The riot began because of a fake press release that appeared to be from the hotel claiming to take in homeless as dense smoke from nearby wildfires has led to dangerous air quality in the area.
According to a spokesperson, the hotel did not distribute any press release about the matter, and will dig in to find how the word got out.
"At this time, we have not been contacted by the City of Seattle or King’s County with the request to temporarily shelter homeless individuals, and we are not housing homeless individuals at Grand Hyatt Seattle at this time," the spokesperson said. "We are always open to collaborative discussions on how Hyatt can further care for our communities."
Eventually, the press release was found out to be spread by an "ad hoc collective of diverse organizers" who admitted doing so with a clear purpose:
"We knew the Hyatt wasn't opening rooms and that neither Seattle City nor King County councils were funding emergency shelter," the unidentified activists wrote in a statement shared by climate advocacy group 350 Seattle on Twitter. "It may surprise you but we don't like to lie. In the age of misinformation, we value truth more than ever. But right now, the truth is far less believable than the lies we told."
The statement goes on to accuse Seattle and King County leadership of not providing "basic human needs to those who are at the biggest risk of harm."
"We want to believe that our elected officials and corporate leaders have the compassion and motivation to prioritize human welfare but we never see it," the activists said. "Instead we see the Mayor vetoing a funding initiative to provide support for Black and Brown communities...and brutalize protestors and destroy the meager possessions of unsheltered people. We see inaction on much-needed climate policy. We want to see something different."
Activists are demanding Seattle and King County leadership to defund the Seattle Police Department by at least 50% to be reallocated to Black and Brown communities, they are also demanding the money to be used towards housing in hotels and vacant spaces for the homeless.
The matter was also commented about on social media with people claiming Seattle has been turning unpleasant: “Can we just fuckin end this shit already. Portland used to be so beautiful. Just 1yr ago I went there for work and as we arrived at our hotel there was a homeless guy SHITTING on the sidewalk. Portland, like Seattle, is now gross and smells like piss.” someone tweeted.
According to a city spokesperson a temporary shelter would be opened where homeless people can get some respite from the smoky air, but considering the coronavirus pandemic, the matter will be much harder to achieve.