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The Nation

February 14, 1988

Dozens of homeless and other mourners huddled in blankets and gathered around two simple coffins on a wind-swept plaza 3 blocks from the White House for the public funeral of two vagrants who died from the cold. The ceremony in Washington came one day after homeless activist Mitch Snyder and his Community for Creative Non-Violence sued the city, demanding possession of the bodies of the two street people, who had no known relatives to claim and bury them. The city's Department of Human Services had refused to release the bodies on grounds that such an open-air funeral would be "repulsive" and create a "public spectacle" of the dead.

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