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SLEEPS Moves to New Location

EUGENE, Ore. — They may have been cleared out of the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, but SLEEPS protesters don’t plan on disappearing anytime soon. After they were ordered to leave, several protesters began setting up tents in front of the old federal building downtown.

Organizers say that before people can pitch tents, they have to sign an agreement stating that there are no warrants out for their arrest, they are not under the influence of drugs, and they do not have any weapons. SLEEPS protester Angie Bartow says that this was a necessary measure for the group.

“Not to say that we want to exclude anyone, but this is not just a homeless free-for-all,” says Bartow. “We’re fighting for everyone’s rights, all the unhoused. We’re fighting for everyone’s rights. However, since it is a protest, we heed to have the moral and legal ground to stand on.”

Organizers say that if they’re evicted from this location, they already have other sites lined up.

The group’s satellite camp off Chambers Road and the Northwest Expressway, which occupants have dubbed “Whoville,” remains unaffected by the changes downtown, but it has grown to at least 30 tents; that’s an increase from about a dozen tents on Friday. ¬†Although there’s no indication of how long protesters will be allowed to say there, they say they’ll be ready to move at a moment’s notice.

“This camp here has 35 people,” said Whoville spokesperson Tin Man. ¬†“We’re going to split into a minimum of six camps of five people.”

The city and county both own part of the vacant lot where Whoville is set up.

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  1. Johnny says:

    I support the cause, but I don’t support the violence, public defecation, “ruining” the image of any particular locale in the city…I understand that people come from all walks of life, and Eugene, being so welcoming and open to anyone and everyone is a prime location for the homeless. But what I can’t understand is why and how the city can’t find a location, and let these people who are out of homes live there? Why can’t one of our local businesses or the Eugene Chamber team up and get a group of businesses to reach out and help house these homeless and help them get back on their feet? Now I do realize there are those people who just want to live day to day and not have to provide or give back to society, but if a piece of land were acquired or donated, and a formal program setup for homeless folks to live there, but promise to 1) better themselves in a program of sorts; or 2) sign a promissory to take care of the land they live on, or do community service so many hours each day. Litter doesn’t pick itself up, neither do weeds kill themselves. Blackberry bushes overgrow and most of the time it’s a city of Eugene worker having to cut them down. Couldn’t we organize a team or several teams of homeless people to do good for the city, yet help them live? It’s just sad how all of these “homies” (A homeless friend of mine refers to her fellow homeless friends as ‘homies’) are forced to move from one locale to the next, with no support, not a bit of fellowship from the community. Times are tough right now. I know if I lost my job today, I’d be forced to live like the homies do. And that’s what’s scary. God help all of us, especially the homeless of our community.

  2. musicman60 says:

    i here by advise the city of eugene if any member of my family gets acosted or anything by these homeless bums i will sue the city be fair warned

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