(KMTR) –Occupy Eugene protestors are planning a big event for Black Friday, but it doesn’t involve shopping. Protestors say they're going to occupy Valley River Center in Eugene, starting at Friday. This year, the Valley River Center doors will open at on November 25th, for a Black Friday “Midnight Madness" event. Stores will stay open until Saturday, November 26th.
Occupy Eugene is using this opportunity to spread a new message. Members are organizing a Madness "Flash Mob,” also known as a "Buy Nothing" day. Occupy Eugene Actions Committee member Kristen Carpenter says Black Friday is a day set aside to lure consumers into the stores to spend money they don't have.
“There are a variety of things that just kind of lull people into making these purchases in order to get special treats or whatever, but the reality is Oregon is leading the nation right now in people on food stamps and the level of food insecurity here is ridiculously high. People don't need these things,” says Carpenter. She hopes they send a message to spend more time with your loved ones this Christmas, instead of spending money at the store.
Valley River Center Marketing Manager Diana Bray ensures the public that shopper safety is their number one priority. “We're working closely with our law enforcement locally to really ensure that our shoppers at Valley River Center have an experience they expect here at the center on Madness,” says Bray. The "Midnight Madness" event will include live radio broadcasts, as well as gift cards and prizes.
Eugene Police tell News Source 16 they'll treat the black Friday Flash Mob like any other protest. They plan to work peacefully with Occupy members, and handle any issues appropriately.