Report: Over 40 Protestors at Ringling’s Opening Night, Rochester NY

DSCI0044There were OVER 40 protestors at Ringling’s Opening Night, Wed 10/26/11 (wow)!!!  ARAUNY quickly ran out of our YELLOW-WALL signs, and Kathy Caldwell offered the use of her signs which we also ran out of!  Folks, this has never happened here before, and believe me it felt grrrrrrrrrreatt!!!
It was a cold, drizzly, rainy, bone-chilling evening ~ yet there everyone was, standing with signs in hand, and leaflets ready. Interestingly, there were not very many attending Ringling that night. Usually, the sidewalk is crowded with circus-goers, but not that night.
DSCI0033One man approached ARAUNY’s YELLOW-WALL demo, shocked to learn that animals in the circus are treated so poorly. THIS IS WHY WE ARE THERE – TO EDUCATE CIRCUS-GOERS. He thought they were animals who for whatever reason could not be returned to the wild, and thought they only belonged to a circus for a small portion of their lives. We spoke with him and gave him a leaflet to read more, as well as a leaflet (made by ARAUNY) listing Circuses WITHOUT Animals. Heartbroken and hesitant though he was, his 5-year-old enthusiastically tugged on him in anticipation of their big night out, so of course they went inside. The father said now that he is becoming aware, will know better in the future. This was wonderful ~ we reached at least one person/family.
This is also a reason NOT to protest because once the circus is here, frankly it’s too late. Parents already spent their money, they bought tickets for their excited children who are in tow. The time to speak out against circuses with animals is BEFORE the circus arrives ~ write LTEs, schools, sponsors, anyplace we can to stop it before the circus has a chance to arrive here (as posted in earlier emails).
Please understand that ARAUNY only hosted Opening Night this year (Thursday too, but nobody came). This is because we won’t imply we’d be there if we cannot – only adv’d for our group on nights we could have someone there to host. It would help immensely if people would respond when you do wish to join us … maybe then we could’ve hosted add’l nights, but not unless we know others will be there too. We’ve learned through too many years of doing this, and hope you understand. We are all volunteer ~ it takes everyone’s cooperation to be a success.
If anyone intends to protest Ringling for the remainder of the shows,
posterboard (firm is best ~$5 anywhere) and magic marker.
Thank you ALL for joining Rochester NY’s protest of Ringling.  You made our Ringling’s Opening Night PROTEST a SUCCESS!!!  Over 40 people … and counting!
Advocate Daily For Animals,
~Lois Baum, President
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY
“But for the use of physical punishment by,
and fear of their oppressors,
animals would never be part of a circus.”
~ Richard Pryor