Winter Shelter Bad News for Occupy SD

San Diego winter shelter adds 220 beds to help homeless

By Chris Chan
|  Monday, Nov 21, 2011  |  Updated 8:57 PM PDT
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Images: Occupy San Diego

Occupy SD protesters formerly camped outside the Civic Center.

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Downtown Winter Shelter Opens to Homeless

Winter shelter opens more beds for homeless and more reason for police to remove Occupy San Diego protesters from the Civic Center.
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San Diego's winter homeless shelter opened it's doors on Monday morning and within three hours, beds were full.

But the increased number of beds provides more reason for police to remove Occupy San Diego protesters from the San Diego Civic Center.  According to police, officers can remove the protesters if they fall asleep and there are open beds in shelters.  

Police said they have been urging the demonstrators on a daily basis to sleep at the shelters instead of the Civic Center.  

"If they don't have shelter, I hope they go out and seek that shelter.  They're welcome to come protest here, legally, anytime," said Captain Mark Jones of the San Diego Police Department.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators said only 10 to 15 people remain at the Civic Center overnight. Those without homes have considered going to homeless shelters, but prefer to remain with the protesters.  

"If home is having to be here with fellow protesters and address those grievances of the declaration of Occupy San Diego, then this is home," said Michael Basillas, an Occupy SD protester who said he and others take shifts, sleeping in vehicles and staying up to protest througout the night.

Going to a shelter or leaving the Civic Center Plaza has become more attractive after three weekends of rain. One bleary-eyed man said he has been awake for days but doesn't want to leave to get good rest.

"I'm making a statement and I'm going to stick to it no matter what," said one protester.

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