Cars swooshed around the busy West L.A. corner, some honking in response to the protest signs.
A group of about a dozen or so veterans gathered at the corner gate of the Los Angeles National Veterans Park at San Vicente and Wilshire boulevards Sunday to protest what they say is a gross misappropriation of veteran-owned land.
"There's 16 acres of land here that's been given to the—actually a homeowner group here in Brentwood, which is not a veterans organization—for a public park," said Robert Rosebrock, director of the Old Veterans Guard organization.
Rosebrock and many of his cohorts had been protesting on this piece of ground for the past 183 Sundays.
Vietnam veteran and Born on the Fourth of July author Ron Kovic was there as well Sunday, wearing his Marine Corps Alpha shirt. He threatened to peacefully occupy the VA property and set up a tent under the tree closest to the gate, which was locked with a heavy chain.
"We'll call it Freedom Tree," Kovic said.
Kovic, whose book was turned into a movie directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise, said that he wants to see the property be used to house homeless veterans.
He echoed the Old Veterans Guard's decree that all businesses on the VA grounds should vacate or be evicted.
"We're here today to reclaim this land," said Kovic. "We're going to read a declaration of ownership."