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SCCAA Rallies Against Ringling Brothers Circus at HP Pavilion
by James
Saturday Aug 21st, 2010 3:59 PM
SCCAA is protesting Ringling Brothers Circus in San Jose at HP Pavilion.
SCCAA Rallies Against Ringling Brothers Circus at HP Pavilion
Story by James
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Ringling Brothers Circus is in town at HP Pavilion with daily shows through Sunday. Santa Clara County Activists for Animals will be there every day to protest the cruel treatment of animals by Ringling Brothers trainers. Elephants, tigers and zebras endure miserable lives in traveling spectacles for the entertainment of people. The animals spend up to twenty hours per day chained or in cages, often on sweltering trains traveling between cities. The trainers use bullhooks and whips to keep the animals terrorized and in line.

Elephants are majestic creatures that travel twenty-five miles or more per day in the wild. They have excellent memories and can remember food and water sources that they may not have visited for ten years. They live in matriarchal groups that cherish grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sons, nieces, aunts, nephews, and cousins. These beautiful creatures have no place in abusive animal circuses, where they are struck repeatedly in the face, ears, and legs with bullhooks and whips.

Opening night was Wednesday and I arrived to find over forty animal rights activists protesting in front of the entrance to HP Pavilion. Two people were holding a large yellow banner that read “NOT FUN FOR THE ANIMALS.” The activists were from all over the Bay Area: Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Redwood City, San Francisco. I noticed a scrum of people on the corner and found that they were picking out signs from a large collection someone had brought. I picked out a sign that read, “Animal Circuses are Inherently Cruel.” It had a picture of a baby elephant being struck with a bullhook. These signs have a loop across the top, so you can wear them like a big necklace. This frees up your hands, so you can hand out pamphlets. They also had aprons with pockets available, so you have a place to keep extra pamphlets.

I found a spot on Santa Clara Street and started handing out pamphlets. About half of the patrons arriving for the show accepted our literature. Here is some of the information in our literature: "At the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus training center, baby elephants are pulled from their mothers, tied down with ropes, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. This is the beginning of an elephant’s life in the circus—a life of chains, beatings, fear, and intimidation."

"All Ringling handlers strike the elephants with a bullhook (a weapon resembling a fireplace poker). Elephants are chained 16 to 22.5 hours a day, often much longer when they are on the train. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers to be broken and trained to do unnatural tricks for the circus. The "breaking process" involves: taking the baby elephants from their mothers while they are still nursing; isolating the babies from all other elephants; tying the babies up so they are severely restricted in their movement and not even able to turn around; and hitting the babies with bullhooks."

The main protest was on Wednesday, but we still need help with the daily protests through Sunday. We especially need help handing out informative literature to the hundreds of people who arrive before showtime. Signs and pamphlets are provided.

Sat August 21 12:30 PM & 5:30PM
Sun August 22 12:30 PM & 5:30PM

For more information, go to
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reprehensibleKonsiderSunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:59 AM