Occupy Eugene holds march in protest of banks

Occupy Eugene held a march in downtown Eugene yesterday in protest of the practices of corporate banks.

The demonstration, titled the “Urban Ninja Banks March,” featured approximately 15 people dressed as ninjas, plus many others who support the cause. They gathered at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza for the protest. March leader Kristen, who refused to give her last name, was dressed in all black with a mask over her face.

“The purpose of this protest is to call attention to the different bank practices that are taking place that we oppose,”@@how are you doing [email protected]@ she explained. “We are also trying to take a different strategy in holding banks accountable.”

The protesters milled around the plaza before congregating to discuss plans of the march. They dispersed “ninja kits” for the protesters, which included pamphlets detailing Occupy’s issues with the banks.

Kristen chose a ninja theme for the protest because she felt like it would make a bold statement and bring attention to the cause.

“Ninjas are a long tried-and-true method of achieving justice, and they’ve been around for centuries doing the work the common people don’t feel like they can do,” she said.@@i think she needs to do her ninja-training [email protected]@

Officers from the Eugene Police Department were present on the scene, both on bikes and on foot. While the officers watched for signs of disorder, the protest remained peaceful, and participants were careful to not break any laws.

“Most of our staff were regular day-shift on straight time, but the EPD did pull in a handful of bike officers on overtime,” EPD spokesperson Melinda McLaughlin said.

Kristen warned protesters not to go anywhere without a buddy because she said the police were looking to arrest anyone for any reason.

The protesters marched from the plaza to Chase Bank, located at 11th Avenue and Willamette. Once there, they stood in a line, stomping and yelling in protest. Two police officers on bikes were already there and were soon joined by four others.

After the outbursts, the protestors wrote on the sidewalk with chalk slogans like “Ninjas for peace,” “Love is not money,” “Occupy your banks” and “Activism is the new black.”@@as someone walking by, this would tell me [email protected]@

The protestors then played a game of Red Rover, chanting ‘The people united will never be divided’ before dispersing.

Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot, a Chase spokesperson,@@[email protected]@ said that like all banks, Chase has experienced protests in the past. She pointed out that the focus of the bank when under protest is keeping their employees and customers safe.@@of [email protected]@

“We respect the right of people to speak their minds,” she said. “It’s a tough economic environment, and a lot of people are feeling the strain right now.”


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