Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Eugene: Occupation Begins

If I was in charge, this picture would worry me. Photo by Tracy Sydor,

So I marched with Occupy Eugene yesterday.

The Eugene police department estimates that between 1,500 and 2,000 people marched through downtown yesterday; that would be the protest in the history of a city famous for them. The march terminated at the Park Blocks, four blocks of plaza and garden in the heart of downtown that usually play host to craft and farmer's markets.

We're marketing a different kind of crop here.

I was amazed at how quickly a tent city sprang up in the Park Blocks; I helped the build crew a bit, but I had no idea what all they had up their sleeves. Part of the advantage of being a group with unprecedentedly broad social appeal is that we had everyone on hand, from a teenage apprentice carpenter to a boomer general contractor with a crane on his truck. In less than three hours, we'd erected a stage for the general assembly, a children's play area, a kitchen, an information booth, and a first aid station, and wired them all for electricity with a heavy duty generator (not even sure where we got that one).

Naturally, there was even a vegan menu.

A volunteer medic from Whitebird Clinic organizes donated medical supplies in the "mash."

The first general assembly of the Occupation.

This Occupation has no permit, but we've established friendly contacts with the markets that usually utilize the site, the mayor's office, and the police, who are "taking things on a daily basis," but don't foresee disrupting the protest as long as it remains clean and peaceful. For now, the Occupation is off to a great start, and I expect it will only grow larger as the site is developed and more people join in as it becomes apparent that the police will not disrupt the event, at least in the short term. I'll continue to report on this as I am able.

Park Blocks Fountain, October 15, 2012, 9PM. Day One of the Occupation.

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