EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – Local attorneys for the recent Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep (SLEEPS) homelessness protest and Occupy Eugene has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government.
Protesters announced the lawsuit on Wednesday, December 19 at the site of their latest demonstration, the Federal Building Plaza on 7th Avenue and Pearl Streets in downtown Eugene.
Attorneys for SLEEPS accused the General Services Administration (GSA) of violating the First and Fifth Amendment rights of protesters. SLEEPS activists have been camped out at the Federal Building Plaza since last week. Meanwhile, the GSA, which manages federal properties, is trying to evict the protesters.
SLEEPS argues that its tents are a symbol of protest and are therefore protected under free speech rights. However, the GSA says SLEEPS needs a permit to continue to protest in the plaza.
The lawsuit also accuses the GSA of violating the free speech rights of protesters over the summer of 2012, when Occupy Eugene's protest at the Federal Building Plaza was evicted.