D.C.

How clean are the protest sites?

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At their makeshift homes in McPherson Square, protesters don't have sinks. But some brush their teeth anyway. They also don't have toilets and they don’t have showers.

And as the number of tents continues to grow and some plan to stay through the winter, the United States Park Service has reportedly voiced serious concerns about sanitation and safety.

Now protesters say that when they use the bathroom, they'll go to a local coffee shop like Starbucks. When they have to shower, they'll go to a local sports club.

While federal authorities have said the protests will be allowed to continue, they have had to balance First Amendment rights with potential threats to health and safety.

Despite establishing their own systems for cooking, cleaning dishes, taking out the trash and even medical care, the vast majority of protesters said they welcomed improvements.

“I saw some rats out here last night,” said organizer Ashton Phillips. “Maybe things need to be run a little differently to make it more sanitary.”

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