City moves to shut down Whoville camp

City moves to shut down Whoville camp »Play Video
A Eugene Police officer arrives in the camp to discuss the situation

EUGENE, Ore. - The "No Camping" signs posted above a tent city in the center of Eugene came down Friday.

Workers put up new "No Trespassing" signs.

The difference?

Police could only issue tickets to people camping in violation of the ban on camping on city property.

People who violate the "No Trespassing" order could be jailed.

A police officer visited the camp on Friday to answer questions.

No enforcement action is likely before next Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

The move came Friday as the City of Eugene worked to clear out what's known as "Whoville" - a "protest camp" of people who are homeless and their supporters, who think the ban on camping leaves the homeless without a safe, legal place to sleep.

The City of Eugene wants campers to leave voluntarily, citing legal camping options like the car camping program, the new homeless rest stop and Opportunity Village.

Whoville organizers don't want to move after 4 months on the site, located on a corner between downtown Eugene and the University of Oregon campus. They say there aren't enough resources in Eugene to meet the needs of the homeless.

City officials said they will visit the site again Tuesday to see if the campers have moved on. A city worker was on site Friday taking measurements in case a fence needs to be erected to keep people off the site.