Undeterred: Eddie Dungan’s Family and Friends Continue Fight for Answers, March Through Saturday Market

A little more than two months after their first protest in Eugene, family and friends of Edward “Eddie” Dungan returned for the weekend of April 21-22 to continue to voice their anger at both the Oregon Department of Corrections and Two Rivers Correctional Institution. They also updated their rented billboard at 7th and Blair.

Dungan was found dead in his cell on Jan. 8 at TRCI shortly after being transferred there from Oregon State Penitentiary in Nov. 2022. His cause of death has still not been released. 

Their weekend of protest began on Saturday with a protest at the old Federal Building on 7th. There, Dungan’s family and friends—wearing bright orange shirts with Dungan’s inmate identification number on one side and various phrases on the opposite—waved handmade signs to passing motorists and those walking to go shop at the Saturday Market. 

  • Shawna, at left, wears a bright orange shirt with Edward's inmate identification number on front, holds a sign that reads "we will not back down!" Raymond, standing to her left and wearing a similar shirt, holds a sign that reads "EDDIE DUNGAN #13819297"
  • Brian Kephart, wearing a bright orange shirt with Edward Dungan's inmate identification number printed on front, holds a sign that reads "WHEN INMATES DIE, ODOC LIES."
  • Donna Gibson, wearing blue jeans and bright orange shirt with Eddie's inmate identification number, holds a sign that reads "JUSTICE FOR EDDIE" that includes three photographs of him with family. Around the white bolded letters are smaller colorful descriptors for him such as "funny," "brother," "kind," and "son" to name a few. To her left, looking off into the distance is a small white and grey doggo named Taylor.

Just before 12 p.m., they started a march through the Saturday Market. As they made their way through the crowded market, several passersby asked about Dungan’s passing and took one of the 500 fliers that were passed out.

Eddie Dungan’s family and friends march towards the Saturday Market on April 21, 2023 as part of their weekend of protest. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]
A bright orangish-yellow flier that reads: "INMATES ARE DYING UNJUSTLY IN PRISON Eddie Dungan died at Two Rivers Correctional Institution on 1/08/23 after he was denied medical care. The DOC refuses to be forthcoming about their deadly neglect. Help us fight for justice for Eddie and other inmates in American prisons! JusticeForEddieDungan.com bofundma https://gofund.me/4d500eb7 Facebook id=100089795736556 Eddie Justice"
500 fliers for JusticeForEddieDungan.com were passed out over the weekend of protest. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

Prior to leaving the market, Eddie’s sister, Christy Dungan, gave an impassioned speech until being interrupted by a market patron unhappy that she was standing in a raised flower bed. 

Christy Dungan speaks to those at the Saturday Market on April 21, 2023 about her brother and makes it known that, inmates or not, people matter. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

The march ended shortly after and they relocated under their rented billboard on the corner of 7th and Blair to wave their signs at passersby.  

Nearly 10 people with their backs turned towards the camera look up at an electronic billboard for Eddie Dungan. Their bright orange shirts have various phrases such as "EDDIE MATTERED," "D.O.C. LIES," "WE CARE A LOT!," "AND END PRISONS FOR PROFIT!" among others.
Family and friends of Eddie Dungan look up at the updated billboard at 7th and Blair after their march through the Saturday Market on April 21, 2023. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

Regarding future actions, Dungan said that a few family and friends will be back to attend a May 6 protest by Healing Not Handcuffs—a collaboration between Eugene-Springfield Showing Up for Racial Justice and the Eugene-Springfield chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America—at the Lane County Jail.

“We want the DOC to know that we’re not going to quit, we’re not going to stay quiet,” she said. “Eddie was my beloved Brother and I won’t give up on him. He should have been taken to the Emergency room, the prisons don’t have the necessary personnel or [facilities] to treat a real medical emergency.” 

They plan to continue their local protest here in Eugene every other month and to bring their case to state legislators.

“It’s only been a little more than 100 days since our first protest and look how far we’ve come,” she said. “I truly believe that moral good will prevail above all else.” 

In a statement to DSM, Pacific Northwest Family Circle spokesperson Rossi said: 

“Getting justice is painstakingly slow. PNWFC supports the ongoing struggle for justice for Eddie Dungan. Respectful street protests such as the ones being held by Eddie’s family are a powerful way to change public sentiment. People need to feel that just because someone is incarcerated doesn’t mean they have no value.”

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