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"The Circus is in Town!"

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

A six-day protest against Ringling Bros. begins at Staples Center.

"The Circus is ...
circussigns3rdgrade.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

Above: signs made by third-graders

July 10, 2013: Some one hundred people protested the Ringling Bros. Circus on opening night at Staples Center. Much emphasis was placed on cruel treatment of animals and separating them from their natural environments and families.

(Objection to incarceration and training of animals is nothing new--although a recent DVD documentary called No Fun for Elephants shed additional light on animal abuse with its undercover footage of elephants being brutalized right here in California. Excerpts of it have been played on KPFK (90.7 FM). More here.)

Undercover videos can also be seen here:

Activity books were offered to small children, many of whom took interest in them. Children also showed interest in large photos of animals being treated inhumanely. “Mommy, look-at," said one young girl as she pointed to a picture of a baby elephant being prodded.)

At least one family, consisting of a mother and three children, changed its mind about attending Ringling and decided to do something else. “The oldest child did not like it," said an activist who talked to them. “He felt like he didn't want to come at all because he didn't want to see these animals do tricks. So in a way the kid's heart already had some sentimental feelings for it. They found something else [to do]. Actually, they didn't pay for the tickets, too."

The activist had politely described to them the use of prods in training, handling, and for security and how taking animals out of their habitats and having them to tricks is “not natural." She also suggested alternative activities. “You can do something else with your time: you can take them to the theater, the beach... And maybe next year you can go to Circus Vargas." (Circus Vargas has stopped using non-human performers.)

Protests of Ringling Bros. circuses are happening all over. “PETA volunteers will go to every city that Ringling Bros. goes to," said co-organizer and Campaigns Manager for PETA Katie Arth,“whether you're in cities like Los Angeles and New York or Biloxi, Mississippi."

As reported recently on this site, the country of Colombia is banning circuses with live animals. Arth mentioned other endeavors. “There's currently some work in the UK to get a bill passed that would ban traveling exotic animals. There's also a bill here in the United States that would ban traveling exotic elephant acts that's in Congress right now. There's a number of exciting things happening all around the world on behalf of animals."

Ringling Bros. claims to be helping with conservation,“but all they do is breed more performers for their shows," Arth continued. “So Ringling Bros. breeds elephants to force them to perform and travel around the country. . . . None of these animals are left back to the wild or cared for in that manner. Instead, they live a life of being chained down, and beaten, and forced to perform tricks for their circus."

She also mentioned that elephants are made to perform for decades, long after problems like severe arthritis and foot problems set in. “Some of the elephants performing for Ringling are over 50 years old and have spent 50 years in chains [and] box cars traveling to perform for their circus."

The LA demonstrations have been organized in collaboration with PETA, Animal Defenders International, In Defense of Animals, and Last Chance for Animals.

Upcoming demonstrations in LA (Staples Center):

Thu, July 20 7:30 PM

Fri, July 21 12:00 PM 7:30 PM

Sat, July 22 11:30 AM 3:30 PM 7:30 PM

Sun, July 23 11:30 AM 3:30 PM 7:30 PM

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Another sign by a third-grader

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Another sign by a th...
circussign3rdgrade2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Activist in front of Ringling Bros.

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Activist in front of...
circuscruelestshowonearth.jpg, image/jpeg, 2118x2344

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A family decides to leave Ringling Bros.

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

A family decides to ...
circusfamilyleaving.jpg, image/jpeg, 2218x2134

“The oldest child did not like it,” said an activist who talked to them. (The activist referred to her mention to the family of prods and other abuse.)

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Behind the scenes at Ringling Bros.

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Behind the scenes at...
circussignpixofbrutality.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Ringling Bros. tigers in Fresno, CA, July 5, 2013

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. tiger...
circustigersfresnojuly5.jpg, image/jpeg, 960x635

Picture courtesy of Dallas Blanchard.

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Ringling Bros. -- costumed activists

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. -- co...
circuscostumedwomensigns.jpg, image/jpeg, 2356x1832

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More colorful attire

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

More colorful attire...
circushumancircus.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Ringling Bros. at the Staples Center, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. at th...
circusimageentrancebg.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

A young girl pointed at this image and said, "Mommy look-at!"

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Ringling Bros. at Staples Center, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. at St...
circusshirtneveraniceday.jpg, image/jpeg, 1854x2267

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Ringling Bros. at Staples Center, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. at St...
circussigncagedtigerspanish.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Ringling Bros. at Staples Center, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros. at St...
circussignringlingadmittedincourt.jpg, image/jpeg, 2002x2705

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Costumed activist at Ringling Bros.

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Costumed activist at...
circustigercostume.jpg, image/jpeg, 2650x2134

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Activists in front of the Staples Center, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Activists in front o...
circusthreeactivistssigns.jpg, image/jpeg, 2628x1992

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Activist at Ringling Bros. Circus, Los Angeles

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Activist at Ringling...
circusbarnumquote.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Activity book distributed to children

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Activity book distri...
circuscoloringbookcover.jpg, image/jpeg, 2062x2744

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A few panels inside the activity book...

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

A few panels inside ...
circuscoloringbookelephanttrapped.jpg, image/jpeg, 2316x2100

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Activist near circus entrance -- Ringling Bros.

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Activist near circus...
circusimageprodsmishandling.jpg, image/jpeg, 2667x1952

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Another activist near the entrance

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Another activist nea...
circusbreakthechain.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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Ringling Bros, Circus, Los Angeles Staples Center

by R. Plesset Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Ringling Bros, Circu...
circusshirtcircusprotester.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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