Archive for the ‘Eugene’ Category

Cottage Grove, Oregon

October 18, 2012

During the six and a half years that I lived in Oregon, I always saw this sign along the I-5 whenever I was driving from Eugene to Cottage Grove. I’ve wondered if anyone ever satisfied this man’s tremendous need for fill dirt.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to delay my move to Los Angeles for a few days, so I decided to drive to Umpqua National Forest, which I had never been to before. It is a gorgeous wilderness that extends from the Willamette Valley up into the Cascade Mountains. I walked along a hiking trail that went alongside a creek. The forest was extremely dense. There were thick clumps of moss growing all over the tree branches. It was all a bit gloomy, albeit in a beautiful way. I kept thinking this place would make a good setting for an H.P. Lovecraft story.

On my way back home, I decided to swing by the funky little town of Cottage Grove. This place is most famous for the fact that Buster Keaton’s The General was filmed here. (Animal House was also filmed here, although, not surprisingly, nobody feels proud about that.) The town has an annual Buster Keaton Day. It also has a mural of Keaton located on its Main Street.

Keaton is not the only person honored by a mural in Cottage Grove. Another is Opal Whiteley, who is the most famous person to ever come from this town. In the early twentieth century, Whiteley published what she claimed was a diary that she kept as a child growing up in a lumber camp near Cottage Grove. In it, she claims, among other things, that animals could talk to her, and that she sometimes met “little people” in the woods. She also wrote a nature book titled The Fairyland Around Us. The title of this work is meant to be taken literally. It is a curious mixture of scientific facts, poetry, and just plain fruitiness. I’m told that only five copies of the first edition still exist. One of them is at the University of Oregon (which Opal attended for a couple of years, though she didn’t graduate). It is kept in a locked vacuum chamber that is surrounded by armed guards. Although I would like to think that this indicates a firm commitment to preserving Oregon’s literary history, I have, however, a dreadful foreboding that the university will one day sell it in order to pay for more uniforms for the football team. (Okay, I’m kidding about the armed guards. However, I’m not kidding about the uniforms.)

Opal Whiteley prominently featured in a mural honoring Cottage Grove.

I find it a bit ironic that Cottage Grove has chosen to honor Whiteley in this way, considering that Whiteley disdained her Oregon background and upbringing. She devoted a large amount of time and energy to claiming that she was the daughter of a French aristocrat, Henri, Prince of Orléans, and that she had been sent away to be raised in a lumber camp in Oregon. (I guess that this sort of thing happens all the time to the daughters of the French aristocracy.) She spent the last fifty years of her life in a nursing home in London, where the staff referred to her as “the Princess”. She was buried under the name, Françoise Marie de Bourbon-Orléans. One of the reasons for the ongoing fascination with Opal’s life is that it is not clear whether or not she was a fraud. My guess is that she was probably suffering from a mild form of schizophrenia.

Mount David

Located near Main Street is a long narrow hill that Cottage Groveans (I don’t know what else to call them) call Mount David. This is the most striking physical feature of the area, and I assumed they would have made it into a public park. However, I was surprised to learn several years ago that there were plans to build houses on the hill. This struck me as a bad idea, because, among other things, the sides of Mount David are extremely steep and are almost like cliffs in some places. I once climbed this hill, and even though it’s not that tall, it was only with a great deal of effort that I managed to make it to the top. I was sweating profusely when I got there, even though the hill is not especially high. These plans have apparently been abandoned, which may have something to do with the fact that local residents formed a “Friends of Mt. David” society to preserve the hill. (I suspect that the recession may have been another factor.)

Mt.David is interesting in a number of ways. There is a pioneer cemetery at the foot of the hill. There were cougar sightings on the hill last year. And, according to this reputable website, the hill is haunted:

    Said to be a some kind [sic] of spirit that will chase you off of the hill at night time. Around the graveyards there are said to be many apperinces [sic] of the ghostly kind. Beware of the thing that will chase you off the mountain at night time.

When I climbed the hill, I did go back down at sunset, although I am not aware that I was being chased by anyone or anything. Besides, I think I would be more frightened to run into a mountain lion than into a ghost. One thing I did notice as I was walking along the ridge was an almost perfectly circular impression in the ground, about twenty feet across. I have since learned that there used to be an oil well on top of the hill, which perhaps explains that odd formation.

Another fine mural.

Another mural on a similar theme.

There used to be a gun store at this location. This is progress.

If I lived in Cottage Grove, I would definitely go to this place for all my automotive needs.

Public art, or a bench? You decide.

The Bohemia Mining Museum may be closed, but this would-be capitalist is determined to follow that fine old American tradition of trying to get rich quick and failing at it.

This sign is on a building which used to be Cottage Grove’s City Hall, but which now houses a ballet school and some small businesses. I used to see signs like this all over the place when I was growing up. Yes, this actually gave me a twinge of nostalgia for the Cold War. Does that make me a bad person?

Art Robinson

October 10, 2012

Art Robinson contemplating what kind of bullshit people will believe next.

When I was driving through rural Oregon the other day, I was dismayed to see signs promoting the congressional candidacy of the bizarre cult leader respected scientist and politician, Art Robinson. Robinson’s website is worth checking out. It is a compendium of many of the pea-brained sophistries that pass for informed opinion in this country nowadays. For example, here is Robinson’s discussion of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution:

    Nevertheless, our congressional representatives – all of whom swear an oath to uphold the Constitution – flagrantly disregard the 10th Amendment. They do this largely by using public funds to pay for government agencies that constantly violate this Amendment and by the issuance of “mandates” that dictate “required” state and local actions.

    Robinson lost the 2010 election to Pete DeFazio. Several months later, Robinson began telling people that Oregon State University was planning on expelling his three children, who were graduate students there, as retaliation for his running against DeFazio.

    What excuse do congressmen give for violating the 10th Amendment? Mostly, they just ignore it, without giving any excuse at all. If pressed, some point to the Constitution.

    “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    ~ Preamble

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States . . .
    ~Article 1, Section 8

    Citing the phrase “promote (or provide for) the general Welfare,” they claim that this permits Congress to do anything it decides will be good for general welfare – anything at all! This is bogus.

This is what the 10th Amendment says:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So, if the Constitution says that Congress has the power to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” that means that power has been delegated to it by the Constitution.

Robinsosn has a PhD in chemistry. One can only wonder how a man with such apparently poor reading comprehension skills was able to earn an advanced degree (or even a high school diploma, for that matter). One can only assume that he did it through sheer force of will.

On the issue of energy, Robinson writes:

    Nuclear and hydroelectric electricity are inexpensive, clean, and safe. Spent nuclear fuel – so-called “nuclear waste” – is easily disposed of by nuclear fuel re-cycling, a method used in other countries but prohibited by misguided government policies in the U.S. Coal, oil, and natural gas are indispensable for many purposes. Solar and wind are expensive and resource-intensive, but useful in remote locations.

Wow, that PhD didn’t do Art much good, did it? Other countries have the same problems disposing of spent nuclear fuels that we do. Art writes:

    Energy development need not cost the American taxpayer a single cent.

Especially since nuclear energy is not economically viable without government subsidies. I’m starting to get the sinking feeling that PhD’s are over-rated.

Robinson is opposed to women’s reproductive rights. He calls for the immediate deportation of all “illegal” immigrants. And he blames government regulations for the poor state of the economy, although it was actually under-regulation of the banking industry that led to the financial meltdown of 2008.

Robinson lost to Pete DeFazio in the 2010 election. Several months later, Robinson began telling people that Oregon State University was planning to expel his three children, who were graduate students there. He initially claimed that this was being done as retaliation for his opposing DeFazio. However, when a reporter asked Robinson for more details, he became mysteriously vague:

    I don’t have definitive proof,” Robinson said. “That is what I believe. Basically, I know what happened. I cannot tell you the motives of the people doing it.

Nevertheless, this shocking news compelled a group of gullible idiots
red-blooded Americans to take action. They held a demonstration at the OSU campus demanding justice for the Robinson children. This was met by a counter-demonstration of students, who did not care to have their school’s reputation impugned by a group of illiterate yahoos
concerned citizens.

This is the type of man who wants to represent us in Congress. Art Robinson: a choice, not an echo.

Leaving Oregon

October 9, 2012

Puck, a kestrel at the Cascades Raptor Center.

If everything goes right in the next few days, I will be in California. There are various reasons why I am moving. One of them is that there are a lot more opportunities there for the type of work I do. I have lived in Oregon for six and a half years. One of my deepest regrets in life is that I didn’t have more opportunities to explore this beautiful state. Lately, I’ve been exploring the hills south of Eugene.

My first stop was the Cascades Raptor Center. This place has an amazing collection of predatory birds. It is not a zoo, however. The actual purpose of this organization is to rehabilitate birds that have been injured (often as a result of human activities), and to return them to the wild. This is a worthy cause, because raptors play an important role in nature. They mostly prey upon small mammals that would otherwise rapidly overpopulate. (Foxes play a similar role, yet they are inexplicably hunted in an aggressive manner in some parts of the U.S.)
However, some of the birds that the center acquires can never be returned to the wild, because they would have zero chance of survival, either because their injuries are too severe, or because people have kept them as pets. These birds make up their permanent collection. They have bald eagles, golden eagles, a kestrel, kites, merlins, ospreys, a gyrfalcon, a red-tailed hawk, a Swainson’s hawk (who was Swainson, and how did he get his own species of hawk?), a peregrine falcon, and harriers. They also have owls: great horned owls, barn owls, spotted owls, barred owls, screech owls, burrow owls, a snowy owl, a long-eared owl, a short-eared owl, a Eurasian eagle owl, and a saw whet owl.

In one enclosure, there were two turkey vultures. These are extremely common in Oregon. During the summertime, it seems as though hardly a day goes by without seeing at least one of these funereal creatures gliding overhead. There were signs plastered all over the cage at knee level warning people to not stick their fingers through the bars because these birds BITE HARD. I had felt a twinge of sadness as I thought that they must have put these signs up because at least one child must have learned this the hard way.

At one point I saw one of the magnificent great horned owls, one who had been raised as a pet, pushing his face against the wire of his enclosure. This, too, made me feel a bit sad.

They had a few birds that are not raptors. There was a magpie, a type of bird I have never seen before. It had striking black, white, and blue plumage. These are said to be among the most intelligent birds. They are among the few animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror. As I walked around his enclosure, which he shared with an enormous raven, he followed me around. I like to think that he took a liking to me, although he was probably just hoping I would give him food.

After leaving the CRC, I drove through an area known as Fox Hollow. It is a pretty place, surrounded by hills and dotted with farms. (One of these is called the Knee Deep Cattle Company. Who says Oregonians don’t have a sense of humor?) From there I drove into the farming community of Lorane. The countryside here was a little flatter, but still pretty. I noticed a couple of bed & breakfast places here. This seemed to me to be a nice place to spend a few days.

I then drove over densely wooded hills, on the other side of which I came across the 38 highway which took me into the charming little town of Drain. That’s not a joke, that’s actually the town’s name. It was founded by a man named Charles Drain. (Some things can’t be helped, I guess.) At the edge of town was an enormous sign proclaiming: DRAIN, OREGON: GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC. You see, to get to the Pacific, you must pass through Drain. (There’s a joke in there somewhere. I just have to figure out what is.) The town’s chief landmark is a Queen Anne style house known as the Hansard House.

The Hansard House.

Downtown Drain.

I tried to take a picture of the building from a different angle, but the people inside started making faces at me. I guess I must have had “tourist” written all over me.

Functional architecture at its finest.

As I drove through the side streets of Drain, I saw a cat sitting in the middle of the road ahead of me. I pulled up and stopped in from of him, expecting him to run away. He just looked at me. Finally, I had to drive around him. As I drove away, I looked at him in the rear view mirror. He had turned his head and was still looking at me.

A few miles from Drain is the even smaller town of Yoncalla. It is known for its annual rodeo. The streets were almost completely empty, except for some rowdy kids. A town like Yoncalla may seem charming to an outsider like me, but I can see how growing up here could be a bit dull.

Welcome to Yoncalla. (Since when is “chiropract” a verb?)

Downtown Yoncalla early on a Sunday evening.The What Now Bar & Grille sometimes has live music. They were advertising an upcoming appearance by the Bad Boys of Seduction.

Killing Me

July 16, 2012

I remember that back in the 1990’s, there was a period when serial killers were hugely popular. It seemed as though every film you went to had at least one serial killer in it. It didn’t seem to matter to Hollywood scriptwriters that 99.99% of the human race are not serial killers. In hindsight, I don’t know how to explain this phenomenon. It was one of those inexplicable fads, like the fascination with truck drivers and CB radio that existed in the 1970’s.

If you’re nostalgic for the nineties, you might want to check out Killing Me, the latest film from the Oregon film maker, Henry Weintraub. Otherwise, I can’t see any reason to recommend it.

Aaron Schwartz wants to become famous. Since he is a thoroughly unexceptional person, the only way he can see how to do this is by becoming a serial killer. Yet he can’t bring himself to kill anyone. He is so ineffectual at this that he actually ends up marrying one of his intended victims, Erin. He gets a job at the post office, but this fails to inspire him. Then he hears that there have been a series of unexplained murders in his town. He reasons that if he can find this serial killer, he can perhaps persuade him to teach him the secret of how to kill. In a completely improbable manner, Aaron manages to find this man, and he discovers that the guy is his own boss. Aaron approaches his boss and tells him he knows that he is the killer, and that he want him to teach him to be a killer as well. At first, his boss plans to kill him, but then, for reasons that are never explained, changes his mind. He agrees to take Aaron under his wing. One night, while Erin is out of town, the two of them go on a killing spree, with Aaron’s boss brutally murdering several people. He tries to get Aaron to do the killings, but the latter cannot bring himself to do any of them. Aaron finally stabs his boss, without killing him, and he runs away. When he gets home, the police show up to arrest him. They accuse him of the murders that were actually committed by his boss. This makes Aaron happy, for he is now famous. At the end, we see Aaron in prison, smiling as he is led off to be executed.

Killing Me is a sick joke that is stretched out to 73 minutes. The supposed irony of the ending is undermined by the fact that Aaron isn’t innocent, since he was technically the murderer’s accomplice.

Weintraub has a problem with continuity. In one scene, Aaron’s boss hits Aaron over the head with a club. When Aaron comes to, he has a bloody wound on his forehead. In the next scene, which takes place a few minutes later, the wound is completely gone. Not even a bruise is left. Also, in the early scenes, Aaron’s house is tidily decorated. Yet in the scene when the cops come to arrest him, the place looks like an abandoned building. This inattention to detail is perhaps in keeping with the film’s shallow cynicism.

Time to Leave Eugene?

January 30, 2012

Ever since I saw A Dangerous Method, I have been interested in the interpretation of dreams. Last night I had an extremely vivid dream that has haunted me.

I am walking through downtown Eugene. (My dreams rarely ever take place in Eugene.) I suddenly see an army advancing towards me, with demonstrators retreating in front of them. The soldiers are shooting. Some of the demonstrators turn and throw rocks, but this doesn’t slow the soldiers. A bullet goes whizzing past my head. I turn and head back the way I came, but I see soldiers coming from that direction, also with demonstrators retreating in front of them. I turn towards the Willamette river, the only way I can go. I see some old friends of mine – people I knew before I moved to Eugene – crouching on a steep river bank, so I join them. We discuss what we should do. I suggest wading across the river to the other side, but they don’t seem to like that idea. Suddenly we are all on a freight train heading out of Eugene.

So, is my dream telling me I should leave Eugene? That’s what it seems to be saying to me. (Yeah, I know, Freud would have said that the train is phallic and that the river is a vagina. I am, needless to say, not a strict Freudian.)

Update on Occupy Eugene

December 27, 2011

Rick Youngblood, the man who suffered a heart attack on the occupation site on December 19, died on the morning of December 23. You can read about it here. OE held a candlelight vigil for him that evening at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza in downtown Eugene.

On December 24, OE issued the following press release:

Eugene’s Homeless Back on the Streets for Christmas

For 75 days, in one of the longest running occupations in the US, Occupy Eugene provided a legal place to sleep, three meals daily, professional medical assistance, job skills trainings, and most importantly, a community for hundreds of homeless folks in Eugene. Simultaneously, we have explored with the city how Eugene might better serve homeless people.

This week, the city of Eugene unilaterally shut down the site at Washington Jefferson Park, and after two nights of the Wheeler Pavilion being open to provide beds for those coming from the Occupation, folks are back on the street again, just in time for Christmas.

Occupy Eugene appreciates that the city has put forth additional funds, created a task force with seats for homeless people, and expanded the car camping program by adding sites and allowing tents. However, these efforts do not add up to the far greater support that was available at the Occupy Eugene site, and none of the city’s efforts are happening on a community basis among equals, which was more respectful than a government handout.

The alarming number of people who are homeless is a consequence of our deeply unjust economic and political systems, systems which Occupy Eugene is dedicated to changing. In the meantime, we are proud to have taken on the task of helping some of the people most affected – entirely with volunteered time, and as a community.

Occupy Eugene remains strong, renting an office in the Grower’s Market Building and making use of a donated warehouse on 7th and Polk. Plans to participate in the national Occupy the Courts protest are underway, and the unfair foreclosure of many Eugene homes presents another opportunity for Occupy Eugene to support people impacted by unjust systems.

We invite the community to join in our efforts to address systemic injustice while we continue to occupy the minds of Eugene.

This Press Release was approved by the general assembly of Occupy Eugene.

Occupy Eugene to Be Evicted

December 21, 2011

Late in the evening on Monday, December 19, a man who had apparently been in a fight was found unconscious at the OE occupation site. An OE medic performed CPR on the man, who was then taken to a hospital. The next day, the city council held an emergency meeting about this. This certainly isn’t the first time in Eugene’s history that a homeless man has been beaten up, but it appears to be the first time the City Council has considered such an event important enough to justify an emergency meeting. They voted 5-2 that the police should close down the occupation site “soon as practicable”. The decision may have been influenced by a letter that the Eugene Police Employees Association sent to Mayor Piercy, in which among other things, they claimed that “There is open drug use and distribution. There is prostitution of minors. There are used hypodermic needles on the ground inside and outside the tents.” I have been to the occupation site, and I have not seen any of these things. (That’s right, kids, the police are not our friends.)

The following morning OE sent out this press release:

    OE medics help to save another life at W/J Park despite generator noise hampering efforts; 25 OE organizers arrive within minutes to help keep site calm for Eugene Police and Medics

    On December 19th at approximately midnight a brief altercation occurred at the Occupy Eugene site. An extremely drunk individual with a heart condition came onto the OE site and started a fight with an OE occupant. Peacekeeper calls for de-escalation assistance went unheard because of the noise made by the four generators which now surround the site since high-powered security light towers were installed last Friday. Apparently Eugene Police were on site; the unconscious and injured instigator required CPR which the OE medic administered as EPD arrived on the scene. The man is in stable condition.

    This is the 5th time that OE first responders have helped to save a life.

    More than two dozen Occupy organizers and supporters arrived within minutes of notification. After establishing facts regarding the situation, they coordinated a peaceful vigil at the crime scene. Members of OE involved in the incident were given full community support. OE police liaisons provided relevant information to EPD officers. Police Chief Kerns, Lieutenant Kamkar, and City Councilor Ortiz were also on site. Lieutenant Kamkar did not expect any arrests as of 1:30am.

    This press release has been approved by the General Assembly of Occupy Eugene.

After the council’s decision, OE released this:

    Occupy Eugene Responds to Eviction by City Council

    Occupy Eugene is saddened by the City Council’s decision to evict protestors from Washington-Jefferson Park only 5 days before Christmas. The emergency meeting and decision to evict represents a clear betrayal of the collaborative relationship established between OE and the City.

    This decision will serve as further motivation to protesters here in Eugene and around the country to continue to struggle against unjust laws and regulations that propagate social and economic injustice.

    Occupy Eugene is grateful that some attempt was made to accommodate the immediate need for a safe place for homeless folks currently living at Washington Jefferson park by expanding car camping. However, this limited action will have little long-term impact on the problem of homelessness in Eugene and does nothing to replace the ability of the community to come together to solve its own problems.

    Over the course of the occupation in Washington Jefferson Park, the citizens of Eugene, homeless and not, have created a community to address immediate problems and root causes of homelessness.

    For the first time many of Eugene’s homeless population have had a consistent, safe place to sleep, three meals a day, medical care, job skills training, and a community to engage with based around mutual respect and equality. We invite the City of Eugene to take up a similar strategy in their attempts to address homelessness.

    As was reiterated in the City Council meeting by Mayor Kitty Piercy, we hope that the eviction will happen peacefully without any force or violence. The official Occupy Eugene response to the eviction by the City of Eugene will be nonviolent.

    The Occupation will continue with or without camp.

    This press release has been approved by the general assembly of Occupy Eugene.

One point that needs to be made here is that Washington-Jefferson Park has long been a high-crime area. (It is the one area of Eugene where I do not really feel safe at night.) Some members of OE initially opposed occupying this park for precisely this reason. It was only after the city had blocked OE from other sites that the decision was made to go there.

Whatever happens at this point, Occupy Eugene will continue to grow.

Why Occupy?

November 10, 2011

Saturday, November 5, Occupy Eugene moved from Millrace park to Washington-Jefferson park. This is reportedly a temporary location. Occupy Eugene will decide later this month whether to move to another location.

On Wednesday, November 9, a teach-in titled “Why Occupy?” was held at Harris Hall in downtown Eugene. It was sponsored by We the People Eugene, an organization that is dedicated to bring about a constitutional amendment prohibiting “corporate personhood”. The hall was filled to capacity. Fergus Maclean (I hope I’m spelling his name right), a member of We the People, made a brief opening speech. He noted that the early capitalist economists saw global capitalism as a “transitory phase”. Smith believed it would last about 200 years. Maclean said the Occupy movement is a “reaction against an exhausted, collapsing paradigm”.

Daniel Pope, a history professor at the University of Oregon, moderated the panel. He pointed out that the 99% movement belongs to a long tradition of radical struggle in the United States. He called it a “reawakening of populism”.

Joseph Lowndes, professor of political science at the UO, pointed out that social movements arise at times of crisis. He called the 99% movement the broadest popular movement since the 1930’s. (Broader than the civil rights movement? I’m not sure I agree with that.) He praised the 99% meme, saying that it is inclusive, yet it draws a clear enemy. He said that the movement indicates a desire for public good over private good. The Tea Party is for the politics of privatization; it is the opposite of the 99% movement. On the downside, he pointed out that the tactic of occupation is costly in terms of resources. He also expressed the fear that it could lead to the movement becoming “culturally insular”. Overall, however, his comments were positive.

Stan Taylor, who chairs the Lane Community College Peace Center, said that the 99% movement is “revolutionary” in its goals. He argued that the younger generation needs to lead the movement.

William Wise talked about the devastating effects that government budget cuts have had on people in Lane county. He reminded people of the suffering caused by Bill Clinton’s “Welfare Reform” bill. He expressed hope that the 99% movement would lead to a society that is more “fair”.

Lauren Regan, an organizer with Occupy Eugene, took issue with the idea of a leaderless movement. She said everyone in the Occupy movement is a leader. She said the strength of the Occupy movement is its broadness. “We should push for the most radical demands we can make,” she said. She talked about how the movement has reached out to homeless people. “It’s amazing what can happen with homeless people when you give them a place to sleep and food to eat.” She talked about how hard people in the occupation have worked and how the community has supported them. She predicted the movement will continue to grow. Referring to the growing environmental crisis, she said, “Absolute necessity mandates greater growth [of the movement].”

Jamil Jonna, another organizer, said that homeless people began to join the occupation as soon as it began. In response to Lowndes’s concerns, he said that the occupations are central to the whole movement. They create a space where people can meet and discuss issues face to face. The occupations make possible “empowerment and inclusiveness”.

An organizer whose name was only given as Karen talked about why she joined the occupation. “This movement is connecting the whole world through radical change,” she said. “It’s about people taking responsibility.”

The overall tone of the meeting was upbeat and optimistic.

Occupy Eugene Continues

October 22, 2011

Occupy Eugene has successfully moved from downtown Eugene to Alton Baker Park. This was necessary to avoid a conflict with the Saturday farmer’s market, which is a popular fixture in Eugene. The move went smoothly. There have been no problems with the police (so far). This space isn’t as visible as the downtown park, but it is much bigger. It is a place where the movement and its supporters can gather until a better location is possibly found.

I will write more about this later when I am less tired.

Eugene Occupation Begins

October 17, 2011

On Saturday, October 15, about 2,000 people marched through Eugene as part of the 99% movement. It began with a rally at Wayne Morse Plaza. (John Bellamy Foster was one of the speakers.) There were all sorts of people there. It wasn’t just “hippies”. People then marched to the Ferry Street Bridge and back. Marchers stayed on the sidewalk and were careful not to block traffic. The line stretched out for a mile at one point. I’m told that this was the largest demonstration in the history of Eugene. On the bridge, passing drivers were honking their horns in solidarity. There were no problems with the police. At one point, police were directing traffic to facilitate the march. When the march reached a downtown park, it was announced that this was where the occupation would take place. I was impressed by how well organized it was. It was clear that people had carefully planned things out. The occupiers announced that they will be holding general assemblies every day at 7 AM and at 7 PM.

You can find photos of the march here.

You can find a website for the occupation here.

You can find a live stream of the occupation here.