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PETA supports Rose Parade arrestees at Superior Court in Pasadena

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PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporters lined up at the Superior Court in Pasadena, Calif. on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 to support 16 protesters who had been arrested at the Rose Parade on Jan. 1. The 16 were among 18 adults and one child who held a sit-in in front of the SeaWorld float at the beginning of the parade.

“No one from city showed up and said whether they were going to file charges or not,” said Katie Arph of PETA in a phone interview with Examiner. “There were 16 people at the courthouse who all had a date and time on the summons.”

In an emailed press release from David Perle of PETA, Pasadena resident and PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange is quoted, "It appears that the city of Pasadena has dropped all charges against those of us who protested the Rose Parade's endorsement of cruelty to animals."

William Boyer, PIO for the City of Pasadena, told Examiner that is not the case. “No cases have been dismissed at this point,” he wrote in response to our questions. “New arraignment dates will be given to the defendants ASAP. My understanding is that there will be several different arraignment dates.”

Reports have been conflicting as to how many were arrested at the Rose Parade and who will be arraigned. Rose McCoy, a 12-year-old who also protested the SeaWorld float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last November, led the sit-in at the Rose Parade. She, along with 18 adults, was taken into custody by the Pasadena Police Department.

Of the 19, three were released without arrest, including the girl, according to Arph. The remaining 16 adults were placed under arrest and given dates to appear. No one is in custody at this point. Arph says that as a juvenile, McCoy’s case is separate from the adults.

The Pasadena Star-News made a reference to child endangerment charges against McCoy’s mother, Emily McCoy. Arph told us that her mother has not been charged “at this point.” Boyer said, “Child endangerment was one of the charges under which the child’s mom was arrested.” He said the charge remains under review.

PETA had mounted an aggressive campaign beginning on Oct. 18, 2013, demanding that the Tournament of Roses pull the SeaWorld float, “Sea of Surprises,” from the parade. We asked Arph if that was a realistic request at that late date, when the float was well on its way to completion and dropping it could cost the builder, Fiesta Parade Floats, tens of thousands of dollars. “It’s perfectly reasonable to ask the Rose Parade pull it,” she said, because of the animal cruelty PETA avers is practiced at SeaWorld. “It’s a family event.”

Andrea Fox, communications coordinator for the Tournament, issued a statement, “The Pasadena Tournament of Roses was pleased to have SeaWorld participate with a float entry in the 125th Rose Parade. The focus of the Tournament of Roses is to keep making America’s New Year’s Celebration one of the most entertaining events of the year.”

The text of a press release outlining PETA’s accusations can be read in “PETA to protest SeaWorld float at Rose Queen coronation Thursday.” Previous protests were held at the coronation and in Old Pasadena. Estimates of the number of protesters at Monday’s rally ranged from 30 to 50.

For other articles on the PETA opposition and responses by the Tournament of Roses and Fiesta Parade Floats, see the “Suggested by Author” links.

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