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Hollywood residents plan protest against casino boat

Hollywood residents today will stage a politically correct and environmentally safe version of the Boston Tea Party to protest gambling-ship mogul Gus Boulis' SunCruz III casino boat.

After a 4 p.m. picnic on Hollywood beach at DeSoto Street, the self-styled revolutionaries will assemble and march about a block north to where the SunCruz III is scheduled to dock at 5 p.m. behind Martha's Supper Club and Tropical Grille, 6024 N. Ocean Dr., and unload passengers. There, the protesters plan to dump symbolic tea into the water.

Former Hollywood City Commission candidate John Lunden will lead the band of rebels, who will don Colonial-era costumes.

Lunden said the group avoided the historically accurate Indian dress to avoid offending the Seminoles of South Florida. (On Dec. 16, 1773, American revolutionaries disguised themselves as Indians and dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest a tax on tea.)

The latter-day revolutionaries also chose an ecologically safe material -- a sand and seaweed mixture -- to toss into the water.

Residents who live in Hollywood's North Beach say the ship is a nuisance to the area.

The SunCruz III has been docked along the Intracoastal Waterway in North Beach for more than a year, but Florida Marine Patrol officers turned their attention to it recently at the request of state Attorney General Bob Butterworth, whose office has received complaints from North Beach residents since May.

The Marine Patrol wants the SunCruz III to relocate to Port Everglades, where other large vessels that allow gambling aboard, such as SeaEscape and Discovery, are docked.

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Copyright 2017 David Spragg