Hwy. 30a’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was disrupted by a group of protesters Saturday as it reached it’s end at the square at Gulf Place. The group was identified as “30Atheists” and is believed to be an offshoot of “Occupy 30a.” We contacted a spokesperson for 30Atheists, who identified himself only as “Bob,” and asked about their objections to the parade.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” Bob said again and again. “The First Amendment keeps us from having to see or hear anything religious. St. Patrick is a saint, right? Well, there ya go. It’s a slippery slope.”
We asked Bob what the group did to make their views known at the parade.
“First of all, religious types don’t like alcohol,” he said, “so we all made sure we had plenty of beers. Luckily, most places were selling Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s. Then we all wore matching t-shirts. Because we’re all about saving the Earth and fighting global warming—I mean ‘climate change’—we all wore green ones. Then we threw our old 1960’s ‘love beads’ at the floats and the grand marshall.”
Bob went on to say the parade’s grand marshal, talk radio host Burnie Thompson, was specifically targeted because his radio show frequently espouses conservative opinions, most of which conflict with the Occupy 30a message. “We don’t like talk radio,” Bob said, “so this gave us a twofer!”
We caught up with Grand Marshal Thompson afterwards and asked if the protesters had made an impression on him.
“There were protesters?” he asked. “Lemme get this straight,” he said after we explained. “A bunch of people showed up at a St. Patrick’s Day parade drinking beer, wearing green t-shirts and throwing beads? How do they protest Christmas? Dress up like Santa Claus?”
“Come to think of it, though,” he continued. “I did get hit in the head by a handful of beads at the end. It hurt, too.”
When told about it, Bob gleefully took credit for the “civil disobedience.”
“We did it! We did it! That’ll teach ‘em to ignore the constitution. I have to go now. We’re protesting guns and the Sand Castle Doctrine tomorrow so I have to buy ammo in case we get attacked.”
Unfortunately for Bob, he did not make it to the anti-Second Amendment protest the next day. Deputies from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested him moments later for throwing the beads at Thompson, terming the action an assault.
“We are confident,” a WCSO press release later stated, “that the person in custody acted on his own, was not part of a larger conspiracy and is the lone thrower.”