At Occupy Christmas, Cops Won't Let Protesters Serve Food in Park
Occupiers in New York City spent Christmas Eve and day in a multi-faith period of celebration. The festivities began with a Genreral Assembly on Wall Street itself, followed by a candlelight vigil with a very, very special set of candles.
According to occupier Jeff Smith, about 30-50 protesters stayed down around Zuccotti Park through the night, and kept warm thanks to free hot drinks handed out by a vendor to anyone who said the magic words "Occupy Wall Street." 24 hours of activities are planned throughout the Christmas holiday, including a "grounding meditation" this morning, poetry and art projects in the afternoon, prayer services, and a reading of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech.
The next day, DNAinfo.com reports, was full of festivities, even though police and security would not let occupiers bring their potluck into Zuccotti Park (the unconfirmed rumor among occupiers is that Zuccotti is about to be "closed for renovations.") So, they were fed on the sidewalk!
After eating their fill at the potluck, revelers joined in a spirited rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," "Joy to the World," and a a few Christmas favorites ever-so-slightly tweaked to better conform to the group's message, including "Occupy Homes for the Holidays," in place of "I'll Be Home For Christmas."
A protester tuned his fiddle and the park briefly filled with dancers, their cheeks flushed as they whirled and high-stepped past police barricades.
The Nativity, too, was repurposed for the protest.
"The Virgin Mary was homeless too — should she go to jail?" asked protester Jason, 32, who has been sleeping in churches since proteters were cleared from the park in November.
Protesters have repeatedly vowed to come back in the spring with more numbers, more energy, and more radical actions.
But first, they have plans for New Years' Eve--and whatever they are, I'm sure they'll beat Times Square.