LAPD gives Occupy L.A. protesters Thanksgiving turkeys
Thankgiving Day at the Occupy L.A. camp at City Hall was greeted with a mixture of reflection and resolve. "We are calling it International Giving Thanks Day," Regina Quetzal-Quinones said. "It's a day of sovereignty and healing."
For much of Thanksgiving Day, demonstrators did exactly what they've been doing for so many weeks: occupy the once lush Civic Center park. One bearded man twisted into yoga positions as another danced to rancheras and another drowsily yelled out from his tent, "Dude, where's the pot?"
But they also celebrated the holiday. Throughout the morning, donations poured into the tented kitchen: ham and biscuits, pumpkin pie and chicken, gravy and cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.
Two stuffed turkeys also arrived from the Police Department.
"Gifts from one of the commanders," one volunteer said.
Dinner began around noon as dozens of campers — some activists, some homeless people — lined up and awaited their turn. Some also took part in an indigenous blessing paying tribute to Native Americans killed by settlers.
On the northwest side of the lawn, Shaun Gregory, 23, and a few friends hung out as if they were at a Thanksgiving barbecue, their tents spread in a circle around a booming stereo.
The Utah native moved to the City Hall lawn from skid row after he heard he could keep his tent up all day.
"On skid row, the cops would make me take it down at 5 a.m.," Gregory said. "But here, it's cool."
Photo: Brent Aguilar eats a Thanksgiving meal along with other Occupy L.A. demonstrators on the steps of City Hall. Hundreds lined up throughout the day for a variety of donated food, including two turkeys from the Police Department. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / November 24, 2011)