Homeless campers living in a row of tents in downtown Eugene say they are there in protest. The campers object to the lack of shelter in the city center and claim mistreatment by local business owners.
The six tents are positioned in the right-of-way area between the curb and sidewalk—just down the street from 5th Street Public Market.
Eric Jackson lives in a tattered blue pop up tent. He claims Obie Companies, which owns the popular public market, has barred protest campers from the shops.
“The 5th Street Market company has in fact banned anybody that is at this protest. There’s a sign right here behind me. And we are trespassed from the property in advance of doing anything wrong.”
Obie Companies Vice President Casey Barrett says he’s unaware of any denial of access to the 5th Street Market. He also says “homelessness is the single biggest issue in this community.”
The Eugene City Council will decide Monday whether to change an ordinance allowing for trespass charges against people staying in the right of way planting spaces.