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Unwelcomed Group Sets Up Near SLEEPS

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EUGENE, Ore. — The SLEEPS movement continues to grow in downtown Eugene and some of the new campers aren’t even affiliated with the activist group, but they say they also have a message to send.

The activists camping out at Free Speech Plaza say they’re trying to make a statement about their right to sleep in public places without getting kicked out by police. But across the street, there’s another group SLEEPS says is not affiliated with and they’re not necessarily welcoming the addition.

They both say they have a message that needs to be heard. SLEEPS members say their message is simple.

“You know we’re not asking like you need to give us land and this and that you need to let us do this and that we just want it to be safe for people to be able to sleep,” said SLEEPS member Angie Bartow.

Bartow has been camping out with SLEEPS and says it’s not fair that people get kicked off the streets when they’re not doing anything wrong, just trying to get some sleep. But she says it’s hard for them to spread their message and influence county leaders into action when non-SLEEPS members are trying to jump on board.

“It has been a little bit of an issue. We’ve had random people coming in who don’t know what we’re here for or don’t care what we’re here for; they just see that we’re offering food and they think they can come in and get food,” Bartow said.

Bartow says the reality is they’re not just trying to get food, some are using drugs and being violent, which is not a part of their agreement.

“We ask them first, here’s the agreements that we’ve all been abiding by are you willing to do this? If they’re unwilling we do ask that they leave,” Bartow said.

“This side of the street is more for a safe haven that side of the street is more for a message,” said Lori Madrid.

Madrid, who lives across from SLEEPS, says they’re not causing any problems and both groups are camped out for the same reason: they’re homeless.

One SLEEPS member says it doesn’t matter who’s with what group; they need to work together to get their message across.

“As long as the people coming to the plaza are politically active it’s ok if there’s splinter groups and people you know come together and move across the street and move across town, but the umbrella’s big enough that everybody can be underneath it,” said SLEEPS member Tinman.

Tinman also said since the movement is gaining so much momentum and a lot of people are passionate about its message, no one really has to be a set leader. He says it’s controlled chaos right now, and as long as people are out spreading the message that’s what counts.

9 comments

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  1. Depressed says:

    City of Eugene. The homeless are running our City today. You gave them it on a silver platter! Wake up and enforce the laws we have on the books.

    I can’t go downtown, and to the farmers markets because it so scary. Our officials handed them the right to run our city – on the plaza, on 13th, at the new fancy homeless camp, in church parking lots, and up at skinners butte. Our officials are letting them do anything they want, and we all lost. They occupy our entire town. Just say NO MORE!

    Somebody in this town needs to start a movement in response to this homeless takeover. I’ll join you, but a person with time and organizational skills is needed. We need to organize and over-run these protestors. It might be scary, because we have something to lose, and they do not. But at some point our numbers will out number them. Citizens need to react to this problem today!

  2. Tank Commader says:

    “It has been a little bit of an issue. We’ve had random people coming in who don’t know what we’re here for or don’t care what we’re here for; they just see that we’re offering food and they think they can come in and get food,” Bartow said.” What did you expect? I can tell you what happens next; crimes will go up, assaults, theft, harassment of innocent people passing through or by, robbery, perhaps even an unfortunate murder. Tinman built it, and now they will come, bringing all the ills and evils that come with it. Enjoy your chaos, SLEEPS, you made it.

  3. Michael Adams says:

    @Depressed
    We are simply protesting the Criminalization of Homeless People. You can definitely go wherever you want, whenever you want. We do not have a say in this and have never interfered with your right to do so.

    @Tank Commander
    As stated above to “Depressed” we are simply protesting the Criminalization of Homeless People. We are not criminals. To point out something, most crimes happen by someone who is HOUSED-we police ourselves and guide each other to resources plain and simple to discourage this behavior.

    1. musicman60 says:

      how do you not consider yourself a crimainal vegerency is a crime that makes you a criminal

  4. XoztedMama says:

    Found this online and thought that I would share here – the ideas seem like the right path…

    “The citizens of Eugene, and Oregon in general, need to get some changes in law that will help end this fiasco and prevent future debacles.

    Personally, I’d like to see “protesting” defined in legal terms, along with allowable forms of protest on public property. I’d also like to see pan-handling made illegal – “charitable contribution” made alongside roadways/etc. should have to go towards something with a nonprofit tax ID status, period.

    I think these two changes would make our city a lot less desirable to the bums (note, there is a big difference between a bum and a person who happens to be without a home) who migrate here.”

    1. musicman60 says:

      please tell us the difference between bums and these people

  5. musicman60 says:

    i have lived in eugene almost 60 years it has always been agenst the law to panhandle and to sleep on the streets so how come our city offical lettin these bum sleep in our city my family will not go downtown because its not safe but there are still paying there taxes and the bums are not tell me where is the logic kitty

  6. hippie says:

    I’d just like to say,…. your only scared because you want to be, that’s your excuse. If you’d try talking to some of the homeless community you might just find that they’re PEOPLE just like you and your family. There is BAD people in ALL walks of life,. either in a house or not. I remember a few years back, a couple of 20 year olds( living in a house blocks away) decided to beat the life out of a homeless man for NO REASON.. WHO SHOULD WE FEAR? the homeless or the housed?

    1. musicman60 says:

      how dare you tell me they are like me and my family how dare you my family works pays taxes and odey all the laws unlike these lazy bums hope you never tell me that to my face

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