Interview: Mayor Piercy on protest campers

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene is taking a passive approach with enforcement of the camping ban where the SLEEPS protest camps are involved, Mayor Kitty Piercy said. She said protesters have a right to protest, but they don't have a right to camp.

She said the city can't just arrest or remove the homeless population. And The mayor expects the City Council to adopt a plan for "rest stops" before winter sets in.

The City of Eugene is holding a public hearing on proposed changes to the camping law Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Hall in the Lane County Public Service Building, 125 East 8th Avenue.

No action is expected at the meeting, but the proposal includes provisions for some emergency camping opportunities.

Piercy said this isn't a problem the mayor and council alone can solve. She said the city will need the community's support to find a solution, and that it's not productive to just point fingers at the homeless and tell them to get a job.