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Occupy protesters celebrate Thanksgiving

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:40 PM EST, Thu November 24, 2011
Occupy Wall Street protesters eat donated Thanksgiving meals in New York's Zuccotti Park on Thursday.
Occupy Wall Street protesters eat donated Thanksgiving meals in New York's Zuccotti Park on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Organizers in New York pass out some 3,000 plates of food
  • Protesters in Washington, D.C., and Memphis sit down to turkey and pie
  • Occupy demonstrations continue across the country

New York (CNN) -- Occupy protesters across the country celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, bringing all the trimmings of a traditional meal to the unlikely location of a demonstration.

In New York's Zuccotti Park, organizers said they distributed some 3,000 individually wrapped plates for what they described as an "open feast."

"This is Occupy Thanksgiving," Haywood Carey, a protester, told CNN.

"What you're seeing here is what we do every day. Every day we feed people. This is a special day for a lot of folks so we wanted to make a special event, but this is actually what the occupation does every single day," he said.

Volunteers passed out meals, bottles of water and slices of pumpkin pie as protesters and anyone else who wanted to stop by sat in the park, enjoying the holiday spread.

Another organizer, Megan Hayes, said the day was all about "supporting the 99%."

"So many people have given up so much to come and be a part of the movement because there is really that much dire need for community. We decided to take this holiday opportunity to provide just that -- community," she said.

Occupy demonstrators throughout the country are protesting corporate greed and corruption. Many say the nation's wealthiest 1% hold inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population. The protests started more than two months ago in Zuccotti Park and have since spread.

Protesters in Washington, D.C., similarly sat down to a Thanksgiving meal, provided by area residents. The locals, who were not affiliated with a specific group, said they simply wanted to do something nice for the protesters, who have been camped out in a downtown square for weeks.

Demonstrators set up a food donation table, and several other area residents stopped by to drop off trimmings and desserts.

And in Memphis, Tennessee, while some Occupy protesters left downtown to spend the holiday with their families or go elsewhere, about 30 people sat down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, CNN affiliate WMC reported.

"I work and I have a place to stay and I'm thankful for that," protester Jack Armstrong told the station. "Some of these people don't have that."

CNN's Leslie Bentz contributed to this report.

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