Beginning at 8pm on Friday May 29, approximately 50 people gathered for a quiet demonstration against police violence in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the Lane County Circuit Courthouse in downtown Eugene.
Around 8:40pm protestors began marching through downtown Eugene and headed towards the police headquarters. Along the way, people joined and the crowd quickly grew to approximately 100 protestors.
After leaving the police station, the crowd headed towards the Delta Highway on-ramp at 7th and Washington. By this point the crowd was nearly 200 strong. The protestors blocked the on-ramp of traffic, then moved up and down 8th and 7th avenues blocking traffic and chanting. Along the way protestors lit small fires, lit off fireworks, and tagged signs and windows, as well as an LTD bus, with spray paint. Tags read phrases such as “ACAB” and “RIP GEORGE FLOYD” among other things.
Eventually, around 10:30pm, the crowd looped back around the the on-ramp at 7th and Washington. Protestors began dragging objects such as street signs, tables and chairs from nearby restaurants, traffic pylons, restaurant signs, several dumpsters, and eventually an electronic road construction sign, into the middle of 7th Avenue. These objects were lit on fire which created flames nearly 20 feet tall.
Around 11:30pm, protesters began breaking windows at stores and restaurants on 7th Avenue including Five Guys, Jimmy John’s, Starbucks, and Sprint.
By 12am the crowd was still chanting, throwing objects into the bon fire, shooting fireworks, breaking windows, and looting. Until this point, the police had not been confrontational and monitored the protest from afar.
At 12:40am, police quickly approached and released tear gas on the crowd. A fire hydrant was opened on the corner of 7th and Washington, but it is unclear if this was done by protestors or emergency services to quell the bonfire.
By 1am the crowd had disappeared partially, but there were still approximately 100 people there. Protestors were still breaking windows and looting businesses in the area.
Now, at 2am, it appears that at least 50-100 people are still marching, chanting, and protesting in the area.