As the 99 percent draw attention to their less-than-equitable situation, sacrosanct holidays and traditions become a target for protests. Adbusters, the same (Canadian!) publication that launched the Occupy Wall Street movement, has advocated "buy-nothing day" on Black Friday, the annual mass hysteria of commercialism that creeps closer and closer into Thanksgiving every year.
Now Christmas itself is the subject of some activism. Food Not Bombs, the internationally affiliated group that gives away food in Fort Lauderdale, is hosting an "Anti-Consumerist Festival" on Christmas Eve.
Hear that, O'Reilly? The War on Christmas just drafted some anarchists.
From 4 to 8 p.m. on December 24, Food Not Bombs volunteers in South Florida will gather at Stranahan Park, the shady outpost at the center of Fort Lauderdale where weekly food sharings have continued despite a slow-moving effort by the city to restrict such activities.
It's also the daytime resting spot for many people who find themselves with nowhere else to go -- so the event will inevitably have something of a charitable aspect as well, though it's meant mostly as an act of protest against the spending most of us do in the holiday season.
Highlights will include a free Christmas dinner (vegetarian, natch) and a "really really free market" where donated clothing, toys, gifts, and other items will be available for anyone who sees fit to take them.
"The event's more about community, and although people will probably be going there to peruse the free market and use it as a source of charity, [the event] is rooted in the anarchist concept of mutual aid," says organizer Nathan Pim, a Food Not Bombs volunteer.
The group hosted a similar event last year, and now it expects it to gain a little steam from what's left of the Occupy movement. "This is more or less independent from the Occupy group, but I'm sure they'll be stopping by as long as they're not in some state of distress," says Pim of the recently beleaguered occupiers.
Is Santa rolling over in his igloo thinking about all the money that's going to go unspent at Best Buy? Possibly. But some could argue that spreading around the wealth is what Christmas is all about.
The group is welcoming donations for the free market. Contact [email protected] for information.
Stefan Kamph is a New Times staff writer.
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