Protesters Have Beef with Burger Battle at Cesar Chavez Park

SACRAMENTO -- Amid all the dishes served up at the latest Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Burger Battle was a dish of dissent.

"It's not food. It's violence," shouted one protester.

"Hi, can I ask you guys to leave? This is a private event. Can you please make your way back this way," said one police officer on scene.

Meanwhile, meat lovers were busy munching on some of the finest Sacramento has to offer.

"We got brisket, we got chuck roast," said Raul Castellano from Dawson's Steakhouse at the Hyatt Regency.

He said their burgers were the best in the competition "because we have special duck fat in it."

Members of Direct Action Everywhere rushed past ticket-takers for the fundraiser without paying and loudly started poking at the notion that such a meat-centered celebration would be held in a Sacramento park honoring vegetarian Cesar Chavez.

"For those who don't know, Cesar Chavez was a very well-respected labor and civil rights activist was also an animal rights supporter who believed that it was not OK to commit violence against animals in the name of food," said Zach Groff.

The labor rights legend did turn away from meat in the later years of his life, but the message of the protesters -- who arrived well after the start of the event -- didn't seem to sear into the conscience of most of those attending.

They didn't feel the event itself at this location was disrespectful, chanting "burgers, burgers" and "booooooo!" at the protesters.

"No it doesn't offend me, no," said Elizabeth Huerta when asked about the potential conflict.

Kara Euler said the pairing of the location and the event didn't seem weird to her.

"Uh, I don't think so 'cause they're raising money for Crohn's and colitis research, which is really important," she said.

Folks bustling between the booths were sure about what was "battle" worthy Thursday night.

Euler and her friend Temo Garcia were big fans of the peanut butter and jelly burger that the Flaming Grill put together.

"The Low Brau burger is that they have that good angus meat. They've got the bacon in there," said Huerta.

Ingredients that will always be hard for some to swallow.

Since the battle was a private event, protesters were told they could demonstrate across the street from the park or stay on the same side if they didn't block the sidewalk.

They chose the latter.

No one was arrested and no tickets were written.