Occupy Wall Street celebrates Thanksgiving


Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated Thanksgiving by gathering in the disputed New York square where their movement sprang up two months ago and feasting on turkey with all the trimmings. Meeting Thursday in Zuccotti Park, where on November 15 police forcibly evicted hundreds of protesters camped there, several hundred activists of all ages shared donated platters of turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and other staples of the national holiday meal. The atmosphere was a far cry from the tension during the night of the camp clear-out by riot police or the violent scuffles that marred subsequent demonstrations around the nearby stock exchange. One group sat around a guitarist, singing Bob Dylan songs. Another clustered listened to a cellist play Bach, while a third group took in the upbeat sounds of a traditional fiddle and banjo duo.
More than 3,000 meals were supplied to hungry activists and passers-by sharing in the unusual version of the US ritual, which always takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. It recalls the gratitude of the earliest European settlers in America for their survival. Occupy Wall Street organiser Bill Dobbs said he was thankful that the movement, which aims to attack the power of the nation’s big banks and to protest against social inequity, had come through its own birthpangs. “This is early in creating a resistance movement in the biggest rich country in the world,” Dobbs said.
Meanwhile, in midtown Manhatten an estimated three million people braved cold temperatures to see the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In the evening, an estimated 9,000 people were waiting at Macy’s Herald Square store for its Black Friday midnight opening, more than in the last couple of years.