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Protesters Break Into Presidio Homes

Mon., July 28, 1997, midnight

About 150 protesters broke into vacant homes at the Presidio and called on the government to combat homelessness by converting the former military homes into low-income housing. There were 54 arrests.

Members of the group Homes Not Jails broke into three unoccupied homes at the Presidio, a former military base that is now a national park, and barricaded the doors.

“I think it’s barbaric and uncivilized and ludicrous that these homes are vacant while people are on the streets dying,” said Alex Osborne, a spokesman for the group.

Most protesters left the buildings after police arrived but 54 stayed and were arrested, police said.

The protesters were accused of violating several federal laws, including trespassing and demonstrating in a national park without a permit. Several were also charged with resisting arrest and giving false names.

Some homes at the Presidio have been demolished and others eventually will be razed to make way for a nature preserve with hiking trails. The U.S. Park Service may save some of the units.


 
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