An ANTIFA group in Seattle explains how they are helping a local motel owner by not paying rent. The group is occupying 15 of the Travelodge’s rooms after checking in and paying only the first night’s rent.

A spokesperson for a Seattle-area ANTIFA group known as Tacoma Housing Now said they are trying to help the owner of a Fife, Washington, Travelodge by occupying rooms that could otherwise be booked to someone else, according to a video tweeted by KING5 reporter Sebastian Robertson.

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“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,” spokesperson Rebecca Parson told the reporter.

Journalist Andy Ngo tied the actions to an ANTIFA extremist group known as “It’s Going Down.” The group claims to be “veterans” of the Antifa street battles in Olympia, Washington.

Robertson said the group checked in on Christmas Eve and paid one night’s rent for 16 rooms. They have occupied 15 rooms since that time without payment.

The group says they will not pay for the rooms going forward. Instead, they want the government to pay.

“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 we’re demanding that the city and county pay for the other nights that we’ve been here,” Parson told King5 News.

Travelodge franchise owner Shawn Randhawa told the local NBC affiliate he was surprised by the group’s occupation. He said he is not allowing the staff to clean the rooms as they remain occupied without paying rent.

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“Here are these people, booking for one night. Cheat me into it and now are trying to tell me that I’m doing something. I’m not against nobody but somebody needs to be paying for it,” Randhawa explained. He said local police refuse to help remove the people under trespassing laws.

Parson told the reporter their goal is not to deprive the owner of revenue, but rather to “stay as long as possible and to get the owner of the hotel paid.”

Q13 Fox reporter John Hopperstad tweeted that more than 40 homeless people are staying in the 15 rooms. He says the group wants Pierce County to pay for the housing.

Fife City Manager Hyun Kim told KOMO News, “We have meetings in the coming days to discuss what can we do to get these folks that are staying here that have come off the streets the help they need.”

Pierce County Council Member Pam Roach told King5 News she wants the squatters to leave.

“This is an occupation by the homeless of an establishment to raise money,” Roach told the reporter. “They came in here fraudulently. They are stealing from the man on a daily basis.”

Randhawa told the KOMO it is only a matter of days before he will have to shut down his property and lay off his staff of ten employees. He said the occupiers have driven away most of his paying customers by the protests in the parking lot.

KING5 News reports at least one guest has tested positive for COVID-19.

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