EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Tension, mixed reactions and one arrest after Occupy Eugene protestors took their message straight to Eugene’s Black Friday shoppers, rallying against mass-consumerism and corporate greed.
More than 100 Occupy Eugene protestors hit several Eugene-area shopping areas early Friday morning, November 25th, 2011, protesting through chants and holiday carols with anti-corporation messages.
Chanting “This is our mall! We will Occupy it! We love you!” the initial protest began around at the Valley River Center shopping center amidst hundreds of shoppers.
Not everyone was happy with the protest either. NewsSource 16’s cameras caught one shopper arguing with protestors.
The VRC protest lasted for about 30 minutes. After that, protestors moved on to Wal-Mart on Green Acres Road, then the Wal-Mart on West 11th Avenue around
Around , Eugene Police arrested one protestor, 18-year old Derek James Lewis, charging him with criminal trespass 2. Police say Lewis was using a mega-phone inside the store. Several other protestors used megaphones throughout the evening.
Lewis was taken to the Springfield Jail, then bailed out shortly after. A criminal trespass 2 citation carries a base 280 dollar fine.
Eugene Police knew about the Valley River Center protest, but the Wal-Mart protests were a surprise.
“We'll continue in dialogue, we'll continue to have a good working relationship with members of the Occupy Eugene group, and if they have protests and some get arrested, that's just part of doing business and we will be respectful and we'll be humane in our arrest tactics and we'll manage public safety all the while, says Lt. Doug Mozan with the Eugene Police Department
An Occupier who took part in the Friday morning protest, Cooper Ottie says he thought the protest was effective in getting shoppers to think.
“People are process in their own way, they're not just robots waiting for our message, even if they're just standing and waiting and looking, they're thinking,” says Ottie.
Some shoppers had other opinions though.
"I think that the idea in the beginning was a good idea, but I think that they've lost the point of it,” says Casey Kolender, a shopper at Valley River Center on Friday morning.
A male shopper in the crowd told NewsSource 16, quote: “The Occupiers are completely not in their right mind, I think they should just stay where they are.”
Occupy Eugene is continuing to take its message to holiday shoppers, as the group has rented out booth space at the Eugene Holiday Market at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
Eugene Police says the arrest one person arrested was taken into custody without incident. Police say there were no other incidents.