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Open Letter From Someone in Occupy Eugene to Occupy Portland

Occupy Eugene in last 24 hours backs down opposition and arrest threats from mid-level city and police officials, earns nod from Mayor Piercy, marches twice in one day claims bigger park.
Dear Occupy Portland,

Occupy Eugene Now is now the 11th Largest Among 1500 U.S. Sites. We did tour of shame march to downtown banks today. We are exhausted tonight from our march and move to Alton Baker Park. Our kitchen now serves 1,000 cooked dinner meals nightly. Our generator can't supply all our electrical demand. The community of Eugene has donated more food than our large pantry tent can store. Of course we need sleeping bags, tents, blankets. Despite all the work that went into our Park Blocks infrastrucure we moved the whole camp today (moving large gazebos, tarps, ropes, 18 foot support beams, medical hut, library, sobiety hut, information booth).

The General Assembly endorsed this move from Park Blocks because we elected not in interfere with Eugene Saturday Market Food and Craft vendors who are not Wall Street and who make their livelihood providing hand made goods one day a week (Saturday) to Eugene community.

But also we moved because Alton Baker Park, our new home, is about 85 times larger than our previous city block, because the new park has two large shelters, daytime access to water and power, State Law Willamette river access and easement, protection for our dogs and children from speeding traffic.

Four hundred people worked all day to take down camp and clean the park blocks. With many more community and Union people joining at 5PM they marched with gear through town and across the river, then reconstructed the equivalant of a small city. Then work came that community groups had already reserved the large covered shelters where we set our Assembly Hall and Kitchen. So throughout Friday night we again took down structures and reconstructed them in adjacent areas of the park, then cleaned the shelters. Its now 5:45AM. I've had two hours of sleep -- more than most of my comrades.

Alton Baker has local importance and some central visiblity. But why wasn't the Franlin boulevard Millrace Park, directly adjacent to the University of Oregon with even better visibility for a protest, chosen as the new site?

Because our committees and General Assembly saw that both Occupy Eugene and our larger Occupy Together movement is now beyond symbolic protest. It is an occupation rather than a protest. I lost my job and I got an occupation. Or I lost my protest and I got a test of my self. Victory or hope is no longer waveing signs at traffic for a few days, sleeping quietly in suburban homes or culverts, awaiting the next campaign or finding the next meal. Victory is in the gestalt power of our awkward diversity. Our 99% demographic profile is gathered in an alchemical crucible, and now fused in an astonishing bond. We choose to protect each other, to embrase not only our unemployed and homeless but also those with severe mental and emotional challenge, to open our wallets and our hearts.

Visibility and media? We are front page headline in local local TV and print media, both alternative and corporate, everyday. How long can we keep media? Who cares. Build something better for a system than the corrupt system and the worry of the 1% is no longer is buying off the media. The one percent has something far bigger to worry about.

And we are not asking or demanding anything of power. Even the demand that the banker's "go ahead and jump" is suspect -- they might hit us down here and we now care about each other. We are just taking nurturing each other and building our real not symbolic strength. And since we are not going away anytime soon, our so called "temporary location" is just a city catch phrase to say that the unity and energy of Occupy Eugene is without forseable end.

Love and Comradery,

Liam Kellen
Occupy Eugene