If you are here there is a good chance you just thunderclapped Marineland - or saw someone who did. Thank you!
For folks who don’t know about this campaign, it is a pressure campaign that is anti-captivity and that wants to see the closure of the captive animal park Marineland (Niagara Falls, On) and the removal of the animals on site to settings of care.
This campaign is two years old. Today, as you read this, we are countering Marineland’s opening day with a demonstration of around 600-1000 people. We are hoping that this crowd is larger than our last demonstration - closing day - which brought out around 800 people in opposition to Marineland.
Our goals may seem outrageous to you, but captive animal parks close all of the time all over the world. Why are there no dolphinariums in the UK? Why did Switzerland recently ban the import of marine mammals? Why did India just reject attempts to establish marine mammal captive parks? All of this is because people worldwide have seen the truth behind this industry and it’s driving force - profit. These animals live horrific and frustrated lives so that they can make a select amount of people very wealthy. They prey on the curiosity and wonderment of children and, if they are not opposed, they can sell it as “education.”
We want to see all for profit captive animal parks close, those captive released to care and a shift towards keeping wild animals in the wild and protecting the habitats and environments that they live in. They have communities, families, culture, wants and desires of their own, and they demand our respect.
For people who want to join with us we will have several more large demonstrations this summer - the next being July 27th as part of a large coordinated international demonstration date against captive marine mammal park. Aside from that, you can join our mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be on it, and you can find our social media pages here - Facebook / Twitter. We’d also appreciate it if you signed our petition to close the wild capture loophole in Canada - a move that would mean no more marine mammals ripped from their homes for captive parks in Canada.
For anyone who wants to watch the livestream of the event today, or send a message of support - head to the demonstration event page.
Please also look for and continue to use those #marineland and #endcaptivity hash tags today as well to get them trending.
We hope that we send a message today that cannot be ignored. Together, we can make captive animal parks a thing of the past.
Marineland Animal Defense
Captivity is about separation and exclusion. It is about the destruction of families and communities. For wild caught animals, many watch their parents and family killed in front of them at a young age so that they won’t be able to put up a fight to defend them from capture. For the animals bred in captivity at Marineland, those parents routinely watch as their offspring suffer and die in infancy.
Since the removal of Ikaika back to SeaWorld she has spent her days alone. Ex-trainers have spoken publicly about their concern for her and Marineland itself have gone on public legal record establishing their concern for the health of their lone Orca held in solitary.
Kiska’s story is the story of captivity. She has survived, but at what cost? Her life has been painfully sad, she is alone and completely dependent upon humans - humans who are only interested in her as an “asset.”
There is no human need to hold other animals in captivity. There is no human need to gawk at or to turn other animals into mere commodities and spectacles. We will fight to remove Kiska and all of the other animals at Marineland and to ensure no more captives for John Holer!
Photo Credit: Natalie Lucier
We are happy to announce our demonstration schedule for May 18th!
The focus for this demonstration has been Ric + the kids. Since our last demonstration on October 7th 2012 there have been kids all over the province taking initiative and rallying against school trips to Marineland. Making impassioned speeches at their schools to teachers, classes, Principals and sometimes even the whole school all at once!
We’ve always felt that youth will be the final decision makers on Marineland, and all animal captivity. Kids like Vijay, Posey and Carrie are the next generation of advocates on this issue and representative of what Marineland fears most - children who know the truth about captivity!
May 18th Demonstration Schedule
Advocates will be on site between 9am - 5pm, however, the main demonstration time is 12-2pm. This will be the main time we will be concentrating on for media as well as the time we will be running this this schedule.
12:00pm - Demonstration Opening and Welcoming
12:10pm - Legal PSA for all Demonstrators
12:25pm - Youth advocate Carrie Tehrani
12:45pm - Jill Krasnicki (Animalia) Performs
1:10pm - Youth advocate Posey
1:25pm - Testament from Test Their Logik Performs
1:45pm - Youth advocate Vijay
2:00pm - Famed ex trainer and anti-captivity advocate Richard O’Barry presented with cheque from the Billie Celebrity Challenge and speaks.
Following Ric’s talk we will make an official count and display of the Origami Whales in order to challenge for the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Origami Whales Displayed” in Vijay’s name.
Our MC for the day will be Haudenosaunee activist and hip hop artist John Henhawk.
There will be plenty of time in between speakers to mingle, make new friends, build community, make appeals to those entering the park and also raise our voices together to chant. We ask that people respect this schedule and speakers and reserve their attention to the speakers provided. They should be respected and honoured for their hard work and dedication.
Aside from all of this we have some exciting new things coming to this demonstration - some of which we can announce now!
We will have a media tent at this demonstration complete with a generator and power to recharge cell phones, cameras and laptops as well as wi-fi access for people to edit, upload and post photos and videos from the event as it happens!
You can also count on some of the same old - shirts, raffle tickets, (vegan) baked goods, signs, megaphones and more.
Folks can always rely on on demonstration FAQ’s if you have any more questions about the demonstrations and we will also be updating as we approach with information on things like closest washrooms (Tim Horton’s in Chippewa and Dufferin Islands, etc).
As always, you can contact us at email@example.com with any other questions or concerns.
Quick promotional video for the “Opening Day” demonstration on the 18th. Please watch and share!
We are happy to announce a grassroots transition fund which we have been brainstorming around for months! The Stephen Watson Memorial Fund is a public savings account which will grow - as the pressure from this campaign continues to grow. The funds in that account will never be released unless Marineland or a future buyer agree to end captive breeding programs, end importation of new animals and agree to transition animals out of the facility. The funds will be used for transportation and care only - getting animals out of the park and set up in their new non-profit, rehab or sanctuary homes - and will never be used to pay the park for the animals. If Marineland ever does transition and instead sends their animals to another captive for profit park - then this fund transfers to another grassroots pressure campaign at a marine park and continues with the same purpose and the same funds.
This fund is a necessity as grassroots groups are tasked with building and keeping pressure on parks - however, when facilities crumble it is typical for larger non profits to swoop in and claim victory. They have the connections, resources and donors capable of such a move. It is a good thing that this is possible - but we want to build a grassroots fund where the thousands of people who oppose this park can actively donate to a fund to transition these animals. Where the transition of animals isn’t claimed by one wealthy donor and one organization - but by multiple organizations and thousands of people.
The decision to name this fund after a long time, dedicated ocean activist who we lost last year was an easy one. Stephen Watson, and his wife Renée, were an inspiration to the start of this campaign as well friends and mentors to many of the organizers. We wanted to do something substantive honour Stephen’s memory and to keep him with us as we continue to advocate for animals at this facility. Together we will build a fund, in Stephen’s name, that will hopefully one day remove the animals from this park to the care they deserve.
The fund was announced last night at our second anniversary dinner and launches with a generous anonymous donation of $1,500. We will be building a separate page on this site to update the fund as it progresses and all donations made to the fund will be posted publicly (with names or anonymously). You can donate to this fund at demonstrations, by pick up or drop off in the Niagara Region, or online via paypal or email money transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the note “Stephen Watson Memorial Fund.”
Below is a statement from Stephen’s wife, Renée Watson, on the fund.
Stephen was a man who believed in honour, integrity and living life authentically. He believed that all life had value and basic inherent rights, that being the right to live freely without imposition, oppression or fear. Although he felt this way for all sentient beings, he focused most of his energies towards increasing awareness of the plight of the oceans and the creatures living within.
Stephen was intimately connected to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with his brother being Captain Paul Watson founder and director of this organization. Stephen’s gift as an artist was the way in which he could best support his brother’s organization, which he believed in so very much, and to bring attention to the loss and depletion of our oceans. He donated numerous art pieces to raise funds for organizations that focused their energies on keeping sea life safe and protected, in their natural environment.
The biggest affront to the largest of these ocean dwelling animals is the senseless slaughter, and perhaps worse, the capture and imprisonment of these majestic beings. MAD is a grassroots organization Stephen would be proud to be a part of. It would have given him great joy to see the end to theme parks that hold animals imprisoned, forced to entertain masses of humanity. Until that is a reality, naming this trust fund after him both honours him and keeps his presence in the struggle to shut down marine theme parks forever.
Oceans and the beings that live beneath the surface must be protected and allowed to replenish itself. For as Captain Paul would say, “if the oceans die, we die.”
Sincerely Renée Watson.
Today marks an important point for the Marineland Animal Defense campaign. We have been notified by Marineland’s lawyer Andrew Burns that Marineland “…agree not to proceed for an injunction subject to compliance with the undertaking. We will revisit the status of the action if their is a breach, an intervening event or at the end of the season.”
What does this mean? It means that in what will be a legal war of attrition we have reached a ceasefire. Marineland will not proceed for an injunction, however, will also continue to constantly monitor the situation and use any leverage or action they can to use the court system again in their favour.
What does this mean specifically for this campaign? We can shift our focus fully back to organizing on the ground - with knowledge that we need to also prepare ourselves should this issue be brought forward again. Also, this means that we have to take a more visible and active role in educating and illustrating where the rights of demonstrators both begin and end. Our marshaling system will be better, our information will be more accessible, and we will ensure that people are all aware of their surroundings at demonstrations.
What will this look like? Most pressingly, Marineland has erected a fence on their property that extends the length of the front of the park. As the fence is on Marineland property, approaching, touching, hanging, or hanging signs off of that fence can be considered trespass and any interaction with the fence considered nuisance. We will ensure that folks are aware of this prior to, and also on the day of, the demonstration.
On a brighter note, to the people who supported our legal defense, organized or attended speaking events, offered encouragement, shared news articles, came to demonstrations, or came to the issue through support - thank you! It is because of you that we illustrated back to Marineland that Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP suits) will only grow the opposition to this park. We will continue on in this new era of opposition and use our creativity and collective will to enact positive change for the animals currently captive at Marineland.
One Month til Opening Day - (May 18th)!
“There’s about as much educational benefit studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary.” - Jacques Cousteau
Donations - we accept donations to our paypal: email@example.com and can also arrange for cash/cheque pick up’s and drop off’s
SOCIAL MEDIA TUESDAY: This person believes that these lives are too precious to be spent alone in a tank! Please like/reblog if you agree!