Friday, March 17, 2006
Italian Catholics picket parade, jealous of Irish history of oppression
In a potentially ugly scene, a handful of Italian Catholics picketed the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade earlier today.
Those picketing numbered around 30, bearing various placards and signs stating "The Irish get all the good parades," "Viva Italia," "St. Maria Goretti can beat up St. Paddy anyday," and "The end is near" (although the person holding the last sign apparently joined the picketers for good company).
"I know the Irish were oppressed for centuries by the British, and the potato famine was forced starvation and all that. Hell, I even read most of Angela's Ashes. But my heritage doesn't get a holiday to get blasted every year. How's that for injustice?" argued Salvatore Blanco, who identified himself as "head protester and proud Italian Catholic."
A few of the picketers engaged in some trash talk, shouting at passersby, "We got better food and wine! We got ART, baby! We got opera! What do you people have--corned beef? "Thistle and Shamrock"?"
Most parade watchers avoided the protest, but an unidentified observer shook his head in disgust. "It's their right to protest, but for the love of all that is good, St. Patrick? I mean, it isn't like the Italians didn't wrap up the Papacy for a few hundred years. I call this holiday getting even," he mused. "It's kind of the American way."
At one point, the picketers attempted a counter-march, but were blocked by two million revelers in Irish green. They settled for huddling in a tight circle, singing from The Barber of Seville and sharing Chianti.
In related news, St. Patrick's legendary tombstone in Ireland was found half-toppled. Suspicion rests on the theory that the saint was rolling over in his grave.
--submitted by I.C. (Italian and Irish Catholic)