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Whoville Supporters Fined During Protest

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EUGENE, Ore. — A dozen homeless camping supporters are facing hefty fines after receiving citations during a protest Tuesday night.

The city of Eugene says there are no new plans in place right now for clearing the campsite at the corner of Broadway and Hilyard.

But last week the city announced the clearing of the site would start April 1, which is causing some backlash from Whoville supporters.

Alley Valkyrie is just one of the demonstrators cited and released during a protest at City Manager Jon Ruiz’ office Tuesday evening.

“Criminal trespass 2–it’s a $280 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. And you know we all understood that and will accept the consequences and will deal with that,” Valkyrie said.

The group of around 40 people went into the city manager’s office demanding a face-to-face discussion with the city manager. When told he wasn’t available, they decided to stage a protest, something city officials were not expecting.

“We did not have the understanding that you know their interest was to stay until they had a face-to-face visit,” said Joe Zaludek, City of Eugene Deputy Chief.

The protesters’ attempt to getting a meeting with Ruiz was unsuccessful, but they’re still hopeful there will be progress before the campers are moved from Broadway and Hilyard.

“They’ve been there for seven months. Ten more days is not going to hurt anybody. And I mean, this is ridiculous when you look at how far we’ve come and how close we are to a solution to evict all these people on the streets. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever,” Valkyrie said.

The city says it is working with these Whoville campers to find a new place for them to go.

“Interest is still a peaceful transition from that site to the rest stops,” Zaludek said.

Aside from the 15 places at the next rest stop, the city says the Eugene Mission has vacancies, but Whoville supporters say the just want the city council involved in the decision-making process.

“Why can’t you just at least wait so they can weigh in. Don’t do this now. You’re going to be throwing vulnerable people on the streets,” Valkyrie said.

A group of Whoville supporters will meet with Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy to discuss the future of the site this Friday.

4 comments

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  1. Derrick B says:

    We have the World Track Meet coming here in July. We cannot be embarrassed, by having a homeless camp slow close to the event. Most are drugs abusers or alcoholics and have ruined their lives, now we all have to deal with their problems , NOT FAIR!!. I saw a sign on the news today, that read “Sleeping is a human right”. Yeah it is, but in your home, hotel, a friends house, and in your car. You can’t just sleep anywhere you want. So, I hope the city cleans this up before the track meet.

  2. jason Mark says:

    10 more days won’t hurt anyone…. then move, it won’t hurt you either.

  3. Tank Commander says:

    I’m wondering what we are getting for our tax money in terms of the city manager. According to the pay schedule, he’s getting over $182,000.00 per year, or $87.00 an hour. If he wasn’t in his office, then where was he and what was he doing to earn his pay when the advocates came to see him? Did anyone on the city staff know where he was and what he was doing? Why not meet with them? Wouldn’t it have been better for everyone if he had met and answered questions, even if the answers were not what they wanted? It reminds me of events that will soon turn a century old in June. The chancellor told Kaiser Wilhelm to go on vacation after that assassination in Sarajevo of archduke Ferdinand. I mean, what could go wrong? World war I is what went wrong!

    Ruiz would have helped his bosses in city hall if he had met with the advocates and politely but firmly answered their inquiries. If he had to refer them to the mayor and council, who conveniently are on vacation during this time, then so be it. Blowing them off is not what I expect my tax dollars to fund, elected or not. He works for the public and is paid by the public. Not even getting back to them even if he didn’t come meet them is certainly not politically correct, polite, or beneficial for the city of Eugene. When I worked in a school administration, I still answered the public when they asked questions, even if the reply was to see my superior for a decision or appeal of what I decided to do. Making yourself scarce and inaccessible is not the way to do public business.

    1. musicman60 says:

      just because these loelifes show up does not mean he has to see him there bums druggies pay for no services he does not have to be at there becken call you just an fool if you think he does

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