On Thursday, Dec 2, around 50 community members gathered at the Atrium Building to protest the ongoing sweeps by the City of Eugene and commemorate the City’s sweep of over 100 unhoused individuals. The Atrium being where many City of Eugene staffers offices reside and across the street from the offices of the mayor and city manager, currently residing in LCC downtown campus building. Folks came together at 2 PM and stuck around to the early morning. Groups present included Black Thistle Street Aid, Eugene DSA, and Stop the Sweeps Eugene.
Organizers helped foster a welcoming and communal atmosphere, with the event starting out with sign making. Scattered throughout the event were speakers, from people talking about their mutual aid work to people currently experience homelessness. Stressed throughout the event was that sweeps kill and that they are for the one demand of stopping the sweeps.
An organizer noted this marks a beginning of a series of actions, and that they will continue to show up until the National Homeless Memorial day on Dec. 21. The annual day the community remembers all the unhoused people that lost their lives that year.
An advocate shared the thoughts from one of our unhoused neighbors, “To be homeless and have to move again and again — it takes its toll on a person. It’s enough to kill a person’s spirit and enough to make them just want to give up altogether. Nobody should be out here like this and no one should be kept in a constant state of disorganization. It’s inhumane what they’re doing to people.”