‘Occupying’ homeless ground: Protesters, homeless worlds collide

Tiffany Lane Contributor
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — “I gave up being inside of a shelter to come out here, to live outside,” Larry Foster-El told The Daily Caller this week at the “Occupy DC” anti-capitalist protest’s urban base camp.

Foster-El, like many here in McPherson Square, is homeless.

“I feel more ’causely’ to be out here,” he said, “to hold down what need[s] to be held down.”

Homelessness activist Eric Sheptock said Occupy DC isn’t pushing the homeless out of parks where they spend so much of their time. Sheptock said. “They are welcome to be involved in Occupy DC, and that’s what the occupiers actually want.”

A homeless D.C. resident who calls himself “bear” says he lived in McPherson Square before the protesters showed up. Now, he says, it’s a safer place to sleep.

“We do not tolerate drugs, alcohol, or violence,” he told The Daily Caller. “Those are the three things that we will ask you — and escort you off the premises for.”

Homeless individuals and Occupy DC protesters share a home from Medill Washington on Vimeo.