EUGENE, Ore. — Occupy Eugene has found a new home. Activists cleaned up a residence on the 1100 block of Lawrence Street on Friday.
“We have had a number of people coming by and expressing their support. We are happy we got the garbage out of the place and there was no disruptive behavior last night. I think we have made an improvement in the neighborhood,” said Occupy member Fergus Mclean.
The house that sits on the corner of West 12th Street and Lawrence has been a haven of ongoing problems for the past two years.
“We have had lots of problems with this house. We have had lots of transients over the last two years–lots of drinking, staying there overnight and leaving lots of trash. It has been cleaned up several times,” said neighbor Bill Powell.
Powell says he wants to give Occupy a chance, but the real test will come later this year.
“The problem is the long-term problem of what happens in the wintertime and nobody can camp on the lawn and the porch becomes a real invitation to transients? That is our concern at this point,” said Powell.
Occupiers hope to use the vacant home as a tool to raise awareness about foreclosures.
“Occupying is about occupying public space and addressing the issues of this economy that is causing harm to so many people,” said Mclean.
Neighbors say they will continue to wait and watch.
“We probably won’t have much of a problem with them as the people that were there before. At least we are not as concerned right now, but we will be keeping an eye out,” said Powell.