(KMTR) -- A rally and march through the heart of Eugene
on Saturday from hundreds of Occupy movement protestors from Eugene
and throughout Oregon
played host to a statewide Occupy assembly.
About 200 to 300 people gathered in downtown Eugene on Saturday, February 25th, 2012, of the assembly, beginning in front of the Lane County Courthouse. Occupy groups hold assemblies once a month in Oregon, calling it a chance to collaborate and come up with ways to continue their message of social and economic justice as the movement evolves.
Protestors rallied at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, then followed with a march down the middle of Pearl Street, 13th Avenue and Oak Street. The group got a legal parade permit from the city of Eugene to conduct the protest.
For Occupy Eugene volunteers, while the Washington-Jefferson Park camp is gone, many say it has helped refocus efforts towards targeted protests on issues locally and abroad.
Recently, Occupy Eugene volunteers protested the Downtown Eugene Public Safety Zone ordinance and its possible extension. (Read more of NewsSource 16’s report on the protest: http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/story/Groups-protest-Eugenes-downtown-public-safety/RGbipvDeqkudCx6UohLLkg.cspx.)
The group, through a petition organized through another group called “We the People,” also recently got Eugene City Council to vote to approve a petition calling for the end of corporate personhood in the United States.
Occupy Eugene says its efforts continue, despite a lack of a camp.
“We're a new organization, it's going to take a lot of effort, a lot of time,” says Benjamin Hunt, an Occupy Eugene volunteer.
Leading the march through Eugene on Saturday, Sam Rutledge says he’s proud of the work the group is achieving through non-violence protest.
“What we're doing here today is showing that the movement toward global justice is alive and well,” says Rutledge.
One of Occupy Eugene’s volunteers, Jamil Jonna says the statewide assembly is unique in its message
“There's people from all over the state coming, how often does that happen? Does anyone need to be convinced that the problems are so significant that we shouldn't be doing something? The fact that this is happening is a direct reflection,” says Jonna.
The statewide Occupy assembly continues into Saturday evening at the group’s new space on 7th Avenue and Polk Street in Eugene. There are at least 44 “Occupy” groups in Oregon, east representing a different city.