Oct. 7 Protesters w flashlight_James

Protesters march back to University of Park in complete silence to end a night of protesting through the streets near the University of Oregon. (James Croxton/Emerald)

Sunday, Oct. 4

At 7 p.m., University of Oregon activists held a “Back to Skkkool Bash” at University Park with live entertainment, food and speeches provided by a number of groups. Though no one group claimed to lead it, speakers included members from BIPOC Liberation Collective, ReclaimUO, DisarmUO, Cascadia Action Network, Sunrise Eugene and the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. 

Several bands played while attendees served SolidariTEA to the crowd that had gathered. 

Related: “Activists chain selves to Johnson Hall, demand UO democratize board

Around 9:30 p.m., a substantial portion of the crowd began marching towards the UO campus, where an occupation outside Johnson Hall — the building housing UO President Michael Schill’s office — would take place into the next day.

Monday, Oct. 5

Spending the entire night in front of the doors of Johnson Hall, the activists awoke to a new day and by 12 p.m., around 40 people had gathered around to listen to their demands once again. 

Related: “Demonstration outside Johnson Hall over UOPD defunding, board of trustees continue

Just before 3 p.m., UO President Schill arrived at Johnson Hall and, sitting on the plinth of a column, spoke to those chained to the door. 

Within 20 minutes, he had left, but not without telling the activists to “be safe.”

Hours later, around 6:30 p.m., two guitarists sang and played “Revolution” by The Beatles on their acoustic guitars, sparking the beginning of the night’s rally in solidarity with those who spent the night.

At 7:15 p.m, the main speaker handed the microphone to one of the chained activists who read aloud from a piece of paper.

They recounted the day’s meeting with Schill, saying that he was dismissive of "full and complete disarmament" of UOPD, health concerns surrounding COVID-19 and UO’s response to the pandemic. 

Next, they listed their demands for the agreed-upon meeting with Schill that they had secured during their conversation:

  1. The activists expect their meeting with him to happen by week three of fall 2020.

  2. It is to be held in the Erb Memorial Union fishbowl with appropriate social distancing measures and acceptable audio. 

  3. The meeting is to be both live-streamed and video-recorded.

  4. Schill and his colleagues must prepare three concrete tenants for the activists’ previous three main demands — divesting from fossil fuels, the defunding and eventual dismantling of the University of Oregon Police Department and a democratization of the university’s board of trustees.  

  5. The activists are able to request a facilitator of their choice to be present during the meeting.

Just before 7:30 p.m., the main speaker — with chants of “defund, disarm and dismantle the police” — unchained those at the door. Those that had gathered started to leave soon after. 

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Black Unity held a “The Myth of Reverse Racism” protest and march starting at University Park around 7:15 p.m. — over an hour after the scheduled start time.

Prior to the start of the march, a member of the Wall of Moms spoke to the crowd of around 60 that had gathered. She reminded the crowd not to confront or interact with counter-protesters should they show up. 

Organizers also announced one of the security persons was Black Unity’s personal police liaison to the Eugene Police Department and that they had asked for a police escort during the march.

At 8 p.m., the march had gone through neighborhoods and ended up at Global Scholars Hall on the UO campus. 

Related: “All on-campus residents consolidate into two buildings

There, approximately 40 students joined the march. 

A half-hour later, the march blocked the intersection of Franklin Blvd. and Agate St. and held a teach-in about the inexistence of reverse racism. 

After the march had resumed for a while, BU security attempted to corral the press and instruct them where to go. BU security was unhappy with the press’ positioning on the sidewalk, saying they may intimidate the police presence that they called for, according to their police liaison. A few minutes later, the march continued with sporadic chants of “fuck Jeff Bezos.” 

At 10 p.m., leading up to the end of the march, the crowd stopped and turned on their cell phone flashlights. For 10 minutes, the crowd marched in complete silence back to University Park, where the protest ended around 10:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front promoted a last-minute “direct action” starting at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse on Twitter, scheduled for 7 p.m.  

Despite about 20 protesters, a handful of counter-protesters driving around and six Eugene Police Department SUVs at the Eugene Water & Electric Board building, the protest dissipated around 8:30 p.m.

C. Francis O’Leary contributed reporting to this story. 

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.