EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Hundreds of protestors involved with “Occupy Eugene” made their voices heard Thursday by participating in a “National Day of Action.”
Protestors targeted five different bank branches Thursday afternoon in protests held for what they referred to as “N-17.”
The rally started around noon at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. Protestors then marched across the street, first to Umpqua Bank. A group within the march draped a sign reading “Stumpqua funds clear cuts” over part of the building and then sat in front of the facility’s doors for hours.
Umpqua Bank employees continued servicing people in the drive-thru.
Marchers moved to US Bank shortly after, on 8th and Willamette, only to find that had managers closed down the bank from noon to three in anticipation of the protest.
Blocks away, managers taped the doors shut at Wells Fargo Bank.
“The hours they are closed is business they are losing, money they are losing. They’re losing the money they have taken away from all the people,” said one occupier.
“These people are complete thieves,” added Nicholas Ingram, another Occupy Eugene member. “There’s no reason why they should be able to hold this world at what standards they have it at.”
After a few moves, protestors split off to cover different banks. They also protested Chase Bank on 11th and Willamette and Bank of America on 11th and High. It was at those locations that multiple arrests were made.
Protestors told NewsSource 16 reporter Chris McKee that there were more than seven people arrested in front of the banks for blocking the doors.
At the time of this article, Eugene Police did not have a total number of arrests available. Officers were on extra alert, however. In the past six weeks of local occupying, EPD has now totaled nearly $30,000 dollars in overtime, comparable to one night of West Eugene riots in years past. EPD has also had to focus on the safety needs in the surrounding areas of Occupy Eugene, taking their attention away from other areas.
According to Eugene Police Captain Rich Stronach, the expenses don’t begin or end with Eugene Police. The city has also had a major expense during Occupy Eugene since Eugene Parks and Open Space has had to help keep the parks usable. Eugene Fire Department has had a hand in enforcing the fire code due to various structures surrounding Washington-Jefferson Park. City administrators have been giving their time focusing on the issue as well.
Live stream video from Occupy Eugene was also available throughout the protests.
Occupy Eugene members plan to hold another rally on Saturday.