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We must say: their dedication to the cause is impressive…

Anti-Wall Street demonstrators in encampments around the country spent Thanksgiving serving turkey, donating time in solidarity with the protest movement and, in some cases, confronting police.

In San Francisco, 400 occupiers at a plaza in the financial district were served traditional Thanksgiving fixings sent by the renowned Glide Memorial Church to volunteers and supporters of the movement fighting social and economic inequality.

“We are thankful that we are, first and foremost, in a country where we can protest,” said the Rev. Cecil Williams, the founder of Glide and a fixture in the city’s activist community. “And we are thankful that we believe that there are things that could be worked out and that we have a sense of hope. But we know that hope only comes when you make a stand.”

While thing were peaceful in San Francisco, the situation became heated in Oakland when police say a truck driver tried to deliver portable rest room to protesters at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

When officers ordered the driver to leave because he had no permit, police and about 150 protesters squared off, according to police spokeswoman Johnna Watson.

One person was arrested, Watson said.

In New York, a squabble erupted when police ordered a halt to drumming by protesters at an otherwise traditional holiday meal.

About 500 protesters were digging into donated turkey and trimmings at lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park when police told a drummer to drop playing.

About 200 protesters surrounded a group of about 30 officers and began shouting in the park where the Occupy movement was launched Sept. 17.

“Why don’t you arrest the drummers in the Thanksgiving parade?” a protester hollered.

A van rolled up with more officers, but they stayed back as protesters eventually decided to call off the drumming and return to their food. Tensions have run high at the park since campers were evicted Nov. 15.

In San Diego, four Occupy protesters were arrested between midnight and 2 a.m. Thursday at an encampment at the City’s Civic Center Plaza, said Officer David Stafford. Three were taken into custody for sleeping overnight in public, while the fourth was arrested for spitting on an officer, Stafford said.

And once again, the spirit of the movement is overshadowed by random ridiculousness. SMH



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