Our dear friend and comrade Art, has posted a letter to Eugene’s Mayor. His letter begins, “I have been asked by the Whoville Refuge Site to formally request that you offer them sanctuary as political refugees. I wish to argue that their rights, under both the U.S. Constitution and international law have been systematically violated. I further wish to argue that it is your responsibility as the Mayor of a Human Rights City to offer them sanctuary in order to remedy this situation.”
Please click on the post title to read the entire letter. It is important and wrenching. And it begs the question, what will it take for the City to finally step up?
Apparently this is the City of Eugene Administration’s latest foray in their quest to rid our downtown of “undesirables,” aka people who dare to be downtown but aren’t buying anything. Please read this great article by Alley Valkyrie published in the Eugene Weekly.
Renting Sidewalks? | eugeneweekly.com
Our friends at SLEEPS have requested the release of public records about the shut-down of “Whoville.” They have been told by the City of Eugene that it will cost them $625.00 to receive electronic copies of the records. SLEEPS is requesting a fee waiver and explains “Our justification for the waiver is that this information is for the benefit of the public as informed citizens and participants in our democracy.”
OE endorses SLEEPS request for a fee waiver and we encourage other groups and individuals to join. OE will post when the request is submitted and we will post the records once they are released to SLEEPS.
Read more about SLEEPS request by clicking on the title.
The Occupy Eugene Media Group was awarded a $6,600 Wayne Morse Center Project Grant!
You can now see six new videos with more to come at
The project we are working on is called Community Solutions Media–Supporting the Unhoused. We will be collecting, organizing, and sharing media from the last several years, beginning at the Occupy Eugene camps–so stay tuned. Thank you Wayne Morse Center!
Jean Stacey, one of 11 SLEEPS activists arrested at a sit-in at Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz’s office on April 1, asks “did city officials fear of testifying under oath lead to dismissal of charges?”
The activists had been trying to meet with Ruiz to talk about his plan for Whoville, a legal camp for at risk unsheltered community members, but he kept refusing their requests. The sit-in was a last ditch effort by SLEEPS to engage Ruiz and prevent the premature shut down of Whoville. Stacey believes that a trial would have embarrassed and shamed city officials while revealing the extent of the debacle surrounding the closure of Whoville. The City Council had previously stated that they wanted another site to be available for the people at Whoville before the current site was closed. Ruiz instead chose to close the camp, in a military style police action, while the Council was on vacation.
The City now claims that they want to work “collaboratively” with community members and “maintain a positive relationship with homeless advocates as the City progresses toward finding solutions…” Stacey says that she and other activists will be “watch-dogging the City’s promise.”
On Monday, Sept. 8, the City Council, at the urging of architects and activists, decided to slow down their headlong rush to raze our old City Hall to the ground and give opponents of the destruction the chance to make their case that it would be greener and more cost effective to remodel. Don Bishoff has written a great commentary about why we should save City Hall and we’ve reprinted it with his permission. To read it click on the title of this post.
On Sept 10 a federal judge in Eugene ruled that government officials had infringed on the First Amendment rights of OE protesters in December 2012 when it unfairly limited the hours of protest and evicted them from the plaza in front of the Federal Building at 7th & Pearl in Eugene. During the eviction two protesters, Beatrice (Emily Semple) and Terry Purvis, were arrested after they refused to leave, telling officials that their constitutional right to free speech was being violated.
The December 2012 action was the culmination of a series of protests organized by OE and SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) that had started in May 2012 to raise the issues of economic justice, shelter as a human right, and government and corporate accountability.
Attorney Lauren Regan, director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, said this is a victory for all activists who protest at traditional public forums and serves notice to the government that they must obey the law.
Check out this beautiful short documentary which tells the story of The Wizard, James Hardin, an un-housed man in Eugene. Shout out to Occupy Eugene videographer Jana Thrift and friends (Gina Ginsberg, David Zupan, Liddy Soto, Ryan Stefan, and others) who put this together so that we can know.
SLEEPS and OE staged a Potty Protest in Kesey Square to put pressure on the City Council to reopen park bathrooms and keep downtown bathrooms open 24 hrs. People voted in a penny poll by pitching pennies into a toilet marked “Tax Breaks for Developers” or a toilet marked “Public Bathrooms.” It’s all about priorities.
Some call it economic revitalization, we call it class cleansing. In Eugene’s “downtown activity zone” there were more police, more security, more people being hassled and vendors publicly selling their art told they had to be regulated. Kesey Square, the only public space downtown, was threatened. Occupy challenged that – and won.