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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 24, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Occupy Seattle occupies Thanksgiving

About 50 Occupy Seattle protesters gathered at a soggy Gas Works Park on Thursday afternoon to take stock of their movement while enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

The protesters shared memories, planned future events and debated strategies (including where they might move next after the Seattle Central Community College board voted Wednesday to evict them from campus), all while chowing down on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

“This is a good chance to step back and look at what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished and the problems we’re facing,” said Fred Miller, the president of Peace Action Washington, between spoonfuls of corn. “And most of all, to figure out what’s our plan.”

Among the attendees was Dorli Rainey, an 84-year-old activist who became a celebrity in the movement when a photo of her pepper-sprayed face went viral last week. Rainey proudly declared, “I’m on steroids,” referencing her hospital visit over the weekend due to lung problems.

Asked what the Thanksgiving holiday meant to the movement, Rainey said, “community.”

“We are one big family, and that’s why I’m here today,” she said, gesturing to the surrounding buzz of guitar chords and readings of “the real story of Thanksgiving” — a tale focused on the mistreatment of Native Americans. “I feel like this is my family.”

Harold Schnarre, a retired 79-year-old protester, had a different take. He said the holiday is important to Occupy Seattle because its extravagance represents the inequity the movement is trying to fight.

“This year, there isn’t much to be thankful for,” he said.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Dorli Rainey, Gasworks Park, Occupy Seattle

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