Cascadia Forest Defenders march on campus and downtown Eugene

An march organized by the Cascadia Forest Defenders took place on campus Sunday in an attempt to generate awareness in a campaign against industrial resource extraction.

Around 1 p.m. participants gathered in the Erb Memorial Union Amphitheater before marching into downtown Eugene, chanting verbal protests against resource extraction and the financing of environmentally destructive efforts. The parade route ran through downtown, stopping to allow the protest of financing of environmentally damaging practices at local branches of national banks, before returning to campus where it culminated with a call to action against harmful environmental destruction.

Sunday’s march, which coincided with the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference hosted by the University of Oregon School of Law was the second in a series of marches that began two weeks ago, at the end of the Social Justice Real Justice campaign at the UO.

According to event organizer Samantha Krop, this march was specifically aimed at calling attention to the funding of resource extraction by multinational banking corporations such as Wells Fargo, Chase Bank and Bank of America.  After the first march two weeks ago, participants posted lists of demands on the doors of local companies that support environmentally degrading practices, Krop said. After receiving no response, Sunday’s march was scheduled as a follow up, to let industries know that activists had not backed down.

“A march isn’t going to make them stop. This is basically to show that that we’re united in the effort to make them stop,” Krop said.

Among the crowd were members of the general public who support the campaign against environmental destruction, students who represent on campus organizations fighting for the same principles and legal observers from the Civil Liberties Defense Center, a Eugene based organization focused on “defending and upholding civil liberties,” according to their website.

Paige Corich-Kleim, a UO student and member of the University of Oregon Survival Center believes the march was an important step toward maintaining the activist presence in Eugene.

“This march is to show that we’re serious about organizing,” Corich-Kleim said. “This is not something we’re going to let them get away with.”

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