EUGENE, Ore. -- Occupy Eugene's permit to assemble in the space in front of Eugene's Federal Building expired on Wednesday, and federal uniformed agents are telling them to leave the space.
Members of the movement say that their occupation of the Federal Building is a right protected under the Constitution. This right is only guaranteed if the public goes through the proper channels.
Occupy Eugene obtained a permit to assemble and stay overnight at the Federal building for 60 days from the United States General Services Administration. For members of the Occupy Eugene movement, protesting in the space was a way to spread their message to the public.
"The reason we are here 24/7 is partially to send a message that these things deserve our constant attention." said occupier Jana Thrift. "We need to be out in the streets, talking to people and creating change."
The permit expired, and the GSA gave Occupy Eugene a 3 p.m. deadline Wednesday to vacate the property. Before 4 p.m., Homeland Security officials issued a warning for occupiers to leave the Federal Building at the risk of getting a ticket.
As the deadline approached all but one of the occupiers packed up and left the premises. Emily Semple said she was willing to risk the penalty to continue the movement.
Semple was arrested and removed from the premises in handcuffs at around 7:30 p.m.; she was released from custody later that evening.
Occupy members said that they will fight any citations that Semple receives in court.
In a statement to the public, GSA officials said that they would grant another permit for the space, however it would exclude any assembly overnight. The administration cited safety concerns as well as issues of maintaining the space.