Protest camp near Lane County Courthouse

Their protest stems from the 9th Crcuit Court ruling which decriminalized sleeping in public places.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 2:14 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 6:41 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- People have been camping on the corner of East 8th Avenue and Oak Street in downtown Eugene.

Nathan Bemiller is one of the homeless people protesting on the Lane County property. He said at least 25 others have been sleeping there for the last two weeks.

He says their protest stems from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which says homeless people can't be arrested for sleeping public places.

Bemiller says homelessness is currently at a crisis level in Eugene, and hopes their presence can show people that they're just like everyone else and should be treated well.

"Some people vilify us and look at us with disdain," Bemiller said. "And we're just people. And some of the best people I've met have been out here."

A spokesperson with Lane County says due to the ruling they cannot permanently remove people at this point in time.

Devon Ashbridge says the county will temporarily clear the property tomorrow in order to clean and sanitize the area before the farmers market sets up to sell food from that location on Saturday.

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