Our first E News update of the year and it is important!
We launched this year with the new campaign name “Operation Second Chance” (#OP2NDChance) - an entire year to highlight alternatives to for profit animal captivity and success stories of animals who have been given a second chance. Alongside that announcement we announced that Opening Day at Marineland this year - May 17 2014 - will be met with a "March on Marineland.” For the first time ever we will take to the streets to demand change for the animals at Marineland! Please RSVP on the facebook event page, share on your social networks and invite friends and family to the event. The event poster is also attached and facebook cover photo is attached.
In the short term, Marineland Animal Defense is joining with the Grassroots Ontario Animal Liberation Network (GOAL) and the Toronto Aquarium Resistance Alliance (TARA) to highlight issues of wild capture and animal captivity at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto. This Sunday we will be demonstrating out front of the facility in Toronto and we’d love for you to join us and raise your voice for the animals!
Aside from demonstrations, since our last update we’ve reflected on 2013 and the year that was "Operation Shut it Down."We marked a lot of highlights and we hope that our review will serve as a reminder of what we can achieve when we all work together to end animal captivity. Let’s push even harder in 2014!
Adoption Wednesday - lovable bun-buns! Please share widely to help these little balls of love find their forever home (together).
Without doubt or argument, 2013 was our biggest, boldest and best campaign year yet. Although we battled in the court system the entire year, we still managed to grow, build pressure and hold the largest demonstration in the history of opposition to this park (and the second largest in Canadian history!)
Below are a few highlights of this years campaign to reflect on, a day before we announce our 2014 campaign year.
New Years Day 2013 Demonstration: We threw Marineland for a loop by holding a New Years Demo to start the year last year and to announce “Operation Shut it Down.” The demonstration was small, but set the tone for the year and sent a message to Marineland that the world is still watching even during the off season. This one goes down as the first winter/off season demonstration in the history of the park.
Global Awareness Week Photos: To keep interest up in the offseason we announced the very first "Global Awareness Week." Alongside events on the ground and in other communities we put a call out for people to send us photos calling for Marineland to shut down. We were swamped. Hundreds of photos came in from all over the world - Australia, Florida, Finland, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Mexico and all across Canada and the United States. It was amazing to see the response and photos kept coming in the entire year. It was also great to see big name athletes like Leilani Munter and James “Lightning” Wilks take part, as well as bands like Anti-Flag. We look forward to doing this again this year!
Record Setting Opening Day Demonstration: May 18, 2013 saw the largest demonstration in the history of opposition to Marineland (breaking our 2012 Closing Day record) and the second largest animal advocacy demonstration in Canadian history (and the largest since 1984!). We threw everything we had at the park - we thunderclapped, we set a new Guinness World Record for Origami’s displayed for young advocate Vijay, we chanted and we created a huge buzz. This was the result of so many people taking time out of their busy schedules to take a stand against Marineland and against the captive animal industry. It was a beautiful day and we look forward to repeating it in 2014!
Marineland Animal Defense Kicked Out of Niagara Falls Council: Niagara Falls City Council has never been a friend to captive animals at Marineland. Two leases of public land to Marineland confirm this. We took to Council in May though on a separate issue - to hold them accountable for the eviction of 47 families from the Green Oaks Trailer Park. That eviction notice was served by Marineland Canada and residents still feel that there were steps Council could have taken to stop that eviction in 2011. When City Clerk Dean Iorfida came to our opening day demonstration and claimed that the eviction never happened - we had to respond. We asked for a minute of Council’s time so that ex-resident Connie Topolinski could speak. They shut down council and booted us out. In the process though, we finally got local press to cover this issue and talk about the role Council has played in supporting not only this eviction, but anything Marineland comes to Council for.
Marineland Animal Defense Joins Greenpeace and Over One Hundred Other Public Advocacy Organizations to Call for Anti-SLAPP Legislation: It made perfect sense for us this year to not only fight our own legal battle against Marineland, but to work with others to fight to protect public advocacy for all Ontarians. Our advocacy has never been about one specific animal, one specific park, or one specific issue - this is about speaking truth to power and organizing to change practices that we can no longer support. We look forward to continuing this fight in 2014 until we see the passage of Bill 83 - the Public Participation Act.
Social Media Tueday Goes Viral: Our anti-captivity designs and videos have increased greatly in reach and quality in 2013. Our images have been seen globally, translated and ensured that Marineland stays on everyone’s mind when it comes to opposing the captive animal industry. Our most popular images have had a facebook reach alone of over 100,000 views!
Largest Empty the Cages International Demonstration: This year some great anti-captivity advocates came up with the idea of a network day of demonstrations at captive animal facilities. It was a great statement of global opposition of the captive animal industry. We were happy to take part and also host the largest demonstration of the day!
Liberals Increase OSPCA Funding from $500,000 to $5.5 Million/Year: Although it was not the announcement we wanted - the Provincial Liberals giving $5 million more a year to the OSPCA was an open admission that their investigation of Marineland was flawed because of a lack of capacity (we told you so) and also showed that our public advocacy is making a difference for animals and changing practices within the industry. Although it’s not what we want, and we won’t stop until we get it, this announcement was a psychological blow for Marineland. We followed up on this announcement with a demonstration and mass call-in at the office of Madeleine Meilleur to demand closure of the wild capture loophole.
Festival for the Animals: For four days in 2013 we organized in opposition to the captive animal industry in Ontario. Closing day demonstrations at Marineland Canada and African Lion Safari - alongside walkers from Safari Niagara to Marineland Canada. The demonstration was a great statement - but so was our lighted highway sign “Shut Down Marineland” and the now famous “Tubman” - anti captivity advocate and M.A.D. organizer Jeremy Larivee who spent three days in a tub outside of Marineland in protest. All of the events were a great reminder to Marineland that we are not going anywhere - no matter how hard they try and use the legal system as a weapon and scare people they cannot stop people from caring about captive animals!
We hope this email is a welcome start to your week!
First thing to update - The Public Participation Act (Bill 83) - was on the debate floor late last week and we are continuing to call on it’s speedy passage to committee. This is the legislation that would stop corporations like Marineland Canada using civil litigation as a weapon. The Council of Canadians have joined in this call, and our friends at Greenpeace Canada havelaunched a new email petition and asked for our help it getting the word out. Please follow through, send the email and contact your MPP to make sure they support this legislation. We really need as many people involved as possible - so please lend a hand! If you don’t support anti-SLAPP legislation, you could be (sued) next!
Next up - this week we launch our first full week social media schedule. Every Monday we will focus on a call in event, Tuesdays will be our regular “Social Media Tuesday,” Wednesday we will feature adoptable rescue animals from All Creatures Rescue, Thursday is Throwback Thursday and Friday is follow Friday.
Tomorrow we start with call in to Gail Shea - the Federal Minister for Fisheries and Oceans. Gail is a decision maker and her portfolio can close the wild capture loophole - closing off the flow of wild caught marine mammals into parks like Marineland Canada. Please follow through with that call. A call in image is attached with all of the information needed. You can also use our old Gail Shea call out form letter.
Last but not least, we’ve created a new PSA - this time focused on Kiska. Kiska is the sole remaining survivor of the failed captive orca program at Marineland Canada. We need to fight for her. Please watch the 90 second PSA and share it widely. No doubt Marineland will try everything they can to try and have it pulled down.
"90 Seconds for Kiska I Marineland Animal Defense PSA - http://youtu.be/PgRmy0KRafY
After over a month of much needed down time we are back with a recap of Festival for the Animals and some next steps.
First off, thank you so much to everyone who made FFTA a success! For four straight days we put pressure on the captive animal industry and Marineland Canada. Highlights included a lighted sign that made it’s way around Niagara Falls, #Tubman - our organizer Jeremy Larivee who spent Friday to Sunday in a tub, PEGGY OKI, a full day conference and hundreds of advocates out front of the park top it all off! Some recap photos are attached and also check out some of the footage Dateline Australia shot of the events.
The off season has begun, but we haven’t stopped organizing. We are gearing up for a full week of online activity to keep folks engaged and involved as we also plan upcoming demonstrations. Look for this to begin next week! The schedule will go as below:
Call Out Mondays - Every Monday we will be featuring a new phone in, with at least once a month being focused on Conservative Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea.
Adoption Wednesdays - Each week we will feature an adoptable animal from our friends at the All Creatures Rescue in Toronto.
Throwback Thursdays - Photos and news articles from out of the Marineland Animal Defense archives
Follow Fridays - A focus on #FF on twitter and encourage and amplifying the voices of advocates organizing to end captivity.
All of this work is impossible without your support. You all make up the engine that has made us one of the largest and most effective grassroots animal advocacy groups in Canadian history. Let’s keep our foot on the gas!
Whatever you do - don’t forget about opening day. Now officially called as Saturday May 17, 2014. Please RSVP/SHARE and INVITE your friends and family!
Marineland Animal Defense
Donations - we accept donations and email money transfers to our paypal: email@example.com.
Peggy Oki posing for a photo in the Marineland Animal Defense bathtub that was lived in for three days by anti captivity activist Jeremy, from MAD in Niagara Falls Ontario!
Peggy is showing her support and solidarity with animals in captivity, First Nations sovereignty and #idlenomore! She is also protesting nuclear reactors! She is an inspiring activist and a proud supporter of this campaign!
Thanks so much to Peggy for coming all this way to stand with us today!
Photo by Zach Ruiter
After 3 days living in a bathtub outside Marineland in Niagara Falls Ontario, Marineland Animal Defense Organizer Jeremy, AKA: TubMan has left his tub! He did shows for audiences when they gathered, he was cold at night and hit during the day living in this contrived and cramped environment, and he relied on others to bring him the food and water he needed to live. After 3 days and two whole nights without even leaving the tub to go to the bathroom, he is now safe and sound at home.
He wanted to make sure people understood the significance of that; after 3 days he was able to quit and go home. The animals inside Marineland will not ever be able to return home without people like us stepping in, working to close this facility and every other one like it the world over, rehabilitating and/or re-homing these animals so that they can live some kind of fair life in either seaside sanctuaries or eventually after unlearning their domestication, return to their homes and families. (Which it has been documented that some captive dolphins have done! Returning years later to the same locations they were caught and rejoining their family groups.)
TubMan is no more, but Jeremy, and Marineland Animal Defense are still here and still fighting and we none of us will give up the fight for these animals.
Because living in a bathtub isn’t fun for anyone, orca or activist alike.
The MAD organizer now dubbed “Tubman” is still there and over hour 18 in the tub! His feet are cold, but his spirits are high! Love and support has been pouring in from all over the world! Go Jeremy Go! He can see all the supportive messages from everyone and it’s really great! He’ll be there until the park closes for the season! Show him some love if you can!
BREAKING: an organizer from Marineland Animal Defense has arrived on site at Marineland in Niagara Falls Ontario and will live in this bathtub for the next 3 days. There is no difference between his confinement to the tub and an orca in a tiny tank inside this facility.
Solidarity from Marineland Animal Defense for all animals held captive.
If you are in the area, please drop by and show some support! We hear they would really appreciate a warm drink and a few high fives. The tub will be on site and occupied for the entire closing weekend.