Occupy Eugene captured the imagination of the Emerald City
Note: December 28. Washington, Jefferson Park clean up continues as Occupy Eugene returns ‘Needle Park’ to the city.
Say what you will. Dirt bag Hippy. Homeless Bum. Self-entitled collegiate elitist. Chronic shiftless Panhandler. I heard it all as I covered the protests originating from the ever-shifting encampment that would prove to be the short-lived home of Occupy Eugene.
The visual….Most folks didn’t appreciate the in-your-face reminder of what life is like without a steady paycheck, or a safe, dry place to call home.
With many Eugenian’s living hand to mouth after years of un or under-employment, the image of a makeshift squatters village hit a bit too close to home.
And that of course is what the Washington, Jefferson Park was. A collection of sociaties disenfranchised, under the assisted directive of a well-educated, under compensated 20 and 30 somethings; now sits empty. A former, mostly homeless encampment emptied by city council order, generated by a letter, presented by a police union that had had enough.
Vacated without violence.
In the beginning… An idealistic assemblage of well meaning, cooperative, co-dependents, supported by volunteer help, donated food, and the City of Eugene Oregon.
As the Occupy encampment quickly degraded under the forces of nature, and the transitional tramping of the Homeless inundation that would follow the promise of a free meal and a safe night’s sleep…
For many, the encampment morphed into a Mad Maxian reminder of a not too distant future, as according to Occupy, ‘The financial institutions of America, with the assistance and enablement of the Fed, gutted the savings coffers of the 99%; through the raceway of a world derivative market gone wild.’
Eugene had joined in unity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, in a world wide protest waged against the educational, financial inequity, perpitrated on the 99% by the 1%, a largely invisible social tier system, that many believe has existed in the United States since its inception. Could be!
As stated by long time Eugene Attorney John Kieran: “ If all that comes out of the Occupy movement is the public’s general recognition of the plight of the area’s Homeless, then the movement will be counted as a successful one.”
As stated by Occupy Eugene via www.occupyeugene.com: ‘While the camp may be gone, the Occupy movement in Eugene is very much alive.’ With the Homeless shifted to the Lane county Fair Grounds warming station, Occupy can now return to the business of protest as we enter year 12 of the new millennium.
Occupy Eugene…#1 in Eugene Oregon News.