Occupy Eugene Education Alliance Occupies UO Senate Meeting

November 30, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE press [at] occupyeugenemedia.org

The Occupy Eugene Education Alliance and Action Committee facilitated a student walkout at the University of Oregon today, which began with a rally at the Erb Memorial Union amphitheater at 12:15 p.m. The walkout was titled “WTF – Why Tuition Fees?” and brought attention to the rising costs of higher education. Occupiers encouraged students to list their student loan debt on a poster. The highest debt recorded was $100,000, reported by a PhD student.

Rally speakers included Associated Students of the University of Oregon Senator Jeremy Hedlund, UO sociology instructor Chuck Hunt and SEIU local 085 chair James Jacobson (SEIU represents classified staff at the UO).

Approximately 100 students, staff, faculty and members of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, the graduate student workers’ union, were also present.

During the walkout, which followed the rally, Occupy Eugene occupied Johnson Hall, which houses UO administration; Oregon Hall, which houses the Financial Aid office; and Lillis Hall, which houses the UO Lundquist College of Business.

Members of Occupy Eugene “mic checked” the UO Senate meeting, which was held at 3 p.m. at Mac Court to discuss the Oregon University System board’s decision to remove UO President Richard Lariviere.

Occupier Scotty Perey said, “The bulk of what we said was taken directly from (the UO’s) mission statement.”

During the mic check, UO Senate President Robert Kyr repeatedly knocked his gavel, shouting, “order!”

The mic checking occupiers said in unison: “We are here to present the university’s own mission statement as the criteria in selecting the new president of this institution. These principles include a continuing commitment to affordable public higher education as well as a conviction that freedom of thought and expression is the bedrock principle on which university activity is based; and finally the acceptance of the challenge of an evolving social, political, and technological environment by welcoming and guiding change rather than reacting to it. Thank you very much.”

During the senate meeting, UO student Cims Gillespie testified before Kyr and OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner that Lariviere’s “firing made as little sense as his hiring,” outlining the president’s attempt to in effect privatize the UO and become more reliant on corporate donors such as Phil Knight, billionaire Nike co-founder and board chairman.

At the walkout rally earlier in the day, ASUO Senator Hedlund noted that Knight, a major UO donor, had withdrawn a donation from the UO in 2000 because the institution had signed on with factory monitoring organization Workers Rights Consortium. UO’s involvement in the WRC was brought about by student activism, and because of Knight’s donation withdrawal, the UO left the consortium. Since then, student activism had died down. “We are the agitators in this country,” said Hedlund during the rally, encouraging students to rise up again. “The student movement is back. No good social movement has been won without students.”

At this evening’s Occupy Eugene General Assembly, occupier Sweet reported that the Education Alliance had held a teach-in at the UO on Tuesday night, which featured updates from occupations worldwide. He said it had been very informative, and had been followed by an open discussion. “It’s only a matter of time before we have a satellite occupation there at the university,” he said. “Props to everybody who have helped with this committee.”

The next Education Alliance meeting is on Friday, December 2nd, at 3 p.m. in the EMU Ben Linder room. The next Action Committee meeting is tomorrow, December 1st, at 4 p.m. on the Occupy Eugene site at Washington/Jefferson Park.

This press release has been approved by the general assembly of Occupy Eugene.


Action Alert!

Come to Town Hall at MacCourt (University St. near 18th) at 3 p.m.  today, Wed. November 30, for an Occupy action on tuition rates, student loans and the cost of education, brought to you by our Education Alliance. #occupyeugene #occupyoregon Please forward.

Why Occupy Eugene? Conversation Draws Over 300 Community Members

“There are many reasons I volunteer with Occupy Eugene … I am deeply concerned with humans who are less able to advocate for themselves,” said Occupy Eugene member and civil rights attorney Lauren Regan at the Why Occupy Eugene? panel discussion at Cozmic Pizza on November 28. “The brunt of the financial crisis has been shouldered by the average citizen.”

An estimated 300 members of the community came out to the City Club of Eugene and the Downtown Neighborhood Association panel discussion and forum on Occupy Eugene yesterday evening. The panel, moderated by First Christian Church pastor Dan Bryant, consisted of three Occupy Eugene panelists (Jamil Jonna, Lauren Regan and Silver Mogart) and three respondents (Jean Tate, Rick Karr and Ed Whitelaw), as well as questions from the audience. The event brought about interesting and pertinent discussion on topics and issues around the Occupy movement and our very own Occupation in Eugene. Over $470 was received in donations to the Occupy Eugene fund.

“When these folks are through with their presentations we hope you’ll get into a conversation with other folks,” said Downtown Neighborhood Association chair David Mandelblatt, in his introduction. “That way we’ve got the broadest possible exchange of ideas and the most learning possible.”

“The occupation itself is crucial to pushing the collective discussion of issues like the economic crisis further,” said Occupy Eugene member and University of Oregon PhD sociology student Jamil Jonna. “I know this precisely because I am one of many occupiers that isn’t satisfied merely with chanting slogans. We are quite aware of the fact that on a wide range of political issues we barely scratch the surface in our typical discussions—especially as they are presented in the mass media.”

Silver Mogart, a community organizer at Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) and a member of Occupy Eugene’s Facilitation Committee, commented: “I do believe in democracy and I do believe in the democratic process but when I look out into this group, there are a number of us who are highly disappointed with the direction that our country’s going and highly disappointed with the feeling that democracy has not been working for us. The process that we have looks like it might be broken.”

Bill McConochie, a member of the audience, praised the Occupy Movement: “I see them as a reflection of the 90 percent of us who would prefer government that serves us not as members of special interest groups but as members of the community overall … I think you’re forming a terrific community. And the one thing that I’m very impressed with tonight is how much wisdom there is in this panel and in the room that can contribute to creating a society and a government that serves us as members of the community overall.”

The forum was video recorded and can be found at: www.ustream.tv/recorded/18812189. In addition, the forum will be broadcast on KLCC 89.7 FM on Wednesday, November 30 at 6:30 p.m.

This press release has been approved by the general assembly of Occupy Eugene.


Teach-In on the International Ramifications of the Occupy Movement

Who: Occupy Eugene Education Alliance, Students and Faculty of the University of Oregon

What: Teach-In on the International Ramifications of the Occupy Movement

Where:115 Lawrence Hall room 115 University of Oregon

When: 7:00pm

There will be speakers who will address the student movements in Chile, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany. It is hoped to follow up this teach-in with others that address movements in Africa, the Middle East, and India. We hope you can attend and contribute to educating our community about a world-wide movement and its implications.

Ways to get involved…

Looking for ways to get involved but don’t know where to plug in? Don’t have the time to get down to camp but want to contribute to the movement from your own home?

We need help researching issues from foreclosures to campaign finance to ways to influence our local government. We need people to help write and edit press releases, website posts, and letters to the editor. We need people to help us fund raise and organize events. We need people to go to Occupy sponsored events and write about them for our website and the media. We need people to help with community outreach. If you have a local group you are involved with; a church, a gardening club, invite us over to talk about Occupy or do so yourself!

Check out our volunteer page for more ways to get involved!

Why Occupy? A Community Conversation 11/28

Why Occupy Eugene? A Community Conversation

Members of Occupy Eugene (Lauren Regan, civil rights attorney; Jamil Jonna, UO graduate student and Silver Mogart, Community Alliance of Lane County community organizer) will speak about why they occupy, the historic
significance of occupations as a form of protest, the importance of dissent, the financial crisis, environmental racism, and more.

Featured responders are: Ed Whitelaw from EcoNW and Jean Tate, former teacher and Rick Karr, of Edward Jones


Sponsored by the Eugene City Club


Monday, 11/28
6-8 p.m.
Cozmic Pizza – 8th and Charnelton

LA and Philly Occupations Face Evictions

Tonight, Occupy LA and Occupy Philly are facing much adversity as their city governments plan to use their citizens’ tax dollars to have their police forces evict the most promising social change movement in decades from their occupation sites.

Occupy Eugene, which faces our own uncertain future this December 15th, stands in solidarity with Occupy LA and Occupy Philly. Stay safe and stay peaceful.

It wasn’t that long ago that NYC’s own Occupy Wall Street was shut down. Now we are seeing OWS aligned occupations being knocked down like dominoes all across the country. The LA Times reported about Occupy LA and the Washingstonpost.com reported on Occupy Philly.

Please visit Occupy LA and Occupy Philly for more information.

11.30 Operation Walk Out

Education Alliance Walkout PosterThis Wednesday, November 30th, 12:15 pm at the University of Oregon EMU Amphitheater is Operation Walk Out!

A national event – 24,000 teachers striking because of pension changes.

Students and teachers have been greatly impacted by the economic crisis. Education needs to be top priority.

Students, teachers & faculty marching against education cuts, tuition hikes, administrative salary raises & student tuition fees subsidizing athletics.

Walking out at 12:15 pm, meeting at the UO EMU amphitheater where there will be a rally followed by participatory action.

If you have any input or want to participate in speaking at the rally please contact Stella at stella.bee828 [at] gmail.com or drop by our meeting this Tuesday anytime between 3-5 in the Ben Linder room inside the EMU.

Check out the Operation Walk Out Facebook page.

Download the flier to pass on to others.

Occupy Cozmic Nov. 26

CLDC is hosting an event on Saturday in solidarity with Occupy Eugene. The proceeds will help defend the 17 activists arrested on Nov. 17th when they shut down five national banks in Eugene.

No one turned away for lack of funds. Come dance and enjoy great company for a great cause! David Rovics, the Brass Tacks, and Peter Wilde will get your groove on, and we’ll also have poets and speakers to inspire.

As Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!”

Please spread the word!

Occupy Cozmic
Saturday, Nov. 26
8 – 11:30 p.m.
Cozmic Pizza (8th and Charnelton)
Sliding scale $0-$20

Occupy Eugene a Stop on Last Friday Art Walk

Occupy Eugene is part of this month’s Last Friday Art Walk! So from 6-9 on November 25th (Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving) we will be an Art Walk stop with live music and arts galore at camp in Washington Jefferson Park.

If you would like to contribute art to the cause, please contact Dani: hendrickson.dani [at] gmail.com or Daniel: droque99 [at] gmail.com.

The event will be part of a larger campaign this Black Friday to break the chains of consumerism.  The Art Walk stop will take place along with “Buy Nothing Day” and Occupy the Mall on Black Friday.

In line with Buy Nothing Day Occupy Eugene is calling any artist to facilitate play-shops (workshops) during the day to give people an opportunity to make art with their family instead of taking part in mass consumption.

If interested, determine a time and place (either on the occupation site, or off the occupation site) to host a playshop.

We can help promote your play-shop (althoughhttp://occupyeugenemedia.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=7096&action=edit you should also self-promote to your web of family and friends). If you would like help with promoting the event, contact plaedo7 [at] gmail.com.

Check out Occupy Eugene highlighted in Eugene Last Friday ArtWalk

  1. Sam Bond’s Garage
    407 Blair Blvd.
    Assorted Acrylic paintings by local muralist Kari Johnson.
  2. Michael DiBitetto
    201 Blair Blvd.
    Not Showing this month.
  3. Ninkasi Brewery (Minors until 8 P.M.)
    272 Van Buren
    “A Bee’s Eye View” and attempts to capture the fantastic array of colors and shapes in Nature. Photography by Geoffrey May
  4. The Hot Shop Art Glass Studio
    1093 W. 1st (red door on Van Buren)
    Holiday Show and Sale. Come warm up with glass blowing demonstrations, hot cocoa and get all of your holiday shopping done.
  5. Territorial Vineyards
    Third and Adams
    “Something old something new”. Paintings by
    Richard Quigley. MANOUCHE NOIR (gypsy jazz) will be playing 7-10 P.M.
  6. Wandering Goat Coffee
    268 Madison St.
    “Post-Humous Publication”. Mixed media by
    Jacqueline Petosa and Noah Crabtree.
  7. Jawbreaker Gallery
    796 West Fourth
    “Pencil drawings” by Kavika.
  8. Pizza Research Institute
    530 Blair Blvd.
    “Something Old, Something New”. Acrylics, watercolors, and
    drawings by Richard Quigley.
  9. New Frontier Market
    1101 West 8th Ave.
    Healthy, fun, and Nutritious local art.
  10. Occupy Eugene
    Washington Jefferson Park between 6th and 7th
    “Signs of Protest”. Mixed media and Music by Occupiers. By creating art, we express ourselves and the politics we embody, and are able to communicate our messages in an entertaining manner. This is art made by the people and for the people, both personal and political; art that wants to make the world a better place.
  11. Museum of Unfine Art
    537 Willamette St.
    Jeff Faulk, Katy Flanagan, Victor Brinkley,
    Caroline Louise McNabb.
  12. Buy Nothing But Art Day
    Let your lack of a voice be heard.