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Eugene mayor Lucy Vinis met with protesters in her driveway to discuss the city's role in supporting people of color in the community. (James Croxton/Daily Emerald)

The BIPOC Liberation Collective held a protest on Tuesday night that started at Eugene Waldorf School and marched to Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis' home. 

Beginning at 8:30 p.m., the protesters rehearsed directional hand-signals and ran through an overview of safety precautions in the event of a confrontation. 

Just under an hour later the crowd of approximately 150 to 200 people began marching to a then-undisclosed location. 

During the march, people in the crowd utilized pots and pans, soda cans dragging on string and musical instruments to make as much noise as possible going through the hills past the Friendly Neighborhood. 

After 20 minutes, the crowd gathered in the middle of the street. Before announcing the significance of the location, the leader of the protest began a quick lesson on “de-arresting” individuals should police arrive and arrest anyone. “Does anyone have anything that can cut zip ties?” a leader asked. 

Medics were in attendance for the night “if there’s, like, tear gas, or you, like, have a scrape,” one of the medics said, getting some laughs from the crowd.

It was then announced that the group was in front of Vinis' house. About five minutes later, Vinis came down her driveway to have a discourse. 

While outside, she answered questions in between shouts for her to resign or abolish the Eugene Police Department, among other demands. 

Thomas Hiura, a Eugene mayoral candidate on the ballot in April, was present. Vinis recognized him, saying, “Thomas!” 

“Hi, Mayor,” Hiura responded, inciting chuckles from the crowd. He shared his concerns about diversity in the mayor’s office.

“Being the 37th mayor of 37 white mayors of the city,” Hiura said, “do you think it’s important that your successor, perhaps in 2024, would be the first person of color to lead the city, and what steps would you take to make sure that might happen?”  

Vinis said that, like her predecessor, Kitty Piercy, she would be looking to find a successor to endorse in the 2024 election, as Piercy did for her. She said that the "door is open" to having a member of the BIPOC community be her successor and asked for people to step up for the position in the coming years. The crowd responded with boos. "Step down,” one protester said, “we don't have four more years."

Around 10:30 p.m., it was announced within the crowd that EPD was mobilizing down the street. 

De-escalating what could have been a confrontation with them, Vinis and a small group of protesters walked down the street, leaving the rest in front of her house.

Down the street, Vinis assured the small group that EPD was "backing off" and that they would be safe to proceed back. Simultaneously, back at her driveway, protesters burned a cardboard sign that read "Eugene Budget." 

The protesters allowed Vinis to go back to her home. One attendee played the Star Wars Imperial March tune on their phone, chanting “defund, disarm, dismantle the police.”

At 11 p.m. the group marched back to the starting point. Organizers encouraged protesters to go home in groups and be vigilant about being followed. The night ended with a song written by The Peace Poets, a group from New York City that makes “movement music” to respond to crises around the world. 

“I am not afraid. I am not afraid. I would die for liberation ‘cause I know why I was made,” they all sang together. Before departing from the school, a leader added a quick tip on how to detect a police tail while driving as some alleged they had been followed home. 

News / Film & TV Reporter

James is on the news desk where he focuses on protest reporting. Outside of reporting for the Daily Emerald, he is a former reporter and copy editor at LCC's The Torch, has contributed to KISS vinyl guides as a collector and is a vintage vinyl dealer.

News Desk Editor

Jack is the news editor at the Emerald. He is a journalism and political science major at the University of Oregon who enjoys reading alone, drinking coffee alone and eating in parks...alone. Send tips or food recs to jforrest@dailyemerald.com