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THE GREATEST CIRCUS DEMO ON EARTH DRAWS 300 PROTESTERS IN LOS ANGELES

July 15th, 2010 by Nicole Meyer

IDA's Bill Dyer Leads Protesters at The Greatest Circus on Earth

IDA's Bill Dyer Leads Protesters at The Greatest Circus on Earth

History was made in Los Angeles last night. In the biggest circus demonstration the city has ever seen, 300 activists holding graphic signs and colorful banners and wearing elephant costumes and symbolic chains, encircled the Staples Center to protest the opening night of Ringling. Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The mood was electric as energized activists handed out thousands of leaflets and stickers and educated the public about the suffering of animals in circuses, where they are chained and confined to cramped cages, shipped around the country for 50 weeks a year, and cruelly trained to perform unnatural tricks.

No matter what direction circus customers approached the venue from, they had to walk a gauntlet of protesters passing out descriptive flyers and telling them of the horrors animals endure for their “entertainment.” At least two families decided not to attend after learning the truth about the animals’ miserable lives with Ringling.

A mountain of evidence against Ringling Bros. Circus, including court transcripts, videos and still images, and the testimonies of former Ringling employees, clearly demonstrates that the cruelty has been going on for years and still continues today. The most recent video depicts Ringling workers hitting elephants in the face with bullhooks before performances and whipping tigers during training.

IDA and a variety of animal protection organizations were represented at the peaceful protest, and their message was united: It’s time to end the use of animals in circuses.

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  62. August 31, 2010 at 4:59 am, Sarah Mullally said:

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  63. July 31, 2010 at 3:11 am, den said:

    I must congratulate you on the fantastic turn out at the circus.
    I live in the UK and am an AR activist. At our circus protests we get a good turnout of protesters on the first night, after that maybe 4 or 5 people.
    It is dis-heartening. Last Saturday I had to do a fur demo by myself!

  64. July 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm, Diedra Bayne said:

    AMAZING!!!

  65. July 24, 2010 at 8:01 am, Julia McKenzie said:

    I commend ADI for being there every night but if it wasn’t for my networking with other activists I would have had no idea that a nightly protest or the animal walk was going on. There were no action alerts sent out and actually I think it was down to so many groups being involved and the excellent networking we are beginning to have in place that got the great turn out the first night. I am not being critical, I totally get how hard it is to organize but the national groups have to be more on top of these opportunities to be out there for the animals. The daily protests with a lot more people would have had an even bigger effect and how about a larger turnout for the animal walk. If the national groups had been involved with that maybe the press would have turned up or maybe someone with a camera good enough to shoot at night could have capture the footage and got it to the press. My main issue is vivisection and not performing animals, albeit all important, but I see missed opportunities all the time.No doubt the first night was a great turnout and great for LA but I barely saw an action alert go out about that either. I received the information through other activists even though I’m on a variety of lists.

  66. July 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm, Rene Hersey said:

    Right On Catherine and Heather~
    Yes, distributing us into groups so that there is a presence for each night of the circus. Absolutely, we will be there.

    Inform of us of where and how to campaign to local lawmakers and we will be on board. When do we re ignite a campaign to our Mayor of Los Angeles reminding him about his concerns for Billy and asking him to refuse Circuses with Elephants and other large animals?

    It seems that an ad in the newspaper asking people to avoid the circus is in order.
    Running one ad during the Circus’s ad campaign season would open many eyes.

    Let us know your thoughts,

  67. July 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm, Heather Hamza said:

    I was there for 4 out of the 5 nights. It was highly effective to be dressed up like a ringleader- countless people took flyers from me! I wore a big smile and I really played it up. They thought I was WITH the circus.

    I had SO many people come up to me, looking sad, saying that they did not know- and they already bought their tickets. I encouraged them to try to get a refund.

    My .02- we need to target the people BEFORE they buy the tickets. We need to find out how tickets are being purchased; how the circus is being marketed, and intervene on those levels.

    We also need to campaign to local lawmakers/ politicians to outlaw animal circuses in ALL of California. Certain cities have already banned them in our state. If we got the bigger cities, or the “regular” cities that the circuses go to, that will hit them where it hurts.

    The bottom line is that it’s ALL about $$$. If people stop going to the circus, and/ or if the circus is illegal, the market is gone.

  68. July 23, 2010 at 9:03 am, Catherine Doyle said:

    Great idea, Patty! We should definitely do that next year. Everyone who can should plan now to be there. Set aside time in July 2011 to be a part of history and send a message that will be heard worldwide that it’s time to end the use of animals in circuses!

  69. July 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm, Patty Shenker said:

    Opening night was amazing with the number of activists! We had several groups participating in this protest, which made it so successful, and I was thinking that we should all gather the opening and closing night and assign a different group for each other evening. We are educating people whenever we are there, whether a huge group or a small one. Thank you all who care about ending this abuse and let’s be there for every show next time.

  70. July 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm, Lorrie Morris said:

    You are ALL to be commended for your amazing showing! Now, I f we can keep this up as the RB circus makes its rounds…we HAVE TO BE loud!!!

  71. July 17, 2010 at 6:37 am, Heather Hamza said:

    We need people BEYOND opening night!!!!!!! I went on Friday and there were only six of us. Am planning on going back Sat & Sun. The animals need a voice, not only on the 1st night the circus is in town. PLEASE please please come.

  72. July 15, 2010 at 5:37 pm, Serena said:

    Truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!

  73. July 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm, Denise Bell said:

    So glad to hear that IDA plus other animal protection organisations were agreed that it is time to end the use of animals in circuses. These circuses should have their animals taken away from them as soon as possible especially the Ringlings’ elephants who deserve to retire – even the babies who should be reunited with their mothers.