EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene closed down a section of Jefferson Street and moved in garbage bins after the City Council voted 5-2 to immediately dismantle the Occupy Eugene camp in Washington-Jefferson Park.
The vote came after a man was found face down, not breathing and without a pulse Monday night at the Occupy Eugene camp was beaten and choked and suffered multiple facial fractures.
City Manager Jon Ruiz informed Mayor Kitty Piercy of the incident just after midnight Tuesday.
Piercy called a special meeting of the City Council, where councilors voted to lift the exemption to the city park camping ban that had allowed the Occupy Eugene camp to remain in place.
The garbage bins arrived not long after the vote. Campers have been packing up and moving on in a peaceful fashion.
Occupy advocates told KVAL News that the injured man came into the camp and started the fight.
Some Occupiers said the City is using the incident as an excuse to dismantle the camp.
"The city has decided to shut down the camp for safety reasons which are completely devoid from reality," said Alley Valkyrie, one of the Occupiers. "There aren't any safety issues at the camp, any more then there were two weeks ago.
"The city decided to use an overblown safety concern to shut down the camp," she said.
"There is and never has been any more crime on the Occupy site than there ever has been with our downtown population," Valkyrie said. "That's what's been used against us, that's what's been used to shut us down, the fact that as a community we actually demanded accountability for once.
"This is a really sad day for the police department, it's a very sad day for the city. I think it's one of the worst decisions that they've ever made."
"Big John" McCahill, the camp cook, addressed the City Council and then returned to the camp.
"We were supposed to negociate with them," he said. "They sent out a bunch of trumped up garbage, allegations against the camp. We haven't caused any problems, we're working on fixing problems. Some of the people are where they are no matter what. There are people that live in that park, before we got there and there are people that will live in that park after we leave.
"We'll live on, we will not forget, we will not forgive, we will Occupy this town."