July 15th, 2010 by Nicole Meyer
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.