Thank you to all who participated in ARAUNY’s YellowWall (YW) demo at Ringling, Wed. 10/29/14. There were approx. 10-total in our YW line throughout the evening. Other protesters came too and stood separate from us, most holding signs from PETA. I didn’t see anyone leafletting, though we had them available. One protester held up a poster as he sped back and forth on the sidewalk on his unicycle.
Opening night was to be Ringling’s biggest night of the week. However, it appeared that only ~150 circus-goers entered Blue Cross Arena, from the time we arrived at 5:00pm till we left at 7:00pm as the show was to begin. I recall 10 years ago when crowds filled the sidewalk out to the street, and we/protesters could barely find a place to stand. Astounding to see so few people going to Ringling now, esp on opening night.
Quite a few circus-goers read our YW signs, with a sideways glance so their friends couldn’t tell (but we knew). It was most inspiring to see the kids, esp tweens, facing us directly and reading our signs, mouths dropped open, while they continued to be swept through the doors with their families. Let’s trust that we’ve planted some seeds.
The evening was relatively quiet and uneventful due to the low number of attendees. As always, the police were there (and btw, I called ahead to inform them of ARAUNY’s peaceful demo). It was wonderful to meet the other activists, some joined YW, others with a different approach nearby ~ all was peaceful.
We were heckled a few times by employees of the circus:
1) Two young men insisted the animals are not abused saying *no, they don’t use whips … they use bullhooks, to guide them, and now they each have their own hauler on the road (vs train) … to which I asked if those have windows, nice cushions, food and water, music* … they shook their heads and scooted quickly inside.
2) One older man calmly asked each of us in YellowWall if we went to the circus when we were kids. Please note, most of us in YW last evening are boomers, so wow, what a scientific study dating back 50 years!
3) We were *forgiven of us our sins* by the perpetual evangelist right next to us who, btw, no longer uses his megaphone.
Please continue to work to END ALL ANIMAL ENTERTAINMENT. Write City Council, write LTEs to any/all papers, do what you can. Remember that none of the animals are ours to use, for entertainment or in any other way ~ they have their own lives and we must work for their right to live the lives they were given.
Thank you for advocating for the animals,
~Lois Baum, President
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY
(find us on Facebook)