Just in: A press release from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) states that 19 PETA supporters staged a sit-in at the Rose Parade Wednesday, Jan. 1, delaying the roll off of the SeaWorld float, “Sea of Surprises.” Links to previous articles regarding PETA are attached to this article.
UPDATE at 5:55 p.m.: Pasadena PIO William Boyer confirmed 15 arrests. One juvenile and 18 adults were taken into custody without incident. He said law enforcement was well-coordinated with federal, state, county and city agencies responding.
A 12-year-old girl, Rose McCoy, led the sit-in. McCoy also jumped the barriers at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade to protest the SeaWorld entry.
The PETA release also said that 100 PETA supporters flanked the float for the length of the parade. The release states, “She and 18 other protesters—including PETA Senior Vice President and lifelong Pasadena resident Lisa Lange and Gretchen Ryan, who is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair—were dragged from the parade route and arrested.”
The release continues, “Security was noticeably heightened for the SeaWorld float, and PETA's 13-foot blimp reading, ‘SeaWorld Tortures Orcas,’ was kept grounded…. ‘I couldn't imagine being separated from my mom and put in a cement box so people could pay to gawk at me, but that's what SeaWorld does when it snatches baby orcas from their moms,’ Rose says. ‘I hopefamilies will realize the suffering in every single tiny tank at SeaWorld and stay a mile away.’”
This reporter’s observations
This reporter was on the parade route at the beginning at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado, but did not see the protest. The release does not specify where the protest took place; if it occurred in the lineup area on Orange Grove, it would have been out of sight of both reporters and most media cameras. The float appeared on time.
There were no protestors accompanying the float at our location. There was a bit more security when the float passed, but not a lot. Since the Rose Parade is a no-fly zone, it’s unlikely any aircraft other than the Thunderbirds and news helicopters would have been able to get flight clearance.
At a press conference on Monday, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said that the department was in dialog with PETA. Stopping the parade is unlawful; PETA would have been aware of that and expecting arrests.
We have put in a request for information from the City of Pasadena, and will run it when it comes in.
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