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Protest Ringling Circus

About a dozen protesters leafletted the first showing
Hundreds of people, parents with children, came to the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Rose Garden Arena tonight, and a dozen protesters were there leafletting them. Security set up a 10x10' sq. area for "free speech" people, but after getting our flyers, we all spread out among the throngs there to see the abuse of the animals. Security was rather vigilante in trying to make us stay on the sidewalk. At one point I was 2 steps within the arena space, and security told me to move. I did, but stuck out my tongue when I turned away. Gawd, it makes me mad. How would you like to stand on one foot for the entertainment of animals?

Thursday, Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m. Show up to support the animals.
SHUT DOWN CIRCUSES!!!!!!!! 23.Sep.2004 01:01

Mountain Gorilla

"But for the use of physical punishment by, and fear of, their oppressors, animals would never be a part of a circus." Richard Pryor

PIC 23.Sep.2004 01:15



There are shows all through the weekend that need protesting... 23.Sep.2004 01:16

from NW In Defense of Animals mailing

Ringling Brothers is coming to the Rose Garden in Portland September 22nd - 26th. We need your help to hand out circus coloring books and educate the circus goers of the extreme animal cruelty that goes on everyday under the big top.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has failed to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Ringling paid $20,000 to settle U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) charges of failing to provide veterinary care to a dying baby elephant. The USDA has also cited Ringling for failure to possess records of veterinary care, failure to provide animals with sufficient space, failure to provide animals with exercise, and endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures. Ringling is under investigation for the death of a 2-year-old lion who is believed to have died from heatstroke. In less than two years, two baby elephants died, a caged tiger was shot to death, a horse who was used despite a chronic medical condition died during Ringling's traditional animal march, and a wild-caught sea lion was found dead in her transport container. Of the 60 elephants touring with Ringling and kept at its Florida compounds, 44 were captured in the wild. At least 19 elephants have died since 1992.


August 5, 2004: An 8-month-old elephant named Riccardo was destroyed after suffering severe and irreparable fractures to both hind legs when he fell off a circus pedestal. Riccardo was undersized when he was born to Shirley, a Ringling elephant, in December 2003. Failing to wait until Shirley was 18 years old, when she would have been physically and emotionally ready to raise offspring, Ringling used Shirley for breeding when she was only 7 years old (see "Animal Care," December 5, 2003). Riccardo may have been afflicted with a bone disorder caused by malnourishment, since his mother was unable to nurse him.

July 13, 2004: According to an affidavit by former Ringling lion handler Frank Hagan, a 2-year-old lion named Clyde died after traveling through the intense heat of the Mojave Desert in a poorly ventilated boxcar without being checked or given water. The lion is believed to have died from heatstroke and dehydration.

May 11, 2004: Two Ringling horses were struck by a freight train as they were being unloaded from the circus train near Dayton, Ohio. One horse died instantly, and the other was euthanized at the scene.

December 22, 2002: A 57-year-old endangered Asian elephant named King Tusk was euthanized because of osteoarthritis. Captivity-induced foot problems and arthritis are the leading reasons for euthanasia of captive elephants.

There will be 9 shows in this 5 day period. Following are the show times (ed.: leafletting will be before the showings; coloring books handed out afterwards):

Wednesday, September 22nd - 7:30 pm
Thursday, September 23rd - 7:30 pm
Friday, September 24th - 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 25th - 11:00 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 26th - 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm

If you can help with ANY of these showtimes, (ed: show up an hour before the shows), or contact 503-249-9996 for more info. We can't let them continue to get away with this negligence and cruelty and the ONLY way to do that is to get people to STOP GOING TO THE CIRCUS!

Circus informing works... 23.Sep.2004 08:13


Three years ago my wife and I took our 3 kids to the circus at the Mem. Col. As we were walking in we were approached with info regarding the treatment of animals, etc. We then discussed this newly acquired info amoungst ourselves and decided not to support their circus (or any circus since)and left without purchasing the tickets to our planned outing. Since then, I've kept one ear open regarding the conditions of circus animals (NPR's Talk of the Nation recently did a story on the subject), and because of this one single encounter, consider myself an armchair supportor of this cause.

Thanks for being out there informing.

Human Gluttony 23.Sep.2004 09:13

Den Mark, Vancouver

Circuses are a form of human gluttony, & always have been, as far back as Imperial Rome. Gluttony in this case is for entertainment. Anything is fine with pleasure-addicted masses as long as it pleases them for an hour. The greatest fault of the human psyche is not being able to empathize. It disgusts me that people go to animal circuses, or any entertainment, without asking themselves what is the real cost of that entertainment. Today's circuses have substituted animals for gladiators. Finding that "entertaining" is sick. In this pleasure-mad "culture", even food is a form of entertainment. Gluttony. Disgusting human gluttony. Animal circuses should be illegal. Barbarity does not belong here, in this time & place. In this new Imperial Rome, the USA, if gladiators fighting to the death were legal, it would be offered as entertainment, & there would be people lined up at Rose Arena, eager for their next hit of sick amusement. Turns my stomach. I have been & always will be protesting the human gluttony of animal circuses.

Animal Circus Can Not Hold 23.Sep.2004 12:11

A Candle

To the sublime beauty and choreography of human theatrical circus. Pioneered by French speaking cultures, theatrical circus has become an increasingly popular alternative to animal circus. If you really want some high class entertainment get a ticket to see Cirque du Solieh. Its high time that all forms of animal exploitation for entertainment purposes be brought to an end - this includes bull fighting and rodeo as well as the old Ringling style circus.

When confronted by the Sanhedran in the temple, Jesus said "my Father delights not in the blood of animals", referring to the practice of religious animal sacrifice. At that time so many animals were being sacrificed in temples and arenas that Plutarch wrote lamenting that many species of African cats were in danger of becoming extinct because of their use in gladitorial games.

How can we claim to be more intelligent than the animals when we act this way?

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO INGNORANT!!!!!!!! 23.Sep.2004 13:12

Bear Caught Up In Circuses

Ok, so I got up this morning and listened to the anwering machine. It was my sister asking my father if he wanted to take her son to the circus. WHAT? MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD AT THE CIRCUS!!!! DO THEY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE HORRIFIC ABUSEMENT TOWARDS THE ANIMALS IN THE CIRCUS????? How can my sister, who says in the past that she loves animals and she is somewhat aware what is going on in the world, not know about animals in circuses. I immediately called her and had a conversation with her about it. "I'm not going, but I thought it would be fun for dad to take my son" she said. FUN??? Watching animals getting whipped TO RIDE A BICYCLE is FUN???? and then it seemed like it was ok cause she was not going. "Yea I know they have animals in circuses" she said. I explained how in getting the animals to perform these tricks, that they do not do in the wild, they are beaten. I also read a flyer to her that talks about Rigling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She said she did not know that 44 out of the 60 elephants that tour with Ringling were captured in the wild. This obviously made a difference. "I thought the animals were bred in captivity." she also said. AS IF THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER??? I told her I did not understand how she out of all people did not know about circuses and how do we reach/educate people like her. She told me that if somthing was on the news it would reach more people. She told me if she went to the circus and saw protesters there holding signs and passing out literature that she would take the literature but continue to walk in because she would have already paid for the tickets and she wouldn't want to dissapoint her kids cause they would have been really excited to go. "You don't know what it's like dealing with a child that get's his hope up, when he was first told he could go to the circus and now he can't, do people who bought tickets and then read your literature ever refuse to go in?" she asked. "Yes! Of course they do, and I would too!" I replied. SO I am left in frustration, how do we educate a massive amount of people. A lot of the news stations were paid by Ringling to advertise, and they probably wouldn't cover anything unless something major happened. Holding up posters and handing out flyers I think is great, but it's not reaching everyone. How do we shut down the circuses? Please brainstorm and list ideas here. CIRCUSES NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN!!!!! HOW CAN WE DO IT???????

Once proud animals, it's spirits broken, by being forced to do stupid tricks.
Once proud animals, it's spirits broken, by being forced to do stupid tricks.
Stephen Gills beating an elephant with an iron bar until the bar bent
Stephen Gills beating an elephant with an iron bar until the bar bent
Another of Ringling Brothers' captives, caged and shackled
Another of Ringling Brothers' captives, caged and shackled

Petition to ban the circus here. 23.Sep.2004 16:27


I say we start a petition to take to the City Council to ban the sadistic
circus forever from our city. Other cities have accomplished this.

Bet we could get a huge amount of sigantures at Critical Mass tomorrow.
I'll be there.

To Germaine 23.Sep.2004 21:15


GREAT IDEA!!!! Will you have the petition made up to get signatures? I will be attending the circus protest tomorrow so I could also get signatures there. Can you make copies of the petition, I will see you at critial mass and get some from you and help get signatures and then take them to the circus protests. How do you make a petition where it will be accepted by the city council and how many signatures do we need? We can also start an online petition right here on Indymedia. Let's start tomorrow!!!!!

2nd night 23.Sep.2004 22:00


For the 2nd nite, I was there leafletting. It makes me sick. I began telling people, "Shame," but they just smiled and kept walking to the entrance. There were less people tonight. Someone said it's because there were free tickets on opening night. Upon leaving, I was standing at yellow-line Max transit ctr, and I heard the elephants. Oh yes, I heard the elephants, baying and trumpeting. And I looked across the street to the north, and there was yellow-tape all along the outside of the area. I wanted to go there, and hug an elephant, but Yellow-line Max came and I boarded. I swear, I want to open up those trailors behind the yellow-tape. Open them up, and lead them out. The sweet elephants. How sick we are to them. How sick.

Petition help 24.Sep.2004 08:45


I wrote a solid cover page for the petition and my printer is down!It's old.
My partner and I worked on it for 4 hours last night..we can't get our printer
to work. Anyone know Mac/Adobe-printer solutions?

If you want to create your own I put in bold letters-

I copied the violations that the person posted on this site one after another
My next step is to create sheets with lines and boxes for
NAME ADRESS CITY STATE maybe a box for registered to vote-check
If I can get it together I can then take them to a copy shop and make
several sets of petition kits.Otherwise try if you or a friend has a printer.

We will attempt to get something printed by this afternoon.

My Printer Does Not Work Either 24.Sep.2004 11:13


Yea my printer does not work either, I haven't been able to figure it out for a long time. Can you save it to your disk and print it out at the library or a friends house?

Also...... 24.Sep.2004 11:19


"*THIS SHOULD COVER RODEOS & PETTING ZOOS." Does that mean there will be no more rodeos or petting zoos, or does it mean the circus will not be able to get animals from rodeos or petting zoos? I hate rodeos and petting zoos but if it means banning them too, I think that is too much to start out. We are more likely going to be able to ban circuses then to ban rodeos and petting zoos.

Start with the circus first 24.Sep.2004 13:55


I agree it would be too much for people to process banning all three.
That is WHY I only put the circus on my BAN IT! petition.
It's a good start.

While we are talking about the city and it's non-chalant attitude toward
these sadists and FELONS to make money here on cruelty...We need to educate the council.

We need to present some other issues to the city-get some dialogue going
about breeders and pet stores that sell animals-including fish.

When I first moved here I was shocked at Metro Pets near Lloyd Center.
The aquariums in the front of the store were FILTHY..Even weeks later when
I returned..The city put me through to a voice mail box and they didn't even
know if it was the right department to contact and file a complaint.

Demand these stores be inspected on a REGULAR basis and cited for
violations. A CAP must be placed on how many pet stores that sell live
animals can exist in the city-per inspector time.

There's always tomorrow. It's our responsibility to move it along any way we can.

Anyone else have issues to add to the list for the city?

Some Thoughts 26.Sep.2004 13:01

a friend

Thanks for the wonderful work, folks. Though I haven't been able to attend any circus protests, I am totally on board. I really appreciate those of you who have gotten the ball rolling, and I would be thrilled to participate in circulating such a petition.

Petting zoos are a horror--a real baby market. Besides, wasn't there recently a case where a number of children became ill from a petting zoo? If we wanted to mount a campaign against them, this would be great info to have. If people aren't worried about the conditions of the animals, they will be concerned about the health of their precious little ones. Of course, we know that if children became ill, imagine the plight of the animals who live in those filthy circumstances.

Let me warn you--there will be opposition from the NAIA--they are large and have lots of money. So it may be wise to consider what kind of opposition we will have and how to face it. Basically, they are a property rights group pretending to be an animal welfare group. They don't want any PROFIT made from animals curbed in any way. They are quite honest that they believe it is their right to own and use animals as they see fit. They see animal rights as the first step in a socialist plot to deprive them of property. They are national, strong, wealthy, and I believe their home office is in Portland. Their board is made up of cattle ranchers, researchers, breeders, rodeo organizers, etc. I believe they will be a major impediment to accomplishing anything here, so we should be thoughtful and well prepared--whatever that means. I think NAIA stands for National Animal Interest Alliance. Check out their website--if you can stand it.