Tonight Ringling Bros. opens a week of performances at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, but not without great controversy or an unscheduled appearance by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA will be protesting and leafleting during Ringling's opening–day performance at the Verizon Center.
After receiving no response to a peaceful protest at DC City Hall on March 9, and repeated requests for comment from DC Mayor Gray, animal rights activists from PETA announced a new series of protests against Ringling Bros. Circus cruelty in DC.
The first in a series of peaceful protests against Ringling abuse is scheduled for Thurs., March 21 at the Verizon Center, 601 F St., NW from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Approximately 75 people signed up to brave the freezing temperatures, hoping to educate the public and discourage patronage of the Ringling circus.
The Ringling Bros. Circus will be in DC for a series of performances featuring two crippled elephants named Karen and Nicole. There is, however, a law in DC that prohibits people from forcing animals to work when, like Karen and Nicole, they are not fit to work—and PETA is asking for the Mayor and citizens to help to ensure that this law is enforced.
Examiner reported that humane education activists from across the country rallied at DC City Hall to urge Mayor Gray to enforce DC cruelty-to-animals laws. They were joined by Ingrid Newkirk, the President of PETA and activists from as far away as Los Angeles, CA.
Examiner has repeatedly called the Mayor's Office for a comment, but the Mayor has not replied to Examiner.
PETA President Newkirk told Examiner that the fight to prevent circus cruelty in DC has been going on for years, and assured Examiner that activists are still fully committed to ending cruelty to animals in the greater Metro area and everywhere animals suffer.
PETA's International Grassroots Campaigner Katie Arth flew in from Los Angeles to join the protests and told Examiner that PETA will continue to peacefully protest the circus at the Verizon Center all week, if necessary—if Mayor Gray allows Ringling Bros. to perform and if they continue to violate DC's cruelty-to-animals laws.
View the short video below, “Alec Baldwin Speaks Out for Circus Animals.”