“It was a very generous thing to do, considering the intensity of their feelings on the matter,” said Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for The Park’s Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations.
Kanariar also confirmed that, after consulting with the Department of Well-Being and Safety as well as with Park Police, her Department decided to keep Police presence at the event “minimal and discreet.”
“Perhaps that was one of the reasons they were willing to attend,” she said.
The Doves, who are a fully autonomous sub-group of Park Police, usually attend all Park celebrations and days of significance. On November 15, however, they initiated a strike to protest against and to shed light on what they called The Park Police’s “heavy-handed tactics” at recent events. As a result of the strike, Winter Solstice celebrants expected the Doves to stay away from this year’s event.
“Their appearance was “one of the greatest surprises of the day,” said Dewi Beruang, who has attended every Park festival this year.
“They said there were going to be surprises, but I don’t think they had the Doves in mind. Seeing them made the celebration even more special,” she said.
For their part, the Doves were “delighted” to make a non-official appearance, according to their SpokesBird, Georgina Golub.
“We have attended every Celebration of the Winter Solstice since the establishment of zoocracy,” Golub said. “We didn’t want to miss it this year, even though we weren’t, officially, working. So, we held a vote and the decision was made to attend as guests. It’s a very important celebration and we wanted to be there, no matter what,” she said.