Occupy Eugene Media Group photos, videos, tv and radio produced by Occupy Eugeneoccupyall1@gmail.com

Occupy Eugene Media Group


Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 11.00.08 AMFor five years (from 2008 to 2013) Eugene’s Downtown Public Safety Zone (DPSZ) allowed police to ban members of the community from the city center without due process.  Police officers used unfettered discretion to choose who would receive an exclusion notice when issuing a ticket or making an arrest within the downtown zone and as it turned out, about half of those excluded were homeless. Once cited, these individuals faced a court process which did not require that defendants be provided with a court-appointed attorney. In addition, these individuals faced exclusion even before they had been found guilty of the offense for which they were being banned.

People have the right to move freely through our public sphere, to access the public library, transit station and other public spaces in downtown. Those who break the law should be held accountable. However, individuals should not be subjected to banishment based solely on an accusation that they have committed a crime, unless they have first been found guilty. That was what was happening in Eugene’s downtown under the exclusion program.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.40.33 PMNot long after the Occupy camp closed in December 2011, activists became aware of instances where homeless individuals were served exclusion notices for petty crimes such as marijuana consumption and leaning against a building.  Among those affected was a homeless man who had been a part of the camp.  Upon learning of these abuses of the DPSZ law, Occupiers joined forces with other organizations that opposed the exclusion zone, such as the Community Alliance of Lane County, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Civil Liberties Defense Center.  They spoke to city councilors, the Mayor, the affected parties, and made it known to both city government and the general public that the DPSZ law was being misused.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 7.40.51 PMActivists provided both anecdotal and statistical information that raised serious doubts as to the effectiveness and fairness of the DPSZ.  While a proposed two year extension was being considered, Occupiers worked to educate city councilors and the city voted for only a 7 month extension in February of 2012.  In 2013 the city started a Downtown Public Safety Committee to review the issue and activists continued their efforts to ensure that the DPSZ sunset for good, which finally came about in December of 2013.

Videos and media about the Downtown Public Safety Zone:

Downtown Public Safety Committee Meetings – Videos by Joe Tyndall

City of Eugene Downtown Public Safety Committee Meeting Packets

American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon – “It’s time to end Eugene’s exclusion zone”

Eugene Weekly – “Downtown Insecurity?”

Eugene’s Exclusion Ordinance: A Dilemma for Civil Liberties, Public Space, and the Homeless – by Heather Marek (Conflict and Dispute Resolution Program at the University of Oregon School of Law, May 2010)




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