothing else. I was barely getting through this pandemic, and now this. This Christmas, the Grinch came.”
The city’s police department has said they would like to work with the Tacoma Housing organization, rather than remove the occupants by force.
“We’re trying to see if we can work out a resolution without having to take law enforcement action,” Police Chief Pete Fisher told The News Tribune. “We’re talking about people with medical issues, cold weather that are homeless. So we are trying to work with our neighboring agencies to see what we can do in the form of relief, relief or temporary shelter.”
Randhawa said he does not feel supported by the police or the city.
“They are keeping me hostage. No one is out to help me,” he said. “It’s complete lawlessness in the city of Fife.”
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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