On August 17th, opening night of the 2011 Ringling Brothers Circus in San Jose, nearly a hundred activists gathered to protest and to inform circus-goers about the cruelty involved when wild animals are forced to live in small cages and perform for audiences across the country. Ringling Brothers has a history of maltreating the animals under its care, from physically abusing them as part of their training to failing to adequately meet basic medical needs. Animal activists encourage others to help keep the heat on Ringling to drop the use of animals in their live shows. Demonstrations are planned for Ringling Brothers appearances in San Francisco and Oakland from September 1st through 11th
At a news conference on February 18th, 2011, Japanese Fisheries minister Michihiko Kano stated they will suspend their "research" whaling because the Sea Shepherd activists had succeeded in their attempts to harass those who hunt and kill whales in the Antarctic region. "The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin.
On February 12th, a benefit is being held for the Red Vic Movie House on Haight Street in San Francisco. Organizers state that "San Francisco is dangerously close to losing this 30-year old worker-owned community establishment. All the filmmakers and speakers in this series are donating 100% the box office revenue to the keep the Red Vic's doors open so they can continue to give voice to films like these that [the] mainstream does NOT want you you to see!" Lovers + Liberators is a fund-raising event for the Red Vic that brings together three films with the themes of liberation and domestic "terrorism".
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America
and Food Revolution
, says the film Bold Native
"is the controversial story of young adults who just can’t sit by and stay silent in the face of massive cruelty to animals. Unwilling to passively succumb to resignation and despair, they take a stand, not just with their words, but with their actions. Some might see them as threats to society, others might admire them as self-sacrificing heroes, but no one could see this remarkable film and not gain a greater understanding of what courage really means.”
The annual Friday-after-Thanksgiving protest of the fur industry, led by In Defense of Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was held in San Francisco's Union Square on November 26th. Similar demonstrations were held in Portland and other cities across the U.S. and the world. Event organizers called for demonstrators to, "Come and raise your voice for the voiceless 50 million fur bearing animals that are brutally slaughtered each year for their fur."
Dylan Powell of The Vegan Police recently interviewed Joseph Buddenberg of AETA 4, four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Although the case was dismissed in July, it is not over. A federal magistrate signed a warrant in August ordering Joseph to provide a DNA sample to the FBI. In the interview, Joseph discusses the AETA 4 case and its implications for activists.
The U.S. District Court in San Jose has thrown out the indictment of four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, because the government did not clearly explain what, exactly, the protesters did. The case is not over, however. The government can still re-indict the defendants with an amended bill of particulars that clearly outlines their alleged actions.