Community, Solidarity, Protest: March to help defend the free speech rights of the occupy protesters!
Brenden and Drew
This afternoon, October 21, 2011, Occupy Eugene will vacate the downtown park blocks as planned, allowing Saturday Market to operate without interference, and then march to a new occupation site. Occupy Eugene is asking community members to meet at the present occupation site at the corner of 8th & Oak Street at 5 p.m. in order to march in solidarity with them to the new site.
On Thursday afternoon, in a seemingly-sudden departure from their previously cooperative stance, City Manager John Ruiz and Eugene Police told Occupy Eugene that protesters will be cited for ANY camping at ANY location in the city. Police have threatened a "no tolerance" stance should Occupy Eugene set up in another location. The no tolerance policy includes possible arrests.
Negotiations are ongoing with the City Manager and Police, but as this is being written the no tolerance stance still stands. Mayor Kitty Piercy, in response to a flood of concerns regarding the no tolerance stance, took to Facebook to reassure anxious citizens and Occupy Eugene supporters: "Solutions are possible. Patience, please."
All individuals and union members are invited to stand with us and march. Unions already contacted include: Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), SEIU Local 503, and a broad range of other unions via the Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN).