EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – A change of guard at the former site of Occupy Eugene encampment as the site is now almost clear on Christmas day.
In a memo sent to Eugene City Councilors and staff late Saturday night, December 24th, 2011, Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns update the situation at the camp, revealing that nearly everyone has left Washington Jefferson Park.
Chief Kerns said Saturday night, “two homeless subjects with difficult impediments to a transition from the camp were able to move out today.”
“A number of diligent, kind hearted and innovative volunteers, CAHOOTS staff, and police were able to enable both to depart in ways that were suitable to them. A third subject was provided a bus ticket to be with family in Portland,” said Chief Kerns.
Eugene Police are also no longer stationed at the camp, turning over patrol duties to a private security firm who’s been hired under a Eugene Public Works Department contract.
Only a couple people remain at the park now.
With the Saturday departures, Chief Kerns said, “this leaves only one or two volunteers who said this afternoon they may spend the night in order to continue cleaning the camp. Police officers are no longer assigned to the site.”
An Occupy Eugene protestor, Gordon Sturrock was one of two volunteers on site Sunday, December 25th, 2011, helping haul stuff away.
Sturrock says the group is trying to save hundreds of community donations to continue on in the future.
“Occupy Eugene is alive and well,” said Sturrock.
“We're trying to salvage as much as we can, so that we can continue, at some point, we don't know how, the good work that we're doing. Helping the homeless and trying to change the world in a lot of different ways, not just helping the homeless, but to me that's a very important aspect of what we're doing,” said Sturrock.
Eugene Police say at this point, no one has been arrested for refusing to leave.
While Occupy Eugene is without a camp site currently, the group is renting office space at the Grower’s Market Building on 5th and Willamette in downtown Eugene and making use of donated warehouse space on 7th and Polk in Eugene.