What is “Occupy?”

If you’ve ever been to downtown Eugene near the Washington and Jefferson Street Bridge, you may have noticed a large encampment of “Occupy Eugene Protestors” camping out in the Whitaker Neighborhood Park, near Skinners Butte Park in Eugene.

A friend recently posted on her Facebook wall, that she was disgusted at what she saw as she drove near the park on her recent trip home through downtown Eugene. She was dismayed at the amount of homeless people living and merging with those of the Eugene Occupy protestors. But, what really intrigued me about her post was about the amount of trash she had seen as she drove by the park on West 6th Avenue.

I have yet to see the encampment myself and the situation involved at the Washington and Jefferson Street neighborhood park. As a resident, writer/blogger and member of the Human Rights Accessibility Committee, it makes me wonder why the city of Eugene is allowing these people free reigns of the city’s camping ordinances

We the spectators on the otherside of the fence, often wonder how much money is spent to keep these folks at bay and peace? It was already reported locally on a local news station, that it is already costing the city of Eugene over $100,000 to police the encampment of the Eugene Occupy crowd – it’s a strange movement, but at least they are behaving themselves in the long run, which is good to know.

But, when comes time to tear down the camp under the Washington and Jefferson Street Bridge in downtown Eugene, it could literally get out of hand like the Occupy folks in Portland, Or., and elsewhere where violence has taken the protestors to the streets by storm.

It’s only hopeful that the Eugene crowd would be more mellower than that and head the advice of the city to disperse quietly and peacefully. But, many predict, it can become an ugly entanglement between protestors and police – literally a dangerous combination between the to factions. Still not a good premise for a storyline if you ask me.

Washington and Jefferson Neighborhood isn’t prepared for such a fiasco and fight between the two parties – the city and the protestors. Many with memories still fresh in their minds from the Broadway Street and Charnelton protest for the 1990’s after tree setters faced off with police, merited in some strange tactics which called the differences between two escalated into a pepper spray melee between police, protestors and members of the media.

Strange as it can be – this one strange century to begin with in the twenty-first century and reminder, that political avenues are are still a way of life with those who protest and those who claim their using free speech – it’s just the opposite if you ask me, point blank.


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