A day of action in the defense of the Unhoused

When the Occupy Eugene site was closed in December of last year, we went peacefully, and when we went, we went under the impression that certain promises made by our city council would be followed through on. We went under the false understanding that those who had no place to call their own would be taken care of, that they would not face another winter, sickness and probable death, alone on the streets without at least the option for a warm place to sleep. When we went we thought that despite everything, we had made some small but solid victories.

We now face another winter and what we took as promises have yet to be made good on. There was never a wet shelter provided, nor the women and children’s shelter that was talked about, and all the work people have done to create an Opportunity Village was not enough to encourage the city to take appropriate action. Virtually none of the things that were discussed as solutions by our city and task force on homelessness have actually been followed through on and we are now looking forward to the cold months of winter with little more to offer the unhoused community but our regrets that we did not fight harder to keep the site and our own promise that we will keep fighting for them. When people are allowed to die on the street because of bureaucracy and apathy it can only be described as murder. Whose hands will the blood be on when the temperatures begin to drop and the deaths begin to pile up, if not our own? We must make a stand and demand our local government respect people over policy.

This year there will be no site, no camp, no hope for the most downtrodden and marginalized of our community, men and women who have served in our military, suffer from severe mental illness, or have serious drug or alcohol addictions, as well as families who have suddenly found themselves evicted or foreclosed upon. Our social services are already maxed out and the numbers of unhoused people in Lane County keep growing.

For those of you who share my concern, who have compassion for the less fortunate, who are as angry as I am that we were tricked into believing certain steps would be taken in the defense of the unhoused by our local government–what seems now to be a ploy just to get us off their backs, just to keep us silent, and will undoubtedly result in the unnecessary deaths of fellow human beings–I invite you to join me and other concerned citizens on November 17th to march against the apathy and the bureaucracy that is used as an excuse to do nothing in the defense of people’s to raise awareness and demand more from our local government.

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.